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An Advisor is a person who helps your group to work better without taking over. The advisor or support person can give tips and advice about how to operate the group, can support the work of the group and can teach the group how to work around problems. But the advisor should never become the group leader or tell the group what they have to do.

What are some of the things to look for when you are trying to find an advisor?

  1. A person who believes in self advocacy and what your group wants to do.
  2. A person who believes that all people have abilities and have something to offer and that all people grow and change through their experiences.
  3. A person who believes that all people are able to have the chance to participate in community life and that people have the right to whatever support they need to make that work.
  4. A person who knows something about disabilities and about services for people with disabilities in community.
  5. A person who is willing to spending time with your group without being paid if that is needed
  6. A person who is willing to support the group to make their own decisions.
  7. A person who doesn’t run a program or services.
  8. A person who is willing to help the group without taking over. That person knows the goal is to make the group work without an advisor someday.
  9. A person who cares for people with disabilities
  10. A person that has experience in understanding self advocacy and who is for and relates to people with disabilities.
  11. A person who can adapt and learn new things when things change.

What are the things that advisors do?

Advisors do many things. Here are a few examples:

  1. Give advice and tips when asked.
  2. Help support and guide the group.
  3. Help in getting more training for what the group needs.
  4. Attend every meeting and help facilitate.
  5. Work with the group to change things that stand in the way and that the group is struggling with.
  6. Do whatever is needed to help make the group work better for all the members.

What are some ways to find an advisor for your group?

Many groups already have an advisor when they start. Sometimes the advisor is from a service program or a special citizen advocacy program.

Sometimes there are groups in your town like local Associations for community living and community services. They might help find an advisor for you. If there are other clubs or groups who help people, you could ask them for ideas as well.

If there is a college in your town, you could call the special education or the education program and ask if they have a teacher or a student who could be your advisor. Also ask if they know of anyone else who could help.

Sometimes, churches are a good place to look for a person who could help you. Keep trying and talking to others for ideas of where to look in your town.

What can you do if your advisor does too much or too little of the work for the group?

If your advisor does too much or too little for your group, the first thing to do is to talk to the advisor. Have a meeting so the group can tell the advisor not to take control of meetings or sit back so much. Make it clear what it is you want. If things do not change and you have given the advisor a chance, ask that advisor to quit and find a new advisor.

What are some reasons you might want an advisor to vote?

One reason you might want an advisor to vote is because they are members of the group who are working for the same things as everyone else.

What are some reasons you might not want an advisor to vote?

One reason you might not want an advisor to vote is because sometimes people will copy the advisor and vote however that person does. Sometimes it gives an advisor too much control.

If it up to your group to decide if you want the advisor to vote.

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