A Quarterly Newsletter for Our Community Members with Disabilities

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Spring/Summer 2014 CommunicAbility Vol. 14, Ed. 2

New Horizons Un-Limited Inc. (NHU) is a non-profit organization based in Milwaukee with a mission to make information and life experiences accessible to people with life-long disabilities, their families and caregivers. To learn more about our mission and activities, please visit the New Horizons Un-Limited website at www.new-horizons.org or e-mail horizons@new-horizons.org.

"Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you.
But you have to take action to get it."

Self-advocacy: It starts with mutual respect

In the almost 20 years since New Horizons Un-Limited was founded, we have seen immense improvement in person-centered planning and community-based care. More and more citizens with disabilities live in their own homes and apartments, go to college, hold jobs, volunteer in the community, and participate in social and recreational activities. It’s just another fold in the vast and colorful fabric of society. This progress is largely thanks to people speaking up and demanding a better quality of life for themselves.

It starts with the individual and self-advocacy.

So, what does self-advocacy mean to you? Do you consider yourself an effective self-advocate? If not, would you like to be?

Do you want to know the secret to effective advocacy? RESPECT!

Too often, advocates use their anger to fuel their arguments. Accusations are flung about, verbal attacks are made, and in defense, the accused throws up a barrier. Nothing is accomplished and you are left angrier and more defeated than ever.

This is not to say anger cannot be a good spur to action, but it must always be kept in check. Acting out of anger alone will only be a disservice to your cause and could create an enemy out of a potential ally. Without offering respect to another, you cannot expect to receive it in return.

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“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

– Winston Churchill

Steps for effective advocacy

Effective advocacy starts with you! If you hope to make changes in your life, you must ensure that your voice will be heard and respected.

(1) Be Prepared. Before you can even hope to ask for change, you must have a thorough understanding of all options and the potential barriers and oppositions you might face.

(2) Speak with Confidence. Speak clearly and firmly. Use as few words as possible to get your point across. Try not to allow your conversation to meander to other distracting topics.

(3) Be a Respectful Listener. Try to keep your interruptions to a minimum. If you disagree with a point, make a note of it and respond when it is your turn to speak.

(4) Remain Calm. No matter how heated a conversation may become, you must try to maintain a level head. Keeping your calm will allow you to form a more rational argument.

(5) Be Patient and Realistic. Only ask for what is absolutely necessary and understand that change takes time. Respectful reminders are acceptable.

(6) Ask for help. If you are not getting anywhere, ask a family member or close friend to help you hash out a new plan. Accepting help is often an important part of advocacy.

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Share your voice with NHU

If you love writing as much as we do, we want to hear from you. We are looking for unique voices to fill our blog. Whether you are a creative writer, a lover of narratives or simply enjoy sharing your voice, we want you to join our volunteer blogging team.

E-mail us to learn more. Check out our blog.

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12th Annual NHU Raffle and Silent Auction - Thank You Donors

We were blown away by the generosity of our local business community this year! As a grassroots organization, we rely wholly on the generosity of our local community! Nearly 70 businesses stepped up in support of our community members with disabilities. Please join us in thanking these generous local businesses by stopping in and enjoying all they have to offer! We truly live in a city rich with culture and no shortage of enjoyment – get out and enjoy it this summer! Check out all of
our donors.

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11th Annual NHU Benefit Golf Outing - Thank You Golfers and Sponsors

The June drizzle couldn't keep our golfers' spirits down! As always, it was a blast, despite the weather! Our golfers once again came out in force to celebrate our 11th year of hosting our Annual Benefit Golf Outing on June 4th.

As a grassroots, non-profit organization our golf outing is the backbone of our annual fundraising campaign! We simply could not carry out our mission of serving our community members with disabilities were it not for the generosity of our corporate sponsors and golfers. Thank you for valuing our mission and for making an investment in the futures of our community members with disabilities!

Check out our
facebook page to see pictures and a list of our generous sponsors.

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Success Starts with You Word Search

The changing of seasons is a perfect time for reflection and contemplation. It is a time to shed ourselves of the haze that has clouded our souls; the self doubt that has blocked our paths; the obstacles that have halted our progress. Now is the time to live life to the fullest! Now get to it!!


Self Renewal Word Search
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If you have questions or ideas, information and solutions that you would like to share with us, we can be reached by e-mail at: horizons@new-horizons.org or to use our NHU E-Mail Form or NHU Community Forum, click on the links below.
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