Advocacy And People With Intellectual Disabilities Social Work Essay

Topics: Human Rights

This essay will look at the function of protagonism in relation to stand foring the positions and involvements of people with rational disablements go toing a twenty-four hours service. It will briefly expression at the historical development of protagonism in general and so look in peculiar at corporate self-advocacy and citizen protagonism theoretical accounts and how these are employed for the societal inclusion of people with rational disablements.

Day services for people with rational disablements are considered to be one of the major service suppliers but traditionally have contributed small to the publicity of “ societal inclusion ” and self-government ( Fyson and Ward, 2004:64 ) .

Advocacy has a function in altering these services by working in partnership with service users to increase societal engagement and chances for mundane experiences such as employment and farther instruction ( Fyson and Ward, 2004 ) .

From reexamining and reading literature on the subject it is clear that there is much argument as to what protagonism means. Bateman ( 2000 ) suggests that the different types of protagonism can all be interpreted otherwise and hence there is no cosmopolitan definition of protagonism.

But all “ have a common subject ; assisting another individual obtain something from person with power ” ( Bateman, 2000:16 ) .

The evolving of protagonism into the multi-model that it now is has come from citizen protagonism and the representation of citizen ‘s positions ( Henderson and Pochin, 2002 ) . The cardinal rules within protagonism are “ regard for the client ‘s position, as much authorization and as small dependence for the client as possible, facilitation of informed picks, the advocator to be independent and pick of protagonism for the client ” ( Woods, 2003:49 ) .

Get quality help now
Marrie pro writer

Proficient in: Human Rights

5 (204)

“ She followed all my directions. It was really easy to contact her and respond very fast as well. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

A cardinal factor of protagonism is that it allows for the look of positions and wants of marginalised people who are frequently trusting on protagonism as a agency of making consciousness of societal issues but besides as a agency to measure their rights and entitlements ( Henderson and Pochin, 2002 ) . The attainment of rights is a cardinal portion of protagonism and that protagonism has a function in making consciousness of unfairnesss ( Bateman, 2000 ) . But in relation to people with disablements the rights are limited and are non enforceable by jurisprudence ( Lawson, on the Web, neodymium ) . “ A right can be defined as any claim that is morally merely or lawfully granted as allowable ” ( Final Report, 1995, cited in Forum for People With Disabilities, 2004:57 ) .

Historically people with rational disablements have been socially excluded from society by bias and favoritism ( About Learning Disabilities, on the Web, neodymium ) . Social exclusion instead than societal inclusion was the norm where people with rational disablements were excluded from their communities by shacking in establishments outside the community and were non granted the same chances as others in the general population.

Social inclusion in relation to people with disablements is to increase their engagement within society and to back up them to hold independent lives ( Office for Social Inclusion, 2003 ) . In relation to societal inclusion many administrations such as “ voluntary and community administrations ” have used the construct of recommending for their members to better societal inclusion and engagement ( Woods, 2003:21 ) .

Traditionally the perceptual experiences sing people with disablements was to see the individual based on their sensed restrictions but that these were challenged by disablement groups that rights held by other citizens to besides be attributed to people with disablements ( Barnes and Mercer, 2003 ) .

The European Social Charter ( 1996 ) states that people with disablements have “ a right to independence, societal integrating and engagement in the life of the community ” ( Lawson on the Web, nd:8 ) .

Advocacy in relation to people with rational disablements allows that “ each individual has value ” ( Gray and Jackson, 2002:9 ) , which is in direct contrast to the historical position held by society of devaluating people with rational disablements. That “ people with learning disablements are citizens with the same rights and duties as other citizens ” ( Gray and Jackson, 2002:10 ) .

The most effectual theoretical account of protagonism is that which matches the service user ‘s demands but there is frequently the demand to use more than one type of protagonism where the general overall purpose is to advance the attainment of accomplishments for self-advocacy ( Woods, 2003 ) .

