Creating Self-Advocacy

Advocating for your needs should always be the goal

Clients supporting each other

Living In Fulfilling Environments (L.I.F.E.), Inc. is a private, non-profit organization devoted to providing a wide range of community-based experiences and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities in Rhode Island in a non-discriminatory manner. Our staff and management team is committed to the individuals they are hired to work for and are well-versed in promoting support environments and providing opportunities for both independence and growth. The framework of our mission and vision are clear:
Support - Choice - Empowerment

Advocates For Our Individuals

At the heart of L.I.F.E., Inc. mission is a concept we refer to as Providing a Supportive Environment. We aim to provide individualized support services implemented with the person, not for the person, therefore empowering the individuals we support, respecting their status, choices, and abilities. The agency encourages, rather than dictates, everyone to make informed, healthy, life choices for themselves. We also support and celebrate each individuals’ abilities on a daily basis which, in turn, promotes an environment where they can advocate for themselves. We listen and address what an individual is advocating for, making compromises when necessary.

L.I.F.E., Inc. offers additional services on an as needed basis which helps enhance the education of how to advocate for themselves effectively. These include things such as counseling services, social skills classes, “Circles” classes, sign language classes, sensory clinics, and communication clinics.

Creating Self-Advocates

The agency’s support coordinators work with an interdisciplinary team to develop self-advocacy programs specific to the individual's needs which will address various situations. For example, the support coordinator may sit down with the individual to discuss and encourage them to advocate for themselves. Support coordinators also create programs to build an individual’s self-confidence to give them the confidence to advocate for themselves and to educate themselves on how to advocate safely and effectively.

Support coordinators also meet with individuals regularly, once programs are in place, to discuss how things are going with their programs, their peers, and their schedules to help promote open and honest communication. For individuals who are nonverbal, support coordinators complete assessments and analyze data to determine an individual’s level of satisfaction with their programs, peers, and schedules.

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