Our Options’ Self Advocacy group is participating in the DETS Training. DETS stands for Disability Equality Training. Our teacher is Bev Kaler from Self Advocates Minnesota. We meet two times each month on Wednesday afternoons.
The first four sessions, we talked about was Building Personal Power. We made value collages about ourselves and shared them with the group. Our value collages had pictures and words about things we value. We also learned how to be assertive using respectful language.
On Valentines Day we had Open Mic Night where every member had an opportunity to talk, sing, tell a story, read a poem, tell jokes, or share a hobby. It was difficult for many of the advocates to stand in front of the group and perform. The objective of this experience was to help us build confidence in ourselves.
Our second four sessions, our topic was Connecting to Disability Rights. We learned about disability laws and history. We discussed the three disability laws: Americans with Disability Acts, Section 504, and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. We role played the game, “You be the Judge” where we listened to stories about people and decided if what happened to them was legal or not legal. We were educated on our rights as contributing members of our communities.
Our last three sessions will be about Building Community. We will discuss ways we can be leaders and contribute to our community. We will experience the pride of giving back to the community and making it a better place by doing a volunteer project.
Lastly, we will all graduate with a celebration that honors and recognizes everything we have learned through out this course.
If you are interested in joining the Self Advocate group, please contact Tonya Huber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763.263.3684.