In relation to the demands of people with rational disablements they can be considered to be the most complex in that the disablement may non merely hold cognitive reverberations but physical disablements besides. The scopes of the rational disablement that they are sing can ensue in lessened ability to pass on and cognitive ability. The complexness of their disablements can ensue in limited chances for self-government and being excluded socially from society ( Inclusion Ireland, on the Web, 2003 ) .

A cardinal challenge for a individual with rational disablements is to be seen as an person that has the same rights and demands even though they have a greater dependence on their care-givers because of their rational disablement ( Inclusion Ireland, on the Web, 2003 ) .

Self-advocacy Model

Self-advocacy can be employed for people with rational disablements and that administrations need to back up chances for self-government in relation to their lives ( Inclusion Ireland, on the Web, 2003 ) . Self-advocacy is defined as “ a procedure in which an person, or group of people, speak or move on their ain behalf in chase of their ain demands and involvements ” ( Bateman, 2000:18 ) . Cardinal to self-advocacy is that the person should hold the accomplishments that allow them to stand for on their behalf ( Woods, 2003 ) .

Harmonizing to Bateman ( 2000:18 ) the most influential signifier of self-advocacy is that of “ corporate protagonism ” where people with similar demands come together as a group to seek a peculiar result “ the amount of the whole is greater than the amount of the single parts ” . The corporate self-advocacy theoretical account has some of its roots in trade unionism where during the 1940 ‘s corporate protagonism took topographic point during the World War II to dispute the public assistance system. Civil rights motions during the 1960 ‘s in America drove corporate self-advocacy sing the rights for marginalised people ( Bateman, 2000 ) . As societies have modernised the construct of community has been lost to the importance of the person but corporate self-advocacy is continually used by groups to convey alteration on a macro degree ( Bateman, 2000 ) .

Corporate self-advocacy is frequently the most effectual signifier for people with rational disablements in that for many as an single standing entirely the picks that they have are to hold to the services on offer or have none ( Whitehead and Hughey, 2004 ) . Group self-advocacy is of importance to people with rational disablements because it can supply the chances to derive accomplishments in communicating, increased assurance and to show their position in relation to their rights and wants ( Woods, 2003 ) . Shoultz ( 1992, cited in Woods, 2003 ) states that group protagonism can profit people who do non hold verbal communicating accomplishments to derive the assurance and accomplishments to recommend for the group and themselves. An illustration of corporate self-advocacy is People First, in Canada, People First have as a corporate self-advocacy theoretical account challenged that no individual with an rational disablement will be forcibly required to be sterilised ( Bateman, 2000 ) . Therefore in order to dispute favoritism that many people with disablements have joined corporate self-advocacy groups to contend societal unfairnesss ( Whitehead and Hughey, 2004 ) .

The features of corporate self-advocacy are that the group portion experiences and cognition to work together to turn to unfairnesss ( Henderson and Pochin, 2002 ) . Corporate self-advocacy promotes action on a macro degree so that the huge bulk of the corporate group will profit from the corporate action that is being advocated for ( Bateman, 2000 ) . Woods ( 2003:36 ) supports this by saying corporate self-advocacy can straight alter services within an administration and can be a resource for “ covering with the daily issues of participants ” . An illustration of this in relation to the scenario of the twenty-four hours service could be that the persons together agree that a alteration in service bringing is required to heighten their independent life accomplishments such as larning to run the phones and take part as receptionists at the Centre as a agency to derive employment.

There are different types of corporate self-advocacy but the most common are the “ groups based in services ” ( Woods, 2003:35 ) . This is where the group is within a Centre or service and by and large run into during a calendar month to discourse issues that are of concern to the group members. A cardinal worker or staff member may be needed to move as facilitator ( Woods, 2003 ) . A cardinal facet of self-advocacy in general is that it is driven by the individual and in this manner corporate self-advocacy groups frequently represent a peculiar issue or group ( Henderson and Pochin, 2002 ) . Administrations such as St. Michael ‘s House and Enable Ireland have group self-advocacy within their administrations ( Woods, 2003 ) .

