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Advocacy; An Important Matter to Me

By Amelia Dickey

My name is Amelia Dickey.  I have been a disability advocate for several years.  I attended the Young Adult Compass group from April 2019 to April 2019.  I have been involved and am involved in (when opportunity strikes) in many Disability Advocacy outreach events (conferences, presentations, seminars, & panels).  I am a graduate of the Advocate Leadership Academy both as a Fellow and a Team Leader.  I am getting ready to be a Team Leader for a second time in the upcoming Fall 2019 Advocate Leadership Academy.

A time that I’ve overcame a challenge and barrier include, getting back onto the Giant 50’ tall 3-person swing and going all the way to the top before I pulled the cord to begin swinging.

The people that have been the biggest support in my life include, but not limited to my Mom, Dad, Sister, and Brother-in-Law.  The people that have been the most helpful in my life include, but not limited to my Special Olympics, New Mexico teammates, and coaches; my Therapeutic Riding Instructor; the Dean, and Leaders of Joni & Friends Family Retreat; and the Dean, campers, and Counselors of Camp Sunshine.

One Long-Term goal I want to accomplish is someday moving out of my parents house and into a small place of my own with my own medium sized poodle, and a pasture for a horse.  I love horses, and dogs, and also want my own place so I can be able to spread my wings.

Self-Advocacy and standing up for myself is SO important to me because everyone should be treated with the dignity and respect regardless of their disabilities or abilities..  I am VERY passionate when it comes to Self-Advocacy.  I believe that people with disabilities should be referred to as the person first, not the disability.  For example, “a person who is deaf should be referred to as “a person who is deaf” NOT a “deaf person”.  The only person qualified to stand up for you is yourself.  If I am treated unfairly, put down, or touched inappropriately by an individual I have the right to stand up to that person, and/or go to the proper authority to report it. The supports and strategies that have been successful in helping me meet my goals include, but are not limited to using a visual schedule in the form of an Excel Spreadsheet, using my phone calendar to help me keep track of my daily events, as well as using my phone to set a timer, reminders, and alarms to help keep me on track.