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Intensive Professional Advocacy Training for High School Students

Professional advocacy needs better representation from people with disabilities, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and other under-represented groups. Do you have Autism, a learning disability, or a physical or psychiatric disability/mental illness? Are you LGBTQ, Latinx, Deaf, blind, Native American, African American, or an immigrant? If you have a perspective the advocacy community and decision makers need to hear more from, Disability Rights Washington wants you to apply for the inaugural Advocacy Institute.

Applications must be received by the end of the day, May 27, 2019. We will let you know if you are selected for the institute by the end of the day June 3, 2019. If selected, you will receive additional information about the program and get another form to request reasonable accommodations.

Why was the Advocacy Institute created?

All people deserve respect, dignity, and self-determination. Disability Rights Washington believes the professional advocacy and disability rights communities should reflect that. The Advocacy Institute is designed to give voice to a new, more diverse generation of advocates.

Who should apply to the Advocacy Institute?

All high school students are welcome to apply. We especially encourage students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the professional advocacy community to apply including:

  • Students with disabilities
  • Students of color
  • LGBTQ students
  • Undocumented students
  • Low-income students
  • Multiply-marginalized students

What does the Advocacy Institute training look like?

The Institute is an intensive, week-long program from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., July 29 – August 2, 2019. The Institute gives advocates an opportunity to further develop their advocacy skills. You will learn about different kinds of advocacy such as:

  • Legislative advocacy
  • Civil Rights Lawyering  
  • Online video advocacy
  • Working with traditional media (newspapers, T.V., etc.)

The Institute combines trainings with hands-on advocacy tasks. Learning from and working alongside professional advocates, you will create and accomplish real advocacy goals.

There are a limited number of seats in the Advocacy Institute to provide each participant with individualized training and support. There are no costs to students selected for the Institute.

Disability Rights Washington covers:

  • The cost of the training
  • All activities associated with the training
  • Lunch each day of the institute
  • Any necessary reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to the training.


Disability Rights Washington maintains a strong commitment to accessibility for all participants. The institute will be held at Disability Rights Washington’s Spokane office which is ADA-complaint, sensory-accessible, scent-free, has free parking, and is close to public transportation. If you’d like this application in a paper or alternate format please contact David Carlson at 206.324.1521 or email.