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The best way to ensure that one’s own needs get met is to participate directly as a self-advocate. You can also advocate for your peers as a Peer Advocate, or for a family member or friend.

Peer Advocacy Facts:

The Peer Advocacy Team is not directly affiliated with TCRC’s Office of Clients’ Rights (OCR). Unlike the staff at OCR, Peer Advocates are not lawyers, and cannot act as representatives at Fair Hearings or related proceedings.

Instead, for example, they can sit in on annual Individual Program/Education Plans (IPP/IEP), helping to ensure the individual and family in question feels heard, and that their needs, goals and aspirations remain at the forefront. The Peer Advocacy Team supports advocacy groups throughout our area, and the level of support available depends on:

  • • the type of internal supports already available to these groups
  • • members’ interest in receiving Peer Advocacy support
  • • the current level of understanding and mastery of Self-Advocacy skills by these existing groups

TCRC assists in funding ten individuals served, plus any needed support staff and/or vendor representatives to two statewide self-advocacy conferences per year. Conferences occur annually in Sacramento, in May and October. Application submission deadlines vary, will be announced accordingly.

TCRC and the Peer Advocacy Team remain committed to the belief that there is authentic power behind peer-directed counseling, support in trying to achieve optimal outcomes for individuals with I/DD—and the families that support them, while also offering choices that are, ideally, wholly powered by one’s (wildest) dreams, his or her short and long-term goals.

After all, who better than peers to understand the “(dis)ability” label — and it’s accompanying desire to live among, just like our so-called “typical” peers — than those who history has labeled as “different”?

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