Sabine Valley Center — Peer to Peer Self-Advocacy Training

Peer to Peer Self-Advocacy Training

Statewide Need
Not everyone has had the chance to develop the important skills required to be a successful self-advocate. Some individuals have had few opportunities to make their own choices and others have made most decisions for them. Many individuals who have learned self-advocacy through their life experiences and training have become effective self-advocates themselves and are qualified to teach self-advocacy to others. Facilitating educational opportunities for self-advocates to train others can allow individuals to take more control of their lives, understand and protect their rights as citizens and consumers, and increase their active community participation.

Project Goal
Utilize the strengths of local self-advocates to inspire and provide training to other people with developmental disabilities (DD) in a culturally sensitive manner.

Project Summary
Through the Peer to Peer Self Advocacy project, the Sabine Valley Center aimed to have self-advocates train individuals with DD in self-advocacy, with a number of these becoming trainers themselves in the next year of the project.

In the first year of the grant, 10 self-advocates were identified and invited to become the first year’s trainers. These 10 trainers were each assigned a section of the total training and were coached on how to teach that part of the training. The trainers facilitated formal trainings, during which they trained 53 people with DD to be self-advocates. These 53 individuals learned more about their rights and how to work toward their dreams. A number of people expressed interest in becoming a trainer for the project and 10 were chosen to be trainers for the second year.

Follow-ups showed that the training had a significant impact on those who participated. By the end of the first grant year, eight of the trainees reported improvement and/or change in two or more outcome areas, and three people had joined community organizations. Fifty-three people participated in public policy advocacy with all of the participants learning and practicing public policy advocacy as part of the training.

  • Impact
    • 53 people with DD were trained to be self-advocates
      • All participated in public policy advocacy
      • Eight reported improvement and/or change in two or more outcome areas
      • Three joined community organizations

Project Period
Feb 2005 – Jan 2008

107 Woodbine Pl.
Longview, TX 75601

Geographic Reach