Self-Advocacy in Indiana

Self-Advocates of Indiana Board of Directors in 2002
Self-Advocates of Indiana Board of Directors in 2002

The First Decades of Self-Advocates of Indiana

“And when she got up and she introduced herself and shared a bit about the MRDD commission, she got booed real loud by the self-advocates.”

It was 2008, and Indiana state representative Sheila Klinker had been invited by Self-Advocates of Indiana (SAI) to speak at a national conference in Indianapolis. Betty Williams was SAI’s president. Betty says the incident led directly to one of the self-advocates’ most important accomplishments. Betty recalls that Representative Klinker, an appointee on the Commission on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, didn't understand what the booing was about, “but then we explained it to her.” The Commission must drop “the R word” from its name, they demanded. At the legislative group’s next meeting, a vote was taken and “within five minutes” the name was changed. Read about The First Decades of Self-Advocates of Indiana >

Featured Videos

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Passion for Advocacy - Betty Williams on Becoming A Self-Advocate


Betty Williams, an active self-advocate, received the Champion of Equal Opportunity Self-Advocacy award from the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities…


Darcus Nims - "They Didn't Think I Could Do It"


In 2006, we asked Darcus Nims to discuss her biggest accomplishment. She said, “Most proudest thing would be getting self-advocates started, that showing people that what all…


Darcus Nims and Betty WIlliams - Putting Self-Advocacy Skills to Use


Darcus Nims and Betty Williams, two of the founding leaders of Self-Advocates of Indiana, describe how their self-advocacy skills helped the inexperienced travelers maneuver…

Self-Advocacy in Indiana