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About

Self-Advocates of Michigan (SAM) is a statewide organization led by leaders with developmental disabilities.  It promotes the values of diversity, inclusion, equal rights and the self-determination of individuals with disabilities.  It respects the capabilities of people with disabilities.  Self-Advocates of Michigan is guided by the principle of “Nothing About Us Without Us”.  This principle means no policy should be decided without direct participation of people whose lives will be affected by that policy or decision.

Mission Statement: To empower people with developmental disabilities to advocate and take ownership of their lives.

Purpose Statement: To advocate for independence, inclusion, freedom, opportunity, respect, and dignity, while making the public aware of the abilities of people with developmental disabilities throughout Michigan.

Vision Statement: To empower people with developmental disabilities to live fulfilling lives according to their own choices.

Values

Diversity

Respect for and appreciation of differences in ethnicity, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, religion, political affiliation, and other differences. Understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.

Inclusion

Ensuring that people feel they belong, are engaged, and connected in their community. A state of being valued, respected, and supported. It’s about focusing on the needs of every individual and ensuring the right conditions and reasonable accommodations are in place for each person to achieve their full potential.

Self-Determination

  • Principles of Self-Determination are:
    • Freedom – you plan your life with the supports that you need
    • Authority – you control the money for the support you receive
    • Support – you arrange resources and supports so you can live in and connect with your community
    • Responsibility – you have a valued role in your community and agree to use public dollars wisely
    • Confirmation: of the important leadership role that individuals with disabilities must play in a newly re- designed system and support for the self-advocacy movement

Respect the capabilities of people with disabilities Nothing About Us Without Us

No policy should be decided without direct participation of people whose lives will be affected by that policy/decision.

Equal Rights for People with Disabilities

You have the right to:

  • Dignity
  • Fairness without discrimination
  • Be included in activities
  • Be accepted, with or without disabilities, just as you are
  • Equal opportunity to reach your full potential
  • Accessibility, to enter a public place and not be prevented or refused
  • Respect for your ability and to preserve who you are

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