Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) (ME UCEDD)

August 28, 2017

Does your state's self-advocacy organization have questions about things like fundraising, getting people involved or leadership development? The Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) can help: its mission is to strengthen the self-advocacy movement by supporting self-advocacy organizations to grow in diversity and leadership. SARTAC is a one-stop resource for organizing and supporting self advocacy groups!

SARTAC is the first-ever national resource center for self-advocacy and was developed by Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), the oldest national self-advocacy organization in the country, with funding from the Administration for Community Living, Administration on Disabilities.

SARTAC project partners include the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN); Green Mountain Self-Advocates (GMSA); the Southwest Institute for Families and Children (SWI); TASH; and the University of Missouri Kansas City Institute for Human Development (MO UCEDD).

The activities of the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center include the following:

  • Create and manage a website where self-advocates can learn about the best ways to organize and support the self-advocacy community;
  • Communicate with the community through social media like Facebook and Twitter;
  • Share best practice tools created by the Regional Self-Advocacy Technical Assistance Centers and by self-advocacy organizations and allies from across the nation;
  • Work with a 12-person Advisory Committee to review information created by the Center;
  • Write a paper, make a video and lead a webinar about the history of the self-advocacy movement;
  • Interview self-advocacy and civil rights leaders about the things that are the same or different about our struggles for our rights;
  • Share success stories in self-advocacy through webinars and video blogs;
  • Provide training and assistance to local, self-advocacy organizations and partners;
  • Provide a planning grant for the state organization who hosts the 2018 and 2020 SABE conference; and
  • Provide 24 self-advocates with policy leadership opportunities.

Recently, Stirling Peebles, Max Barrows and David Frye from Green Mountain Self-Advocates hosted a 30-minute Facebook Live discussion on a wide variety of topics related to self-advocacy and self-advocacy organizations. The archived video of their conversation is available here. This is one example of the creative methods self-advocates will use to provide technical assistance to their peers from across the country as part of this project.

Six self-advocates have been selected to be SARTAC Fellows for 2017-2018. The SARTAC Fellowship is a year-long opportunity for self-advocates to develop and grow their skills as leaders in the self-advocacy movement. The 2017-2018 Fellows are working at host organizations on policy issues or a project that can help develop their leadership skills. Host organizations include:

  • Project ACTION!
  • Ann Storck Center, Inc,
  • University of Illinois Chicago UCEDD (Institute on Disability and Human Development)
  • Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas
  • University of Idaho UCEDD (Center on Disabilities and Human Development)
  • Self-Advocacy Association of New York State
  • VOICE Buffalo

Please visit the SARTAC website for featured resources on topics such as Medicaid, sexuality, technology, and tips for writing your story and making a newsletter.