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Introduction to Week 6

In this video, Educators Jos Boys, Louisa Smith and Karen Soldatic introduce Week 6 of the course, which looks at advocacy and activism.

In this final week of Working with Disability we explore the importance of advocacy and activism for people with disabilities and, at times, their families and supporters. In the above video, Educators Jos, Louisa and Karen discuss what we mean by advocacy and activism, and give some examples from their own experiences.

Think about the examples outlined here and the different kinds of work they involve. Some individuals and groups aim to influence policy — for example, by using existing frameworks to lobby for change or working to shift these frameworks so that people with disabilities are centrally included. Others self-advocate, advocate for others, or work within a community or interest group to promote change at a local level. As Jos says in the video, these are not separate forms of action but are often interconnected, as grassroots activity can help to change policies and laws, and high-level governmental shifts can interact with people’s everyday lives.

You may also have your own experiences of advocacy and activism to share. Your examples do not need to be restricted to disability but could be about other areas such as free education for all, gender equality, refugees and asylum-seekers, and so forth.

As Louisa says in the video, almost every week of this course has included examples of advocacy and activism. So think back through the materials from Weeks 1 to 5, and remind us of examples that stick in your head.

Talking points

  • What kinds of advocacy and/or activism have you been involved with or are you aware of in your day-to-day engagement with impairment and disability?
  • Can you give examples of effective advocacy and/or activism? What do you think made them successful?

In the next step we begin to open up some of the core characteristics of advocacy and activism.

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Disability and a Good Life: Working with Disability

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