At SANYS, we provide presentations and trainings to self-advocates, family members, support staff, and the community at large.

Decision-Making Storytelling Project

In partnership with the Harvard Project on Disability, SANYS completed a video exploring the important issue of day-to-day decision making in the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

The video was designed to get self-advocates thinking about and discussing how they make decisions and what type of support they may, or may not need, to make decisions that lead to the outcomes they want in their own life. We are currently facilitating discussion forums using this video as a tool across NYS.

The Decision-Making Storytelling Project video can be viewed here.

SANYS U: The School of Grassroots Advocacy

SANYS U is a leadership course that teaches self advocates and their supports about the history of self-advocacy, rights and responsibilities, and promotes ways of strengthening the grassroots and developing strong local and statewide leaders. Since 2011, we’ve been delivering a dynamic course that teaches people about their rights and how to get what they want. Your local Regional office of SANYS can provide self-advocates and their support staff an engaging curriculum that is designed to give individuals with disabilities and direct support professionals a more thorough understanding of the important subject of self-advocacy and help develop future leaders for the self-advocacy movement.

The Course

This dynamic, interactive course of study deals with the following core subjects and is aimed at being accessible to as broad an audience as possible. Sessions include:

  • Introduction to Self-Advocacy & Leadership Development
  • History of Disability Rights & Self-Advocacy Leadership
  • Your Individual Rights & Responsibilities
  • Tips for Strong Self-Advocacy Groups
  • Self-Advocacy Leadership Skills
  • You and Your One Wild Precious Life!
  • Advocate for What You Want!
  • You are Community!
  • What Are Some Current Self-Advocacy Issues?
  • Games, Leadership Projects & Graduation

A good class size would be between ten to twenty students. The students must commit to attend at least 80% of the course offerings in order to receive a certificate. Scheduling of the classes can be made flexible to meet each organization’s particular needs.

We Have Choices

We Have Choices is a documentary exploring the full lives people with developmental disabilities experience when they are supported to live in a place they have chosen to call home, in the community of their choice, with supports they, their family, and their friends have helped create. This is a film about history, self-advocacy, family, community relationships, love, respect, challenges and opportunities.

The film focuses on people who are living in their own apartments and homes, for the most part without 24-hour support. But it is important that you know that people can live with choice and individualized services no matter how much support they need, as many do now in New York.

From the Board

The Board of the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, Inc. (SANYS) is very proud of our “We have Choices video”. We made this video in partnership with OPWDD and many other people and organizations, including DDPC, the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, which, along with OPWDD supported our efforts at developing some of the original ideas about choice that we call Wheel Power. There is a short section on the DVD extras that talks about Wheel Power and choices.

We want to thank our good friend Jerry Smith, from the University of Minnesota, the filmmaker, who helped us tell the story of choices on this great video.

Other Training Opportunities

  • All About Groups
  • Introductions to Self-Advocacy
  • Youth and Self-Advocacy
  • Advisor Training
  • Cultural Competency/Sensitivity

In addition to these training opportunities at SANYS, we have a large network of talented self-advocates who can speak on common and emerging issues. Please contact us to enquire.

Explore Next