Advocacy

For most students with disabilities, accessing and using your accommodations goes smoothly, but sometimes complications happen. If you run into a problem with an accommodation, service or other disability-related matter, you may need to self-advocate.

Self-advocacy means speaking on your own behalf to find solutions or make changes. You might need to talk with a faculty member, explain your accommodations, or talk with a tutor about how you learn.

If you encounter a problem that you’re not able to resolve on your own, you can get help advocating. Your counsellor is your main resource for disability-related advocacy help. The counsellor works alongside you to help find solutions. Some ways the counsellor might help you advocate:

  • Help you prepare for a conversation or meeting
  • Navigating the college environment
  • Help you explain how you learn
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities for providing accommodations
  • Organize a meeting for you to talk with your faculty
  • Talk with faculty
  • Validate your need for accommodations
  • Explain policies and procedures to others

Your counsellor’s role in advocacy starts when you bring the need to their attention. The counsellor will talk with you to understand the problem and what steps you have already taken to resolve it. Together, you decide on next steps and what each of you will do to work towards a solution.

Remember, the counsellor does not speak for you. They act as an advocate by being at your side to help you resolve problems. You are the leader in your own advocacy.