How to Start a People First Chapter Gatha Logan, Bill Gage, Sam Gage, Christy Cox, Ruthie-Marie Beckwith May 31, 2013
What is People First? People First of Tennessee, Inc. is a statewide disability rights organization that is run by and for people with disabilities
What does People First of Tennessee do? People First of Tennessee helps to start and support local selfadvocacy chapters across the state. We work together to help build leadership, focus on issues that affect our lives and promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in everyday life.
What do local People First chapters do?
Local chapters Have monthly meetings Learn to speak up for yourself Educate the public and community leaders Learn about your rights Fundraisers like car wash, bake sale, yard sale Take trips to conferences and seminars Have fun like bowling, picnics, parties and dances Community service like helping people in nursing homes, getting books for children, and recyling
What is Self-Advocacy? Self-advocacy means being able to tell people what you think, feel and want. It means speaking for yourself. You can learn how to speak for yourself about problems and ideas you have on your own or at local chapter meetings. Self-advocacy also means getting together with other people who disabilities and have the same ideas, problems, and concerns. It means speaking out as a group. You can learn how to speak out as a group at local chapter meetings.
What are the steps to starting a local PF chapter?
Step One: Make sure everyone understands what People and Self-Advocacy are and why people would want to meet as a group.
Step Two: • Decide on the responsibilities for getting the group going, like: A place to meet, transportation, publicity and the agenda
Step Three Find out how other groups work, and learn from them.
Step Four: Decide on the rules for how you are going to work together, like, officers, dues, voting and who will be the advisor
Step Five: Develop a ‘team spirit’ and a good working friendship between the members
Step Six: Decide on the goals for the group, like issues, education, fundraising, fun or social events, and community service.
Step Seven: Decide on ways to reach your goals.
Step Eight: Develop ‘connections’ with the community.
Step Nine: Evaluate how well the group is working and make changes.
What do local chapter advisors do? Show respect for members by communicating with them as adults, elders, or peers. Attend a People First meeting monthly. Help members learn how to run a meeting. Coordinate educational programs, speakers for the chapter. Help members with projects in between meetings.
What do local chapter advisors do? Assist with the meetings until members can run them on their own. Keep members on task with meetings, projects, etc. Present ideas for fundraising and community projects. Assist with community projects and fundraisers.
What do you do next? Volunteers Advisors should read training material on People First of Tennessee website. http://peoplefirstoftennessee.org/ Schedule a presentation for old and new members from People First of Tennessee officers.
Hold your first meeting! Go to our facebook page and share your stories! Email [email protected]
for more information