As part of the 2022 Year of Willowbrook at the College of Staten Island, the Willowbrook Legacy Project will present “Becoming/Raising a Self-Advocate: Nothing About Us Without Us,” a panel discussion featuring self advocates and their parents about the challenegs and rewards of becoming an effective self-advocate. The free, virtual, event will take place on Zoom on Wednesday, December 7, from 6-7pm. It is being presented by the Willowbrook Legacy Project and The Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS). Registrarion can be found HERE.

The Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, Inc., is an organization founded by and led by people with developmental disabilities for people with developmental disabilities. SANYS promotes the awareness and recognition of the civil rights and responsibilities which include the opportunities and choices of equal citizenship for persons with various disabilities. With a motto of “Nothing About Us, Without Us,” SANYS’s goal is to help self-advocates build the skill and courage needed to speak up for themselves and others, because empowered self-advocates can help create inclusive communities and a person-centered and person-directed system of supports.

The Willowbrook Legacy Project supports these goals as the ultimate purpose of their own efforts: creating an inclusive community guided by the knowledge of all of its members. SANYS founder Bernard Carabello’s words speak directly to this important work: “I have a voice. Together, our voices are stronger.”

Listening to stories of individuals’ journeys to self-advocacy and the important role that parents have played in that process is part of understanding how more voices can be heard to build the community’s strength. This panel will be provide an important understanding about self-advocacy for all persons with disabilities and for those who love them, and for all persons concerned with disability justice.

To learn more about the people of SANYS and their mission, please visit