Corporate self-advocacy can frequently be the land ledgeman in proviso of protagonism services within an administration ( Woods, 2003 ) . Corporate self-advocacy could be viewed as a agency to back up inclusion and engagement by promoting individual power to impact on service development in general and to advance alterations in societal policies ( Whitehead and Hughey, 2004 ) . In footings of engagement degrees group protagonism within an administration would be higher than other signifiers of group self-advocacy ( Woods, 2003 ) .

A unfavorable judgment of collective or group self-advocacy in relation to people with rational disablements could be that the term self-advocacy implies that the individual is straight stand foring themselves. But that in world this is frequently non the instance as in order to self-advocate a individual with rational disablements frequently requires a professional individual to move as a support ( Bateman, 2000 ) .

Besides in relation to group self-advocacy within a service a unfavorable judgment has been as to what grade are the picks made and available to the group members free from influence from the service and staff that may be easing the group protagonism meeting. Independent group self-advocacy off from the service has been suggested as a agency to take any possible service influence but that this may cut down the engagement as it is non based within the service that is being used. Another unfavorable judgment is that within the group self-advocacy that the focal point can be based on the positions and sentiments of the most verbally expressive service users and therefore may non reflect the group as a whole ( Woods, 2003 ) . Besides corporate or group self-advocacy although ab initio established to dispute for corporate demands or rights sometimes the group so becomes a service supplier which would dispute its objectiveness in relation to representation of wants ( Bateman, 2000 ) .

Citizen Advocacy Model

Another protagonism theoretical account that is considered to be effectual for people with rational disablements is citizen protagonism ( Woods, 2003 ) . Citizen protagonism relates to

“ the persuasive and supportive activities of trained selected voluntaries and co-ordinating staffaˆ¦ . working on behalf of people with disablements who are non in a good place to exert or support their rights as citizens ” ( Woods, 2003:40 ) .

Citizen protagonism is considered to be supportive of people with rational disablements who are frequently more dependent on the services that they are using and frequently more dependent on other people to recommend on their behalf ( Walmsley, 2002 ) .

Citizen protagonism developed in the 1960 ‘s in America with the civil rights motion ( Bateman, 2001 ) . It was developed into the disablement sector as a consequence of parents with kids with disablements detecting that they received more relevant services when person acted on their behalf as an advocator ( Bateman, 2000 ) .

O’Brien ( 1987, cited in Bateman, 2000:24 ) suggests that citizen protagonism has at its nucleus the construct of the “ valued citizen ” who is non paid and is non a member of a service supplier administration. Woods ( 2003:40 ) besides supports the construct of the “ valued citizen ” as being “ person who does non hold a job acquiring heard, working with a individual who is discriminated against ” . Another component of citizen protagonism is that through citizen engagement actively recommending for the wants and rights of the individual that they are in bend ambitious traditional perceptual experiences of people marginalised within society to hold full inclusion and engagement as all citizens ( Forests, 2003 ) .

The features of citizen protagonism are that the advocator is independent from the administration or service that the individual is utilizing or go toing, that the advocator is non a comparative and is non paid for recommending ( Forum of People with Disabilities, 2001 ) . The nature of the demands of a individual “ with important disablements ” would propose that citizen protagonism is best met when the advocator can back up in the long term ( Woods, 2003:41 ) . Peoples with rational disablements have changing degrees of demands and grades of rational disablement and citizen protagonism could be considered to be supportive of people with rational disablements who could be considered to hold greater demands ( Woods, 2003 ) .

