1. Ask to be included. Talk to the person hosting the meeting. Let that person know you want to be included in decisions about you. Let that person know you want the meeting to be a success.
  2. Ask for information ahead of time:
    – what handouts will be used?
    – who will be there?
    – what will be discussed?
    – what will happen?
    – what is the time and place?
  3. Look at all the information you have before the meeting. If the handouts are confusing, ask for someone to explain them. You have a right to understand everything that will happen in the meeting!
  4. Think about what you want to have happen at the meeting. Are there issues you want to talk about? If decisions about your future will be made, what do you want people to know first? You can ask for time on the agenda to talk about what you think. You are your own expert.
  5. Use your voice. If the meeting is going too fast, you can ask for things to slow down. If people aren’t listening, you can remind them, “I don’t want any decisions about me made without me. Please listen to what I have to say.”
  6. Take a friend if it makes you more comfortable. Have someone take notes so you can remember what was said. Make sure at the end of the meeting everyone agrees to a plan. Talk about what to do if people don’t follow the plan.

Self-Advocacy in Motion
youth with disAbilities becoming tomorrow’s leaders

This information is current as of: July 2007

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 info@dr-wa.org.

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