Self-advocacy is, at an individual level, the ability of people to speak for themselves and to defend their own interests. The capacity of people with intellectual disabilities to self-advocate was not recognised in the past or limited to very simple subjects, such as what to eat or drink.

Recently, it has been recognised that most people with intellectual disabilities are able to make much more complex decisions. However, individuals often need training or education to recognise and defend their own interests. On the other side, other people need to learn to listen to what they have to say.

At social and political level, self-advocacy also refers to the movement of people with intellectual disabilities who organise themselves in groups or organisations at local, regional, national and European levels. Here they want to meet each other, develop their own opinions, and have fun.

Self-advocacy support to decision-making can therefore be understood as a group process that enables and empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to develop and voice their own opinions and positions.

The practices falling under the Self-advocacy category are:

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