Self-advocacy involves persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities speaking up for themselves to express their individual needs, goals, and desires. For some, it also involves advocating for others with disabilities in order to improve systems of services and supports.
The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) provides programs and resources for persons with disabilities who want to gain skills and knowledge so that they can become effective advocates.
We train students and others who have professional interests in working with and for people with intellectual and developmental disabiliites. Many of these opportunities directly or indirectly encourage self-determination, independence, and advocacy.
We partner within Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center and with other local, state, and international organizations that support self-advocacy. Making and facilitating connections is a natural part of all we do.
At the buttons to the left, we’ve provided links to VKC self-advocacy activities and resources and to the activities of some of our partners. You can navigate and explore these resources by area of emphasis.
We’ve also included a button to connect you with state and national groups that work in the area of self-advocacy.