Self-advocacy is a movement that promotes people with disabilities to speak for themselves and their peers. Members of the Western Massachusetts community created a regional network of self-advocacy groups which participate in the statewide self-advocacy board (Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong). Self-Advocacy groups provide a forum for self-advocates and allies to collectively achieve goals and work towards independence. Self-advocacy teaches group members how to find their voice and use it responsibly. The Consortium participates in the regional self-advocacy movement by providing support, coordination and technical assistance to local groups.
The Consortium sponsors two local groups. Leadership Through Advocacy (LTA) is based in the greater Holyoke area. LTA meetings occur the first and third Wednesday of the month. LTA utilizes an officer model which allows members to elect leaders, vote on goals, and work together to complete their goals.
Self Advocacy Network (SAN) is based in the Springfield area. SAN meetings occur the second and fourth Monday of the month. SAN utilizes a shared leadership model which allows all members to be leaders and share their skills with one another to meet their goals.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: The Western Massachusetts Training Consortium is currently looking for volunteers to join the Human Rights Committee. Check out this posting for more information: HRC VOLUNTEER POSTING