Advocates in Action RI
"Self-Advocacy means finding out what's important, speaking up about it and making a difference!"

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Advocates in Action RI is a 501(c) non-profit organization. Please follow the link below to make a tax deductible donation and support our work!


Advocates in Action: Welcome to Our Website!

Advocates in Action Rhode Island is an independent, statewide, non-profit Self-Advocacy organization. AinA was was created by a coaltion of Rhode Islanders with developmental disabilities to educate and empower others who also have that label. DD so that they can speak up for themselves and others. Remember, "nothing about us without us", because together we can make a difference!


speak up, make decisions, plan your future, know your rights, be responsible, learn about government, get out and vote, be a team player, become a leader!

The Leadership Series Class of 2017

We are pleased to announce that applications are available NOW for the Leadership Series Class of 2017!

Completed applications and 2 letters of reference are due no later than Friday, July 29th.

CLICK HERE to download the 2017 Leadership Series Application

Advocates in Action RI developed the Leadership Series to help people learn how to speak up for themselves and others, be in charge of their own lives, and raise disability awareness in the community.
Some of the topics that students will be introduced to include the following:

  • Current Issues Related to Services for Rhode Islanders Who Have a Developmental Disability
  • Exercising Your Right to Vote
  • How Government Works
  • Individualized Choice and Informed Decisions
  • Personal Introduction Skills and Qualities of an Effective Leader
  • Segregation and Community Integration
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Person Centered Planning Process
  • … and More!

Students not need to able to read or write in order to be in the Leadership Series! Participation is open to all Rhode Islanders who have a developmental disability, family members, support staff and allies. Our curriculum includes pictures, video, audio, games and other interactive media that make the information accessible and easy to understand.

The Series begins with an all-day kick-off retreat on Wednesday, August 31st that every student must attend.  Classes run from September thru June and will take place twice a month from 1:00pm-3:00pm on Wednesday afternoons.
In addition, there are also homework assignments and extra events to attend between classes, including “Nothing About Us Without Us”, RI's 2016 Annual Statewide Self-Advocacy conference on Thursday, October 27th. Class members will also be the presenters at Rhode Island’s Annual Statewide Self-Advocacy Meeting in March, 2017. Everyone who completes the Series graduates at a formal ceremony in June.

The Leadership Series is made possible with support from the RI Department of BHDDH. While there is no cost to attend, please note that space is limited.

CLICK HERE to download the application for the class of 2017

The deadline to apply for the Leadership Series Class of 2017 is Friday, July 29th.

Please contact us immediately if you have any questions or need additional time to complete your application.

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this is a text box that says: 877-532-5543



cartoon image of beach scene - umbrella, beach ball, ocean, sun

Join us for some HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME at the 2016 Beach Beach Bash!

You're invited to join us for the 2016 Beach Bash, hosted by Advocates in Action RI and the Down Syndrome Society of RI and is being made possible with generous support from the John E. Moran Foundation.

This year's event takes place on Friday, August 12th in the Carousel area at Goddard Park, 1095 Ives Road in Warwick. It runs from 11:00 am - 3:00pm EVERYONE IS INVITED!

The Beach Bash is a great opportunity to connect with old friends and meet some new ones. For just $20 per person, each attendee will enjoy an all you can eat cookout that includes burgers, hot dogs, clam cakes, chowder and more, along with an afternoon of dancing, games and plenty of fun. The registration fee also includes beach access, so bring your bathing suit, sunscreen and a towel if you want to stay go for a swim or make a splash.

CLICK HERE to download the registration form. Registrations are due by Friday, August 5th.

Click here to contact us if you prefer to pay by credit card.


PCP: Volume 1, short for "People Coloring Pictures", is an adult coloring book that includes artwork and ideas from members of the Advocates in Action RI Leadership Series. Class members drew these pictures as we discussed topics such as Self-Advocacy, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Informed Decisions and Choice, “Home Sweet Home”, Real Jobs and Community Integration. These topics, and others, are all part of something called Person Centered Planning.

We created this book as a fun way and comfortable way to have conversations about Person Centered Plannning and other important issues. We hope you enjoy it!

Advocates in Action is in the process of creating additional materials about Person Centered Planning, including "PCP: Volume 2"! We will also be offering various opportunities to learn more about Person Centered Planning and related topics in the months to come.

In the meantime, feel free to click on the link below to download a copy of PCP: Volume 1, get out your art supplies, and get ready to color!

this is the cover page of the coloring book available for download. It is a black and white drawings: heart speaking into microphone, rainbow with words "goals, dreams, my future, newpaper ad magnifying "jobs", thumbs up with word "repsect", home with heart in window,  person who uses wheelchair in center of circle with words "go for your goals", erasure with words "for really big mistakes", words: this is YOUR life! scales of justics with word "It's the Law"

Title: PCP: Volume 1" has a Person with question marks over their head

"PCP Volume 1" - Download Your Copy Here!


Mark Your Calendars Now:

The 2016 Beach Bash at Goddard Park is on Friday, August 12th, 11:00am-3:00pm

The 2016 Annual Statewide Self-Advocacy Conference is on Thursday, October 27th at the Crown Plaza



Myth Busters

The word MYTH is covered with the word BUSTERS so that MYTH looks like it was cracked.

Rhode Island's 2016 Statewide Self-Advocacy Meeting!

More than 225 people came to the 2016 Statewide Self-Advocacy Meeting on Monday, March 28th, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick! We will be posting the presentation that the Leadership Series Class of 2016 shared at MythBusters here on our website.

Please visit again soon to learn about the Myths we discussed at the meeting that dealth with topics including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Consent Decree between the Department of Justice and RI, Community Integration, Person Centered Planning, Shared Living Arrangements, Individual Service Plans and more!

Click here to send us your questions about the Service System for Rhode Islanders who have a developmental disability. While Advocates in Action RI does not provide counseling or advocacy services, we will be setting up an area on our website to share the answers that we find, along with additional resources and information.

For those who missed our January What's the Buzz conversations, there is still time to share your own ideas about ways to end the "R-Word" and change the negative attitudes and stereotypes that exist towards people who have a disability label.

Click here to send us your comments and suggestions.

Also, check out these awesome songs about ending the R-Word from members of our 2016 Leadership Series Class:


Amanda Cambell
Natalie Bacon
Luke Brissette
Amy Ethier
Melissa Coite
Kim Genereux
Michael Jendzejec
Denise Layfield
Gina Macris
Meghan O’Leary
Christopher Pawlyk
Jim Petrone
Michael Smith
Anitra Valles
Scott Walls

Class of 2016 Members can CLICK HERE to view the class web page, including homework, handouts, class contact information and more.

Nothing About Us Without Us

Click here to read or download the first edition of our new publication, "Nothing About Without Us: RI Self-Advocacy News You Can Use". The newsletter is in PDF format.

New to Self-Advocacy? Check out our "SA Pokey" music video to find out what it's all about:


Think First - Names Hurt!

CLICK HERE to view and download our PowerPoint Show "About that R-Word"

**You need to have an internet connection to watch the video clips that are embedded in the PowerPoint**


This Page was updated on:
July 26, 2016


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