A career planning and employment resource for people who are blind or partially sighted

Speaking Up for yourself: Self-Advocacy Skills Checklist​

This self-advocacy skills checklist is a tool designed for you to consider or complete by yourself. Its aim is to help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses in this area.

Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can decide what you need to work on to prepare for your career and successfully search for a job. You can use this checklist to help you decide what goals you would like to establish in the area of self-advocacy. Remember as you review the checklist that there are no right or wrong answers—just what is true for you. 

You can print off the checklist and complete it off-line or simply read through the items and consider whether you have the skills to perform the tasks or will require training or assistance to be able to accomplish them.

I perform the following self-advocacy skills or techniques routinely:

  • Make decisions for myself about what I do on a daily basis (what I wear, where I go, with whom I socialize, and so forth).
  • Set career and life goals and make plans to achieve them.
  • Evaluate and make decisions for myself regarding my career and life goals.
  • Describe my disability to others according to their “need to know” (strangers, acquaintances, friends, family, coworkers, etc.).
  • Describe how I can perform tasks assigned to me without relying on vision.
  • Explain to others how having little or no vision impacts my ability to perform relevant tasks.
  • Describe and demonstrate accommodations (access technology or adapted tools) that will enable me to perform competitively at work.
  • Request assistance from others, when needed.
  • Refuse assistance from others, when it’s not needed.
  • Offer to assist others when they need my help.
  • Use assertiveness skills to request accommodations or modifications that will enable me to be most productive and independent.
  • Respond to others’ questions about me and my disability with caring, informative answers.
  • Help sighted people understand that I am more like them than I am different. This requires sharing information about your interests, abilities, values, etc.
  • Speak up for myself in awkward or difficult situations.