Self-Advocacy Focused Learning

Self-Advocacy Focused Learning 

This course is an introduction to the topic of self-advocacy and the important qualities that apply to being a self-advocate: influence, power, and responsibility. Participants in this course will learn about the significance of self-advocacy, different styles of self-advocacy, and how to serve as a support person (or ally) for individuals being strong self-advocates. Skills learned from this course will be used on a daily basis. In fact, participants will finish this course with a broader understanding of why-they-do-what-they-do every day. The intended audience for this course is DSPs, Qualified Professionals, and Management. This course was written by Betsy Valnes, a disability rights professional specializing in advocacy, inclusion, and equal rights. It includes taped interviews with self-advocates discussing their insights and experiences.


Hours: 1.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals


This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

Non-Licensed Direct Care (DSP, HHA, CNA, DCW, PCA, IHA, NA)


Course Details

Course Code: REL-IDD-0-SAFL
Hours: 1
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 12/31/2020
Learning Objectives:
Define self-advocacy.
Describe the history of self-advocacy and why it is important to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Distinguish between a self-advocate, an advocate, and an ally.
Identify different ways an individual might choose to advocate for themselves in different situations.
Employ support strategies that empower individuals with disabilities to advocate for themselves in different situations.

Section 1. Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: What is Self-Advocacy? A. Introduction B. Think About It C. What Is Self-Advocacy? D. Self-Advocacy E. The Disability Rights Movement F. Social Conditioning G. A Brief History of Disability Rights H. Today and Tomorrow I. Did You Know? J. Section Summary Section 3: Becoming an Ally A. The Goal: Full Participation B. Practicing Self-Advocacy C. The Role of the DSP D. Self-Advocates, Advocates, and Allies E. Self-Advocates F. Advocates G. Allies H. Stepping Up/Stepping Back I. Section Summary Section Four: Styles of Self-Advocacy A. A Range of Options B. Passive Advocacy C. Assertive Self-Advocacy D. Aggressive Self-Advocacy E. Section Summary Section Five: Influence, Power, and Responsibility A. Introduction B. Know Your Influence C. Know Your Power D. Know Your Responsibility E. Support Leadership F. Tips for Allies G. Section Summary Section 6: Conclusion A. Concluding Thoughts B. Summary C. Put into Practice D. Congratulations! E. Course Contributors F. Resources

Instructor: Betsy Valnes, MA
Betsy Valnes, MA, serves as the founding Executive Director for the National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN). She has worked with multiple disability rights endeavors through entities such as the National Council on Disability, the Council on Quality and Leadership, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Rehabilitation International, and the World Bank. Betsy contributes to the board of directors for the US International Council on Disability (USICD) and the World Disability Union (WDU) and has shared her expertise in 11 countries to date. Disclosure: Betsy Valnes, MA has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: entry and intermediate level Direct Support Professionals; in the following settings: Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.