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No matter what you are advocating about, there will be people with intellectual disabilities who will have first-hand experience with the issue.


Whether that is:

  • disability rights

  • rights of children

  • climate change

  • war or humanitarian disasters

  • and more!


People with intellectual disabilities are one of the most excluded groups of people in society and are often the most affected by poverty and other crisis. 


By advocating for the rights of the most excluded you will be advocating for the rights of everyone. 


Work with self-advocacy organisations

Self-advocates are people who understand about rights and who are often engaged in community action.

Self-advocacy organisations may already be working on the issue you are  advocating on. 

Working in partnership will make your messages stronger. 

You can read more about self-advocacy here.

Invite self-advocates to take part when deciding your advocacy plan - this way, you organisation is amplifying the voices of people with intellectual disabilities themselves.


Make sure people with intellectual disabilities are the ones to set the messages that organisations use to advocate about them.


Self-advocacy organisations often have experience in this area.


Make sure your information and research is inclusive. 

Having good information on barriers and solutions is important for advocacy and speaking to decision makers. 


When you are doing research into your topic make sure to include the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities. 


Focus groups are a good way of hearing about the barriers people face. Surveys can also be useful but make sure they are accessible and are reaching people directly. 

You can read more about inclusive consultations here. 

Employing self-advocacy organisations to run focus groups or do research is a good idea.  


Give people with intellectual disabilities leadership opportunities.  


For example, make space when speaking to decision makers or sharing your key messages and events. 

This is especially important if the issue you are working on is about intellectual disabilities. 

It is likely decision makers have not met a person with an intellectual disability before so their story and leadership will be impactful. 


Make sure any meetings or events are inclusive and accessible. 

People with intellectual disabilities can help you plan inclusive events. 


You can read more about inclusive meetings here.  


Make sure your information is accessible. 

Keeping your campaign information such as your key messages, short, clear and in easy language will help you to reach more people. 

You can read more about accessible information here. 

Use the stories of people with intellectual disabilities in your communications to help get more people with intellectual disabilities involved. 

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Useful resources


Easy advocacy explainers


Activism Guide in Spanish

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