• Understanding Self-Advocacy

    Self-Advocacy is defined as the ability to communicate one’s individual needs to others. Atlanta Public Schools encourage students to seek support and ask questions while also communicating their individual learning needs.

  • Examples of Self-Advocacy for Students    

    Common strategies for self-advocacy for different education levels include but are not limited to:

    Elementary School Students


    • Asking for help with a task or assignment
    • Being able to appreciate personal differences and attributes
    • Expressing a desire for independence on tasks and assignments
    • Identifying a problem or concern and how it impacts feelings
    • Using positive statements when talking about themselves and their needs
    • Being aware of daily schedule and routines


    Middle School Students


    • Informing teachers of needs and questions
    • Requesting assistance from teachers in obtaining support resources (e.g., tutoring, counseling, etc.)
    • Knowing the names and descriptions of medical diagnoses
    • Actively using problem-solving skills
    • Learning classroom accommodations required to be successful
    • Sharing positive and negative experiences
    • Keeping track of belongings and assignments


    High School Students


    • Being able to provide a description of personal assets and strengths  
    • Participation in the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) process
    • Developing and discussing individual and academic goals
    • Learning about the laws that protect student rights
    • Self-evaluation and reminding teachers and staff of the learning accommodations and strategies that work best for individual academic needs
    • Knowing their rights as a person with a disability
    • Implementing self-care when needed





    “Self-Advocacy.” Wright’s Law, https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/self.advocacy.htm.

    “Student Self-Advocacy.” Center for Parent Information and Resources, https://www.parentcenterhub.org/?s=Self-advoc.

    “The Self-Advocacy Strategy.”, Reusen et al., Georgia Department of Education, http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Documents/IDEAS%202015%20Handouts/2015%20Handouts/The%20Self-Advocacy%20Strategy%20ppt.pdf.