Self-Advocacy for Adults with Disabilities

What is Self-Advocacy?

Merrick, Inc., is considered a leader in the State of Minnesota, in part, due to our commitment to self-advocacy. In 1997, six self-advocates started the initial Putting People First group hosted at Merrick. Today, there are six self-advocacy groups that meet weekly with 90 active members. Annually, each group elects officers and advisors from Merrick to provide an auxiliary role. For many years now, self-advocates have made countless presentations to schools, civic organizations, disability groups, conferences, and workshops. Self-advocates believe that self-advocacy is not just an activity or something that happens in a group, if you are speaking up for yourself – you ARE a self-advocate. It is a life-changing experience.

  • Accessible Voting
  • Holiday Toy Drive
  • Disability Power Day

Merrick is well known for providing opportunities for self-advocates to express themselves and learn and encourage their peers to pursue their goals and dreams. Self-advocates at Merrick have focused their efforts in the following four areas:

  • Public Awareness
  • Legislative Efforts
  • Voter Rights
  • Serving on boards, committees, and workgroups

To learn more about the self-advocacy program at Merrick,  please contact our Self-Advocacy Facilitator Travis Sundberg at

Self-Advocacy Newsletter

Created in collaboration with self-advocates, Merrick’s Self-Advocacy Newsletter provides readers with a glimpse into our self-advocacy program.

“The self-advocacy program [at Merrick, Inc.,] has not only sensitized and educated me on a number of issues relating to the unfair stereotyping of individuals with disabilities, but by having this program, Merrick has empowered individuals with disabilities … the self-advocacy program ensures that it is more difficult to continue to treat individuals with disabilities as the forgotten minority.”

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank

New Services Now at MerrickPositive Support Services & Individualized Home Supports

Merrick Inc., is pleased to announce two new licensed services available to current and prospective clients that can be provided in their home or in the community. These services will be provided separately, or in addition to current services, and will be scheduled at times that work best for the client and their support team:

  • Positive Support Services (Professional, Analyst, Specialist)
  • Individualized Home Supports (with training)

Clients or support teams should contact their case manager who will determine if the services are available within their waiver plan and assist them to identify which service is most appropriate. The case manager will initiate service authorization and if units are authorized, will update the Support Plan and make a referral to Merrick by contacting Brady Mallek, Positive Support Professional at or (651) 789-6208.