It’s about lifting up the voices of the people for whom you advocate.
Advocacy encompasses forms of solidarity, information-sharing, education, and support — oftentimes by members of the community themselves connecting, sharing resources, and supporting each other.
When we assume we know what’s best for someone else, this is patronizing and infantilizing.
Regardless of a person’s mode of communication, or the nature of their disability, everyone has a right to have their voice heard and their autonomy respected. If we speak over someone for whom we are supposed to be advocating, we end up doing more harm than good.
Advocacy is about the individuals for whom you advocate. It is not about virtue signalling, infantilizing people, or lifting yourself up as “saviour” to a community.
If you’re advocating for a group to which you do not belong, make sure you’re listening more than talking. Chances are we didn’t ask for your help. And if you aren’t lifting up our voices, we don’t want your “help”.
Read my article in Neurodiversified.
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