What is Self Advocacy


Self advocates learn skills and information to help us stand up for ourselves, such as communication skills, human rights and legal rights, how laws get made, and strategies for creating change.


Self advocates create relationships that are respectful and meaningful to everyone involved. Self advocates build lifelong friendships and learn the benefits of being part of a group.


Self advocates are role models for others. Self advocates are leaders in our communities who create the changes we wish to see in the world.

Meet our team

We love Self Advocacy!

Amber Pettell

Self Advocacy Peer Coordinator

Amber joined the Self Advocacy team in 2015 what has been involved in self advocacy in one way or another since she was a young teenager. She comes to the job with her own lived experience of having a disability and is deeply passionate about creating a society that validates and celebrates differences instead of creating harmful stigmas. Outside of work Amber's favorite hobby is watching movies.

Heather Hodnicki

Self Advocacy Regional Coordinator

Heather is a new addition to the team who brings a variety of experience including a passion for nutrition. Outside of work she enjoys family time and the outdoors.

James Miller

James Miller

Regional Facillitator

James is a veteran self advocate who has been working with the Self Advocacy team for more than a decade. He brings a unique voice to the team. His skills, knowledge, and leadership abilities have made him very respected among his peers. Outside of work James is very close with his family and enjoys sports.

West Region News

Stay informed

Voter Registration Drive

Massachusetts West Region Self Advocacy recently participated in Disability Voting Rights Week by hosting a voter registration drive at the Holyoke Mall. Disability Voting Rights Week (DVRW) is a national, nonpartisan initiative to build the Read more…

Disability Voting Rights Week

Massachusetts West Region Self Advocacy Celebrates Disability Voting Rights Week Holyoke, Ma – Disability Voting Rights Week takes place on September 11-15, 2023. Massachusetts West Region Self Advocacy will host both a Virtual Education Event Read more…

Get in Touch

Massachusetts West Region Self Advocacy

187 High Street Suite 303

Holyoke, MA 01040

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