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(5.1) What is advocacy?

(5.1) What is advocacy?

People with developmental disabilities have personal and civil rights. These include the right to receive services you are eligible for and the right to receive them in the most integrated setting. Advocacy means speaking up and fighting for these rights.

The regional center – and all public agencies – must respect your rights. They must follow the law and certain rules. Many rules talk about how to get the services you need and choose.

If your regional center does not give you the services or supports you are entitled to receive, you can fight (appeal) their decision.

Important! There is a deadline to appeal. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to appeal. See Chapter 10 for information on appeals.

If you are appealing a decision from another agency, ask what their deadline is for filing an appeal.