Self-Advocacy Online Adds Videos on Friends, Fitness, and Finding Competitive Work

Publication date: 
June 17, 2019

ICI’s Self-Advocacy Online website has added four new original videos—written by John Smith and produced by Sarah Hollerich—that support people with disabilities in becoming more active and finding competitive employment in the community. Launched in 2004 with funding from NEC Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, Self-Advocacy Online provides content of interest to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), in particular those involved in the self-advocacy movement, a civil rights movement by and for people with IDD. Information, including some of ICI’s research, is presented in accessible, entertaining formats. The website also includes a directory of self-advocacy organizations across the U.S., developed by John Westerman, and a story wall featuring interviews with dozens of self-advocates.

The videos What is Employment First? (pictured) and How well is Employment First spreading around the U.S.? inform self-advocates about a framework for systems change that is centered on the premise that all citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment and community life. How can we be more active? offers fitness suggestions, and Can DSPs help you make friends in the community? encourages self-advocates (and the Direct Support Professionals who support them) to broaden their social circles out in the community. These titles are just the latest additions to the site’s numerous short films and lessons that provide self-advocates with useful information on topics ranging from the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 to youth leadership.

“Information is meaningless if it’s not understandable and accessible,” says Self-Advocacy Online director Jerry Smith. “With over 250 videos, lessons, and translated research findings, we’re meeting a need few others are addressing. And by collaborating with Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, Inclusion International, and The Arc, we are reaching a wide audience.”