"Self advocacy is about independent groups of people with disabilities working together for justice by helping each other take charge of our lives and fight discrimination. It teaches us how to make decisions and choices that affect our lives so we can be more independent. It teaches us about our rights, but along with learning about our rights we learn responsibilities. The way we learn about advocating for ourselves is by supporting each other and helping each other gain confidence in ourselves so we can speak out for what we believe in."
--Definition from Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE).
The United Arc sponsors self-advocacy groups which offer peer support, leadership development, social events and learning opportunities for adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities.
The United Arc services for Self Advocacy include:
- Frontier Club — The Frontier Club involves members from the North Quabbin area. Meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings, 5:45 – 7:30 PM at 100 Main Street, Athol, MA. Occasional events are held on weekends.
- Pioneer Club — The Pioneer Club draws its membership from central Franklin County. Meetings are held Thursday evenings, 6–8 PM at The Arc Common, 294 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. Occasional events are held on weekends.
- Friends in Common — Franklin County area events for older teens & young adults (16-26). Social activities are typically held Friday evenings from 6-8 PM at The Arc Common, 294 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. Times and location may vary based on the nature of the event.
- North Quabbin Friends — North Quabbin area events for older teens & young adults (16-26). Social activities are typically held on Saturdays from Noon-2 PM. Times and location may vary based on the nature of the event