Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit
This toolkit is a guide for Centers for Independent Living and others to conduct interactive and engaging workshops to facilitate the development of advocacy skills of emerging Independent Living leaders and youth with disabilities. It describes how to introduce advocacy through the facilitation of unique activities and discussions, identifying issues of importance, and putting advocacy skills into practice. A unique approach presented in this toolkit is the use of improv to introduce, invite, and engage others into and with the world of advocacy.
Using improv hones communication and public speaking skills, stimulates fast thinking, and encourages engagement with ideas, all skills that are important for effective advocacy. Improv also provides a supportive environment that allows participants to take risks, try out new ideas, and build their confidence. The activities incorporate different learning styles, and can easily be modified to accommodate everyone.
An important part of advocacy, no matter if the goal is to help one person or many, is establishing a confident voice, developed and supported by a community of peer support. This workshop and accompanying toolkit materials give participants the opportunity to explore their voices, build confidence, and display their skills both verbally as well as in written form. The intent is to provide a safe space among peers and trusted facilitators to introduce the concept of both group and self-advocacy.