Adaptations, Accommodations, and Advocacy

Directions: Identify 10 of the following advocacy actions that you would like to adopt as personal goals. Prioritize these 10 actions, assigning the number 1 to the most important and the number 10 to the least important. 

  • Invite people with diverse backgrounds to attend programs. 
  • Ask adults from typically underrepresented groups to serve as leaders.
  • Organize a Diversity Awareness Day.
  • Survey architectural barriers and share results.
  • Write news releases about barriers facing various groups of people.
  • Educate people about recreation services available to all people.
  • Talk with people with diverse backgrounds to learn more about them.
  • Discuss the problems that attitudinal barriers create.
  • Develop public service announcements for radio and television.
  • Contact organizations for ideas about their work with diverse groups.
  • Write letters to newspapers urging changes to attitudinal barriers.
  • Plan exhibits to create awareness about oppressed groups.
  • Ask people who are typically underrepresented in recreation programs to appear in advertisements for leisure services.
  • Conduct an evaluation of people who are oppressed and share results.
  • Teach awareness activities to community groups.
  • Keep media informed of successes of members of an oppressed group.
  • Volunteer at an agency that provides services to people who encounter various challenges.
  • Develop services to assist families who are oppressed.
  • Form an advocacy committee to work on removing barriers.
  • Meet with a legislator and learn about civil rights policies and laws.
  • Write to media outlets complimenting them on positive portrayals of diverse individuals.
  • Invite a person with an auditory impairment and an interpreter to talk to your agency.
  • Sponsor an idea exchange on ways to promote inclusion.
  • Discuss ways to involve people in activities and remove barriers.
  • Read childrens stories and discuss how people with diverse backgrounds are portrayed.
  • Identify different forms of transportation that might be available for people who do not drive an automobile.
  • Learn about technology that assists people in recreation activities.
  • Select a recreation activity, choose a group of people that has been oppressed in some manner, and identify helpful accommodations.

Debriefing: Most attempts at advocacy by and on behalf of people experiencing oppression have been to urge opportunities for all people to participate as fully as possible in community life, and to end discrimination based on disabilities. The demands for community inclusion and civil rights have been widely recognized as just.

Allies are needed not because some people are inherently weak and incapable, but because they are members of a group that has been oppressed. All people have a right to receive community services. The services are provided because these people are deserving citizens. 

If conditions interfere with peoples rights, then society needs to make changes to enable people to enjoy those rightsregardless of cost. Ultimately, people become their own advocates. The advocate lets people manage their own affairs. As you reflect on this discussion consider and answer the following:

  1. What is an advocate and why is advocacy necessary?
  2. How do we advocate for those who have been oppressed?
  3. Look back at the 10 advocacy actions you prioritized, which one could you start immediately? And how could you accomplish that goal/what is your plan?