Hi Everybody,

This week’s blog may be a little longer than usual but please read it because it’s really important…

I have some questions for you to think about…

  1.  Are there times where you don’t feel people are listening to you?
  2. Are there times where you might want to express yourself but feel too shy?
  3. Are there times that you wish you could let people know what living with a disability is really like?
  4. Are there times that you wish you could let people know how you feel about the services & supports you receive?


At different times, I could answer “yes” to all those questions.  If I’m being honest, living with a disability can really suck, sometimes.  When it’s harder for us to move, to think, to breathe, etc., it can feel really lonely & we might not feel that there are people who understand us.


There are.  The reason SUFU exists is to support each other in advocating for ourselves, so that we can live lives that we want & deserve.  We need to work together & help each other because if we really want to change things?  We need to speak up and say what’s working & what’s not working in our lives because we deserve to be happy, too!


Advocating for yourself doesn’t mean that we can’t ask for help.  EVERYBODY needs help, sometimes.

Advocating for yourself doesn’t mean that it’s ok to be mean or disrespect other people.  It’s not.

To me, advocating for yourself means letting people know what YOU want, to live the life that YOU want.


I’m not going to lie.  As good as advocating for ourselves is for ourselves?  Sometimes it can also feel incredibly frustrating and sad because it feels that change is sooooooooooooo slow (at least, I feel that way, sometimes).  However, if we don’t advocate for ourselves?  Other people will continue to decide what’s best for you and me.


I have found that there are many people and organizations that really do want to learn about what our lives are really like. One group is the Oversight & Advisory Board (OAB).


For them to really help us, they need to understand what YOUR life is like. You can help them understand by completing this online survey:


All you have to do is click on the green survey link to get started.  Your answers to the questions are confidential.  This means that the OAB will not know who you are.


I know that taking an online survey can be overwhelming. If it is, there are people that can help you take the survey. If you need one of these folks, please email me & let me know: aolmstead@sufumaine.org


I’m advocating right beside you & if there’s an issue that is really important to you that I can put in the blog or even if you just want to talk, feel free to email me. 🙂


Until next time,


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