Self-advocacy means standing up for yourself and letting people know about your rights and needs.
Advocating for yourself also means you are more likely to be treated fairly by others and have an equal opportunity to succeed.
Developing effective self-advocacy skills isn’t something that happens overnight, and it can be harder for some people than others. Luckily, there are independent organisations that provide advocacy training and mentorship.
Some people need workplace adjustments in order to participate fully in their job. This means that their work arrangements, work environment, and supports, are tailored to suit their individual needs. Keep in mind that these adjustments must be reasonable and necessary to meet your needs.
If you choose to disclose being autistic or having a disability to your employer, then you’ll be legally entitled to access accommodations. So, think about what helps or hinders you when you’re trying to work. For instance, you might notice that you focus much better in group discussions if you’ve got a sensory tool, like a fidget spinner, stress ball, or rubiks cube at hand. Or, you may need detailed and precise instructions about the job tasks. Based on these considerations, write a list of workplace adjustments that could help you thrive in your job or work experience.
For more information, check out our article on Disclosure in the workplace
Autism Launchpad’s Self-advocacy page lists some of these organisations, and also provides general tips for advocacy.