This theoretical account and has its foundation in “ standardization and societal function valorisation ” ( Walmsley, 2002:26 ) . Standardization being that people with disablements should hold chances to see mundane happenings ( Walmsley, 2002 ) . Examples of citizen protagonism are Ealing and Harrow Citizen Advocacy and the Galway Citizen Advocacy Project as cited by Woods, ( 2003 ) . The importance of citizen protagonism in relation to societal inclusion is that by working in partnership with the individual with rational disablements to hold every twenty-four hours chances as other members of the general population that it can cut down exclusion through its construct of giving value to the individual ( Fyson and Ward, 2004 ) . This can ensue in disputing the social position that with disablements are a “ homogenous group ” ( Butler and Forrest, 1991, cited in Bateman, 2000:25 ) . Citizen protagonism can be a agency of placing spreads in service proviso and challenge favoritism and societal exclusion ( Bateman, 2000 ) . The advocator relationship develops over a long period of clip and that this creates chances to consistently back up the individual with rational disablements to construct their accomplishments and their self-belief ( Woods, 2003 ) .

The citizen advocator has two maps one of stand foring the individual and secondly to move as a societal medium by the personal relationship that is established between the advocator and the individual ( Woods, 2003 ) . The existent volunteering of clip to make a relationship is an of import facet within citizen protagonism in that for many people with rational disablements the scope of societal chances available to them may be more limited than other people with disablements ( Woods, 2003 ) .

A unfavorable judgment of citizen protagonism is that because of its voluntary nature that the advocator can be viewed by services to non hold the cognition or expertness to to the full recommend on behalf of the individual with rational disablements ( Forum of People with Disabilities, 2001 ) . Another unfavorable judgment is that struggle in footings of obtaining demands and rights can be an component of protagonism and that an inability to understand the map of struggle to make alteration can forestall citizen protagonism being effectual ( Bateman, 2000 ) . Some self-advocacy groups have criticised citizen protagonism that it is keeping the dependence prejudice that society assumes in relation to people with rational disablements ( Henderson and Pochin, 2002 ) . Citizen protagonism which is frequently employed as a theoretical account for people with rational disablements has in its application supported “ that people with larning troubles need the intercession of able-bodied advocators if their wants are to be taken earnestly ” ( Pochin, 2002:107 ) . But citizen protagonism could be considered to be supportive of societal inclusion by its construct of valuing all people and advancing community engagement ( Whitehead and Hughey, 2004 ) . Another unfavorable judgment is that citizen protagonism requires clip and committedness from the advocator and that a challenge is to happen citizens that have the clip available to give ( Forum of People with Disabilities, 2001 ) .


In decision protagonism should include that every person should be listened to and to hold an active portion sing the results of their life ( Woods, 2003 ) . Advocacy has at its nucleus the attainment of rights and demands ( Bateman, 2000 ) . Social inclusion could be considered to be supported by the rules of protagonism that promote authorization and pick for people with rational disablements ( Woods, 2003 ) . But for both protagonism theoretical accounts in relation to people with rational disablements the greatest challenge seems to be that of asseverating their right whether moral or legal to avail of the mundane chances that the general population can see ( Forum of People With Disabilities, 2001 ) . That society by and large inquiries the ability of a individual with rational disablements to self-determine and this has impacted on the development of protagonism theoretical accounts for people with rational disablements ( Gray and Jackson, 2002 ) . The proviso of protagonism services for people with rational disablements although trying to dispute inequalities that unless people with disablements have a legalised right to services that “ protagonism is meaningless without rights ” ( Bateman, 2000:43 ) . That by non implementing rights sing services and no proper resort through the legal system because these services are non rights that protagonism can non be genuinely effectual in back uping societal inclusion ( Bateman, 2000 ) . That implementing rights to services would back up the client going the consumer and could be an effectual manner of utilizing protagonism to make societal inclusion ( Bateman, 2000 ) . A challenge for both theoretical accounts is the support required is frequently allocated to other supports and this can be contributed in some ways to the fact that protagonism is non universally defined and is non universally legislated for ( Bateman, 2000 ) .

Cite this page

Advocacy And People With Intellectual Disabilities Social Work Essay. (2017, Sep 30). Retrieved from

Advocacy And People With Intellectual Disabilities  Social Work Essay
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7