Advocacy means taking action to create change. Advocates organise themselves to take action against inequality or to address a social imbalance. Everyone can advocate. It is not an exclusive role for the most influential or most powerful people in our society.
At HEARO, we recognise that we don’t live in a fully inclusive world.
It is by advocating that we can influence positive social change, not just for our own families, but for systemic positive change for all.
Advocating for your child
As a parent with a child that is deaf or hard of hearing, advocacy becomes one of your most important roles. Unfortunately, we do not live in a world where people with disability have the same rights as everyone else.
At every stage of your child’s journey to adulthood, advocacy looks different. You will see that advocacy becomes a growing collaboration between you and your child.
In the Preschool years, your child is utterly dependent on your capacity to advocate for their best interest. In the Primary School years, your child will still need advocacy to ensure that their educational needs are met, and that they will have the right supports available to them.
Challenging limited expectations
Many parents of children with hearing loss say that one of their greatest trials is challenging a teacher’s limited expectations of a deaf or hard of hearing child. Parents express frustration that ‘average’ results may be considered ‘good enough’ for children that are deaf or hard of hearing, even when they may be capable of much more. Parents often need to advocate for higher standards of excellence.
Self-advocacy for your child
While you will still play an important role in advocacy, your growing child will be able to advocate more and more for themselves. At this stage, your modelling and encouragement of self-advocacy will empower your child.
Self-advocacy for your Primary Schooler may be as simple as encouraging them to problem solve for themselves on a small scale. For example, they may tell their class-mates that they need to be able to see the face of anyone communicating with them. You will be the best judge of gradually empowering your child to step up to self -advocacy.
We’re also here to help.
If you need advice or support with advocacy?
Here are some further links related to Advocacy:
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