Self Advocacy at Schenectady ARC

Schenectady ARC's Self Advocacy program was established in 2000. Self Advocates are dedicated to advocating for their rights and spreading their message to other advocates. Self Advocates volunteer time, conduct fundraisers and collection drives for causes in the community and attend trainings and conferences to better understand self advocacy. Self Advocates are also involved with Schenectady ARC’s new staff training program, helping staff to better understand how individuals with disabilities would like to be treated.

Download the Self Advocacy Flyer

Join Self Advocacy

To join Schenectady ARC Speaks Out you must be a participant of services at Schenectady ARC. To join you can call the Self Advocacy Liaison at 372.1160.

Self Advocacy hosts monthly meetings that are open to all individuals and we welcome new attendees and persons interested in learning more about Self Advocacy to our meetings. Meetings are held at 214 State Street, Schenectady, NY.

What is a Self Advocate?

Meet Robert Burger, Self Advocate

When did you join Self Advocacy? I joined Schenectady ARC Speaks Out in 2000

Why did you join the group? I joined because I saw all my housemates were going to the group and I wanted to see what it was about.

What do you like about Self Advocacy? I like to see my friends and to learn new things.

Why is the programs so important to you? It is important to me because it helps me speak up so people will listen to me and so that I can do things I like to do.

With self advocacy, Robert has volunteered at the Kingsway Village Apartments, assisted with the Animal Protective Foundation Drive, attended conferences and is an ambassador to Schenectady ARC Day Program Self Advocacy groups.

History of our Activism

2005 - Advocated for changing the Schenectady ARC organization name

2012 - “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign to end use of the R-word

2012 - Assisted in development of the Next Chapter Book Club

2012 - Voting Project (over forty advocates registered to vote, more than twenty voted in the Presidential election)

2012 - Fundraisers for the Schenectady Cancer Foundation, victims of Hurricane Irene and our annual holiday drive for the Animal Protective Foundation

2013 - Self Advocacy groups in every day program

Each year the Self Advocacy group participates in the NYSACRA Legislative Day to keep our legislators informed of the issues and challenges facing their lives.

Currently Self Advocates are serving on Schenectady ARC committees such as the Green Committee, Aging Committee, and Membership Committee. They also participate in the new hire orientation process.