What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is problem solving used to:

  • protect rights
  • stop discrimination
  • prevent abuse
  • ensure fair, equal and humane treatment
  • improve services
  • gain eligibility to services
  • change the amount or quality of services
  • make sure services meet the needs of an individual
  • remove barriers which prevent access to full  participation in community life.

Change for the better will not happen without advocacy.  Advocacy is the tool people use in our democracy to bring about improvements.  People with disabilities have seen major changes in laws, the service system, and public attitudes in recent years.  Communities have begun to see that people with disabilities have a right to fully participate in all aspects of life.  This awakening began, with great effort and behind-the-scenes preparation, because people with disabilities have decided for themselves it is time to use advocacy for change.

This information is current as of: 
06/2012
Tools to Help You Category: 

This information is a service of Disability Rights Washington (DRW). It provides general information as a public service only, and is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. You do not have an attorney-client relationship with DRW.  If you would like more information about this topic or would like to receive this information in an alternative format call DRW at (800) 562-2702, or email [email protected].


Always advocate in a timely manner. Please be aware that there are certain time limits or deadlines to file a complaint, a lawsuit, or take legal action.

DRW cannot guarantee that any individual or organization included in this material will represent or assist you. DRW also cannot guarantee the quality of this individual’s or organization’s representation.

Permission to reprint this publication is granted by the author, DRW, provided that the publication is distributed free of charge and with attribution. If you do disseminate any DRW document, please send us an email to [email protected] letting us know the nature of the audience and number of people with whom it was shared.

Disability Rights Washington
315 5th Avenue S, Suite 850
Seattle, WA 98104
Voice: (206) 324-1521 or (800) 562-2702
Fax: (206) 957-0729
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.disabilityrightswa.org

Interpreters available

DRW is a member of the National Disability Rights Network.
A substantial portion of the DRW budget is federally funded.