Self-Advocacy Online Blog

Personal Safety


Cliff Poetz was a founding member of People First Minnesota and a Community Liaison with the Institute on Community Integration.

[Cliff Poetz passed away on March 25, 2021. He prepared a series of posts to run through the year on Self-Advocacy Online, a website he co-founded.]


Personal safety is important for everyone. Self-advocates need to assess their personal safety in different settings, including when they interact with staff, when in their homes, and when in their community. Self-advocates should make sure to lock their door at home and make sure their valuables are secure.  

Staff are there to help you stay safe, but self-advocates should hold them accountable if they are not doing their job in a safe manner. If a staff member makes you feel unsafe or harms you, tell the director of the program and your social worker to make sure it gets handled appropriately.

If you travel into the community, stay safe by having your ID and cell-phone with you in case you need to call for help and travel together whenever possible. When using Metro Mobility and medical rides, make sure they come in to get you and use your name. Stay in well-lit areas at night, always be aware of your surroundings, and listen to authorities during emergency situations.  

Safety should be a high priority, both for staff and self-advocates. We all want to feel safe at home, in our work, and in the community.