A career planning and employment resource for people who are blind or partially sighted

Speaking Up for Yourself: Self-Advocacy

Self-advocacy refers to the skills people demonstrate when they express their needs and desires comfortably and politely to others. Self-advocacy is especially relevant in reference to disability-specific accommodations or adaptations an individual may require –and request—to work efficiently and competitively. This subject area includes “disability disclosure” – what individuals may want others to know about their disability and its impact on their lives.

For employees who are blind or partially sighted, self-advocacy skills enable them to help others understand what they can do for themselves and when they may need assistance. This is a critical skill because most employers will be fully sighted individuals who’ve likely never met another person who is blind or partially sighted. As such, they will have lots of questions about what they need to do and should or shouldn’t do, to make the work environment comfortable and productive for a worker without good vision.

To help prepare for work, you may want to consider the items included in the Self-Advocacy Checklist. For more on self-advocacy visit this Resources section.