Civil Rights and Advocacy Resources

Civil Rights and Advocacy Resources

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This page has reports [real life stories told by youth and young adults with disabilities] and links to other organizations and agencies that can give you information about civil rights and advocacy.


What Is a Center for Independent Living?
A Center for Independent Living (CIL) is a nonprofit agency that assists people with all types of disabilities with information and referral, independent living skills training, peer counseling and individual and systems advocacy. Check out this info sheet to learn more about what CILs do and the many ways they can help you.

As disabled youth there are many problems in our lives whether it is with our healthcare or just making places more accessible for us. We would like to change these things, but how do we go about making these changes? Community activism helps but there is one simple way for us to make changes: get involved in the political process!

Advocacy and Why it’s Important
Advocacy is important for all people; old, young, disabled and non-disabled alike. We as individuals are the ultimate guards of our rights… BUT, like most things, there’s a right way and a wrong way of advocating.

Different Ways Of Making Change
Have you ever wondered about the different ways people use to make change happen in communities or laws? This list can help you think of ways to share your message or creative ways to protest when other advocacy hasn’t worked.

Steps for Fixing a Problem Where Everyone Is Happy
Conflicts (when people disagree) can happen when advocating for change or when people are trying to work together. Here are tips on how to fix a problem where everyone can be happy with the solution.

Leading a Meeting
There may be times when you are asked to run a meeting. It could be your IEP meeting, a youth group meeting, or meeting to plan an event. Sometimes it can be hard to lead a meeting. There may be a lot to think about, but here are a few tips to get you started.

How To Give a Presentation
Presentations are important to share information. Check out this tip sheet to learn about the different kinds of presentations, how to prepare to give one, how to get feedback on your presentation and other resources.

Leadership Tips
A good leader works with other people towards a goal. Check out this tip sheet to learn some helpful tips on being a leader.

An Advocate Is
Ever wondered what advocacy meant or what it means to be a self advocate? Check out this tip sheet to learn tips on self-advocacy and community advocacy.

Remembering What is Important
Christina Mills shares her personal experience as a young person going to school when the ADA was first enacted.

Advocacy Tips
Advocacy is speaking out on an issue that concerns you. This can mean talking to a policymaker about a law, talking to your teachers about your IEP or talking with your parents about something you want to do. Get some tips here.


ADA Info
This site is just what it sounds like – it’s a source for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) information. They offer technical assistance and training materials.

The ADA Technical Assistance Program
This site is a diverse selection of cafe to help folks understand and implement the Act. The main project is the network of Disability Business Technical Assistance Centers that provide public awareness, training, materials and referrals that can be accessed through this site.

ADA Information on the Web
This is the official US Dept of Justice site on ADA information on the Web . There are a bunch of links here, including technical assistance manuals, “Enforcement Highlights” and common questions.

The Inclusion Daily Press
The Inclusion Daily Press is a site that provides the most up-to-date news about various disability issues worldwide through an e-mail news service. Articles are mostly about advocacy, disability rights, inclusion in society and self-determination. It is in the forefront for providing news services truly concerning the lives of people with disabilities.

The AAPD brings about unity, leadership and impact, and not just another government public program. The potential strength to impact the future is an organization conceived by, advised and managed by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. It recognizes the need for a unified membership organization representing American citizens with disabilities working together for common goals. They provide basic benefits, such as insurances – life, health, automobile, and disability – often unreasonably unaffordable or denied and unavailable to most people with disabilities.

The Justice For All E-mail Network
Justice For All is a great Internet resource for current events and policy updates. If you are intested in joining their list, send an email to [email protected] with the words “subscribe justice” in the body of your message.

The Disability Grapevine
The Disability Grapevine (est. 2000) is a free and online daily newspaper that publishes stories and articles about disability issues. It contains such things as disability-focused articles, personals (over 19), information, classifieds, and fiction. A very diversified online newspaper that is centered on the lives and personalities of people with disabilities.

The National Disability Party of the USA
The National Disability Party of the USA was created by a group of people with disabilities and people who care for people with disabilities that wanted a change in the political system. The National Disability Party has been recognized by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to be an actual political party with the principal motivation to treat all persons (disabled or not) with dignity in every aspect of daily life. They address needs that are not being met by the other political parties.

Disability Rights Movement Exhibit
This site represents what a visitor to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s Disability Rights Movement Exhibit would encounter when using one of the kiosks in the physical exhibition. The kiosks are Web-based models being developed for museum use. They have made an effort to get the kiosk material onto the Web in an efficient way that is widely accessible.

Guide to Civil Rights Law
The Center for An Accessible Society is a national organization designed to focus public attention on disability and independent living issues by disseminating information developed through the National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-funded research to promote independent living. It is mostly a source for journalists concerned and reporting on disability issues.

Council for Disability Rights

The Center for An Accessible Society

Civil Rights and the ADA by the Bazelon Center

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