Advocacy is a fancy word for helping people to speak for themselves.
Advocates don’t speak on behalf of people with a learning disability – they make sure a person's own voice is heard.
Advocates support people to develop the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to voice their concerns and make sure they are being treated right.
Advocates help people to:
- access information and services
- be involved in decisions about their lives
- explore choices and options
- speak out about issues that matter to them.
How Advocacy services work
Every local authority commissions advocacy services to support people who need help making their voice heard.
Advocacy services are provided by an advocate who is independent, and who is not part of your family or one of your friends.
Being independent means they are there to represent wishes without giving their personal opinion and without representing anyone else’s views.
How an advocate will support you
If you have a learning disability, an advocate might help you access information you need or go with you to meetings or interviews in a supportive role.
An advocate's role includes making sure correct procedures are followed and making sure your voice is heard. You may want your advocate to write letters on your behalf, or speak for you in situations where you don't feel able to speak for yourself.
How to get the support you need
Contact the Learning Disability Help, for guidance and information about what support we can offer you.
Or why not take a look at FamilyHub? This is our online community for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability, and is a place for sharing experiences, advice and support.