Self-Advocacy Resources

Videos, Webinars, Toolkits

Self-Advocacy Toolkit

MAIER’s Self-Advocacy Toolkit, (and the associated video linked below) designed by Connor Archer, provides accessible and valuable information to help those with diverse learning needs advocate for themselves. No one knows you better than yourself, and thus you know what works best for you across various learning environments. But, sometimes, it is difficult to figure out the best way to advocate for those needs. Within this toolkit, Connor provides some tools and hints on how best to get your needs met respectfully and effectively. Whether you need to advocate for yourself within a K-12 school environment, within a workplace setting, or within your community, you know what you need; learn the best ways to get those needs met. Check out this tool kit as well as the video below. Connor is also available during various dates across the winter to provide a question-and-answer session related to advocacy. If you’re interested in attending that Q&A session, check out the self-advocacy Community of Practice page facilitated by MAIER.


Self-Advocacy Videos

Self-Advocacy Module, Session 1:

In this video, Connor Archer discusses what self-advocacy is, gives suggestions about what works, and brings up thought-provoking ideas and ways of thinking about becoming your own best advocate. You know yourself and your needs best, use Connor’s video, tool kit (linked above) and attend his Q & A sessions to leverage your voice effectively and respectfully.


Self-Advocacy Module, Session 2:

In this video, Connor Archer interviews Dylan Campbell, Maine Parent Federation’s (MPF) Youth Coordinator, about the amazing cadre of resources available via MPF, what Dylan thinks about self-advocacy, and what he has seen challenge as well as work for his clients.  Along with the session 1 video and the self-advocacy tool kit above, attend Connor’s future Q & A sessions to leverage your voice effectively and respectfully.


Self-Advocacy Module, Session 3:

In this video, Connor Archer interviews Jessica Archer, Connor’s mom an amazing educator and advocate, about the right kinds of questions to be asking when they consider self-advocacy. What kinds of strategies can you come up with to know what questions to ask when in order to make the most impact?  Along with the earlier session videos and the self-advocacy tool kit above, attend Connor’s future Q & A sessions to leverage your voice effectively and respectfully.


Self-Advocacy Module, Session 4:

In this video, Connor Archer goes over strategies on how to hold firm when asking questions and seeking changes with accommodations. He then recapped the topics shared throughout the series. Along with the earlier session videos and the self-advocacy tool kit above, you will learn how to leverage your voice more effectively and respectfully in this video.

Groups and Activities

Digital flier for Disability Rights Maine's Youth Self-Advocacy Virtual Information Sessions.

Link to more information about Disability Rights Maine’s Youth Self-Advocacy Group Virtual Information Sessions:

Link to the Disability Rights Maine blog:

Resources and Other Links

College and Post-secondary Options

Navigating College: A Handbook on Self Advocacy. Written for Autistic Students from Autistic Adults. (2013) This helpful guide was developed by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and is available for free download as a PDF. From the ASAN website: “Navigating College is an introduction to the college experience from those of us who’ve been there. The writers and contributors are Autistic adults, and we’re giving you the advice that we wish someone could have given us when we headed off to college.”

Puberty, Sexuality and Healthy Relationships

Sexuality Education Resource from Maine Access to Inclusive Education Resources.

Teaching children about sensitive topics such as private body parts, changes during puberty, and healthy relationships can be difficult for a parent of any child, but for families that include a child on the autism spectrum, there are special concerns and sometimes the need for specially developed tools to introduce topics and begin conversations. MAIER’s graduate assistant, Taylor Roos, has developed a new graphic resource especially for families, educators, and support personnel to direct you to research-supported tools and information for sexuality education. MAIER’s Sexuality Education Resource will link you to a variety of resources, all in a handy graphic to lead you through topics and conversations, many specifically developed for families of children, teens, and young adults with special learning needs. 

Healthy Bodies Toolkits
Downloadable guides and helpful tools developed by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) specific for parents of children with disabilities.  These easy-to-read booklets offer guidance to parents and caregivers for talking with your son or daughter about bodily changes and expectations as they enter puberty and beyond. Toolkit Appendices include social narratives and visual supports you can download and laminate for use.
A Parent Guide to Puberty for Boys with Disabilities                              A Parent Guide to Puberty for Girls with Disabilities

Love, Dating, Relationships and Disability
Explore the world of relationships and dating through the eyes and words of individuals with disabilities, including autism. This website explores mature relationships in all its forms through personal stories and words of advice from those who live life with a disability.

Students with Unstable Housing