Ed Duryea Named Self-Advocate of the Year!

Self-Advocate of the Year

LIFEPlan member and Member and Family Advisory Council member, Ed Duryea has been named the 2020 Self-Advocate of the Year at The Arc of Jefferson-St. Lawrence. 

Self-Advocacy is speaking up for yourself and making your own decisions about your life. By self-advocating, you learn to understand your interests and find support from the right people who can help. Secondly, it takes problem solving, listening and learning from others to be successful. 

Ed advocates on behalf of himself and others who may not be able to. For instance,  Ed is currently focused on ensuring people who live in IRA’s Stay Connected and have access to reliable internet serviceThis is especially important during the pandemic because of our new virtual world.

For Ed, it doesn’t stop there. Here are just a few other advocacy activities he is involved in: 

  • Writing letters to advocate for services for people with disabilities to stay intact. 
  • Support Instructor at staff orientations
  • Establishing new policies that promote better quality of life
  • Providing education regarding disabilities to volunteer
  • Participating in community fundraisers

In conclusion, Ed is passionate about the importance of self-determination, and stresses that everyone should make their own decisions.

“Sometimes we all need support from people in our lives, but in the end it is our decision to be made for our lives,” Duryea said. 

Congratulations, Ed on your well-deserved award!