Speak Out, Stand Up, Take Charge: How Self-Advocacy Empowers People with Disabilities to Achieve Their Dreams is series of short documentary films exploring the issues, challenges, benefits and opportunities of embracing self-advocacy by people with disabilities. Produced by an awarding-winning, young filmmaker on the autism spectrum, Sam Lawrence, these films showcase spokespeople with IDD, including Emmy Award winning actor Connor Long and Colorado Miss Amazing 2019 Phoebe Kochis, as they explain how they to learned to advocate for themselves and the impact of their self-empowerment on the people closest to them.
For the general population, these films will help them better understand the benefits of self-determination for people with disabilities, motivating them to question boundaries, respect decisions and encourage personal initiative. For people with disabilities, these films will help them choose a path of self-determination by showing them how to speak up for themselves, make decisions, solve problems, seek out support and pursue their dreams. For professionals who interact with people with disabilities, including law enforcement, caregivers, health care, special education professionals, government officials, etc, these films will raise their awareness of the importance of supporting self-advocacy and self-determination.
Speak Out, Stand Up, Take Charge explores the issues from both sides of the relationship. People with disabilities need to learn how to advocate for themselves, help others accept their independence and develop the emotional self-confidence to exercise self-advocacy in all aspects of their life. People who support people with disabilities need to become aware of how their past experiences and desire to help may be perpetuating a dynamic of dependency and helplessness. They need to accept the decisions, aspirations and plans of people with disabilities and to support them in a way that reinforces their dignity and self-esteem.
Created by awarding-winning filmmaker with IDD, Speak Out, Stand Up and Take Charge is an honest, contemporary and compelling exposé of the challenges of the path to independence and self-determination.