Leadership & Self-Advocacy
“Nothing About Us Without Us”
The National Self-Advocacy Program
Since 2011, Beit Issie Shapiro and Israel Elwyn, in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, joined forces and turned the idea of “Nothing About Us Without Us” into a practical program, where groups of people with intellectual disabilities work to promote local and national projects and issues of importance. The program seeks to empower this population and provide them with knowledge and skills for self-advocacy and active leadership, so that they can exercise their natural rights through Israeli and international legislation, participate in making decisions pertaining to their lives, advance policy issues that require government attention, and improve the quality of their lives.
Each group is led by a self-advocate leader guided by a facilitator who have been trained and receive ongoing guidance through this program. In addition a national leadership group works to achieve change on a national policy level. Their activity has led to exciting and important breakthroughs, including a groundbreaking amendment to the Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law passed by the Israeli Parliament’s Ministerial Legislative Committee.
Ultimately, the program’s journey and success impacts society at large as it influences thousands of others with intellectual disabilities, impacts on the rights of people with other disabilities, and reaches people within the self-advocates’ own surroundings (such as group facilitators, families, staff at residential centers and colleagues at workplaces).
Please also visit our Knowledge Database for additional materials on this topic.