Self Advocacy

Self Advocacy is the platform from which people with disabilities can find their voice; speaking for their wants and needs, rights, and goals. Self Advocacy is the vehicle that drives the individual person to direct the life of their dreams.




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Self Advocacy

Self Advocacy is a civil rights movement that was created for and by people with developmental disabilities. Self Advocates want to: speak up for themselves, speak up for others, direct their own lives and life direction, make choices, have dreams, choose the services that they want, and understand their rights.


Self Advocates form groups to reach goals and to support one another. All rules, meeting times, meeting places, goals, actions and the group facilitator, are decided by the members of the group. Groups may make a set of rules for each group member to follow or elect officers for the group. Self Advocacy groups can be about disability rights, but can also be about anything the group is interested in like music or sports.


There are five active Self Advocacy groups at Heritage Centers: Allentown Oak Street, Allentown Hamburg, Allentown Tonawanda, Community/CAP, and Residential – Southtowns sites. Self Advocates rely on the support of dedicated staff to accomplish their goals and dreams. Staff play a very important role in helping Self Advocates accomplish their goals, whether assisting with transportation, or supporting a person in a community activity.


If you want to learn more about Self Advocacy, come to a meeting! Everyone is welcome! Here is a calendar of meetings and events.




Learn about Self Advocacy efforts throughout New York State here:


For more information call: Sarah DiChristina – Self Advocacy Specialist at 833-8603, ext. 2346 or email at





“The therapists are very approachable and work with me to educate me in a team-based approach for the best interest of the people we support.” – Erin Fields, Habilitation Specialist

Self Advocacy

News & Events

Our New Southtowns Location is Now Open

Monday, April 3rd was an exciting day for our staff and the people we support in Hamburg. It was move-in day, the long awaited day to officially move into the New Southtowns Service Center located at 56 Main Street in the Village of Hamburg. Learn More

2017 Heritage Centers Golf Classic Results

Thank you to our sponsors, golfers, and volunteers that made the 2017 Heritage Golf Classic a huge success! Click through to find out the day's winners and to see photos from this beautiful day to benefit Heritage Centers. Learn More