Issues and Education: A Practice Guide for Self-Advocacy

By June Converse.

In the last blog, we presented Camp Abilities – Brockport’s more organized method for teaching and practicing Self-Advocacy. One aspect of that training was helping the people who are resistant provide what you need. In other words, “I know you are worried about this, but here is how we solve that problem.”

To that end, Lauren and Ruth prepared a list of objections and counter arguments. 

It’s important to keep in mind that most educators/parents/coaches want everyone to participate. We simply need to overcome their concerns. Some of these counter arguments require a little pre-planning but the rewards for that effort are worth it.

The most common objections and the counter arguments experienced by our campers:

  • I don’t want you to get hurt.  I have the right to play and possibly get hurt like all my friends. This is called “The dignity of risk” and I choose to participate and take that risk just like everyone else.


  • I don’t want the sighted students to get hurt. ⇒ I have modifications that would minimize the possibility. For example – we could have an auditory cue for each person on defense and make a tactile marking in order for me to know my boundaries. You could also provide a guide during a game.


  • I don’t have the equipment.  Here is a list of different local and online stores that have all the equipment. You could also talk to my vision or mobility teacher for more ideas.


  • I don’t want the other students to have to slow down their game play. ⇒ It is possible for students to still gain skill development and exercise when the game is slower. Excluding me teaches the other kids in class that it is okay to leave me on the sidelines. I don’t think that is a good concept to learn.


  • We don’t have the money for that. There is some State supported equipment and resources available through the American Printing House for the Blind. You can order this through my vision teacher. Also, if you write it into my IEP then the school has to pay for it.


  • I don’t have the training to help you.  I can help you and tell you what I need. In addition, here is a list of online resources. There are also many free video tutorials for specific sports and different teaching techniques.


  • I don’t know that game.  I can teach it to you as I play it every summer at my camp. In addition, here is a list of free video tutorials to help you learn the game.


  • People who are blind can’t do that sport.  There are many blind athletes who do this sport at an elite level. Here are some links to videos where you can see them in action.


If you encounter other objections, please feel free to contact us and we will help you develop a counter argument.

Most people want to be of assistance. It is the rare person who is too inconsiderate or lazy to provide what we need when we ask and provide information and access.

Know what you want and make it easy for your teachers and coaches to give it to you.

Exchange the excuses with information.

For a pdf of the Objections and Counter Arguments above: Objections And Counter Arguments

For more information, guides and videos: Instructional Materials (

Next week: I’ll introduce you to Chris Smoker and Coach Deckman. Together they found a place for Chris on the Cross-Country team. In his first race, he placed 4th. Chris will tell us how he prepared, what went well and what didn’t. We’ll experience the Self-Advocacy Program in action.

~submitted by June Converse

~A Loss of Sight, Never A Loss of Vision~