Why is Citizen Advocacy necessary?
Citizen Advocacy began with the recognition that people with intellectual disability are very often rejected, segregated, dehumanised, and sometimes abused.
With the closure of the grim institutions, many people with disability have moved from being “shut in” to “shut out,” remaining socially isolated.
As a result of negative attitudes in society, people with intellectual disability are amongst the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in our community.
Since rejection often occurs in childhood if parents are unable to cope, going into care means they frequently have no one in their lives except people who are paid to be there.
With their first loyalty to their employer, paid workers sometimes have a conflict of interest with the result that people with intellectual disability very often have no one to speak up for them to address their rights, needs and interests.
With a high turnover of only paid people in their lives, there is no constant caring presence to provide people with disabilities with the security and acceptance we all need to ensure our well being.
“No one person can change the world, but you as a citizen advocate can change the world for one person.”