Year Published: 1981
Resource Type: Organization
Cx Number: CX2310
Citizen Advocacy is a volunteer program in Halifax, Nova Scotia which helps mentally handicapped persons represent or speak for their rights, needs and interests.
Citizen Advocacy is a volunteer program in Halifax, Nova Scotia which helps mentally handicapped persons represent or speak for their rights, needs and interests. The program claims that often mentally handicapped persons are denied services and opportunities to which they have a right; are forced to live in dehumanizing situations rather than in their own communities; are shuffled around from one agency to another in a complex and uncaring service system and are segregated from the mainstream of community life.
Volunteer advocates develop one-to-one relationships with mentally handicapped persons. This relationship can take many forms depending on the needs and interests of the mentally handicapped person and the skills and resources of the advocate. Some advocacy roles include: 1) functioning as an informal support and helper to help the mentally handicapped person clarify his/her needs and interests and developing strategies for meeting those needs and interests; 2) assisting the person in expressing these needs and interests to friends, family and professionals; 3) assuming a "watchdog" role that insures that the services the person receives are responsive to his/her needs and observant of his/her rights and 4) formally representing the mentally handicapped person to legal or bureaucratic authorities.