Self-advocacy references & resources

Beyond everyday interactions with family and friends, young people are able to self-advocate and use their personal experiences as a springboard for change. For young people who are passionate about raising their voices and telling their stories, they may need help determining the best place to start.

Whether they are passionate about school safety, substance use prevention, youth violence, inclusion, diversity or mental health, often the first step is to reach out to a program or organization specializing in that particular issue. With this support, young people are better equipped with the knowledge, tools and information they need to formulate a strategic, informed plan.

Self-advocacy efforts are most effective when they are collaborative. It is important for empowered young people to have supporters they can turn to for guidance in planning their advocacy campaigns. With help, we can help prepare our local youth to understand issues that matter, make meaningful connections and learn know how to speak up and speak out.

Community agencies

Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities

A Major Unusual Incident (MUI) is an event that negatively impacts the health, safety or wellbeing of an individual with developmental disabilities. If you or someone you know is experiencing a major unusual incident, call the 24-hour hotline to report the event. MUI Hotline: 330-477-4477 The Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities exists to connect individuals and families with the services they need for health, safety, education and a high quality of life.
  • Service and Support
  • Early Intervention
  • Preschool
  • Health Services
  • Transportation
  • Family Support
  • Medicaid Waivers
2950 Whipple Ave. NW
Canton, OH 44708
Phone: (330) 477-5200
Intake: (330) 479-3582

Stark County Educational Service Center

Coordinating education, leadership and professional services throughout Stark County. Visit the Stark County ESC website for more information.
6057 Strip Avenue NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Phone: (330) 492-8136
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8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Stark County Family Council

Wraparound services for youth and families who have complex, multi-system needs. Visit their website for more information.
6057 Strip Ave NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Phone: 330-492-8136

Stark County Family Court

Legal services for child custody, behavioral health and domestic relations cases. Visit their website for more information. Intake specialists who work with juvenile offenders and their families to prepare for court cases and provide mediation when possible are available at (330) 451-7317.
110 Central Plz. S
Suite 670
Canton, OH 44702
Phone: (330) 451-7415
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8:30 am - 4:30 pm
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8:30 am - 4:30 pm
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8:30 am - 4:30 pm
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8:30 am - 4:30 pm
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8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Stark County Job & Family Services

Report child abuse: 330-455-KIDS / 1-800-233-5437 Partner with our customers, community and other service providers to protect children and vulnerable adults, stabilize and strengthen families, and encourage self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.
  • Cash assistance
  • Food assistance
  • Medicaid & Medical
  • Non-emergency transportation - Transportation to and from Medicaid-qualified appointments, including doctor visits, dental visits, vision appointments and more.
  • Child care services
  • Work experience program - Program participants are matched with local businesses and organizations in exchange for public assistance benefits.
  • Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) - Supports local employers by offsetting the costs of hiring and training new employees.
  • Foster care & adoption
  • Kinship care
  • Child support services
  • Project KARE
  • Healthy Start - Medicaid-funded program providing basic medical coverage for pregnant women and children up to 19 years old.
  • PRC Plan - providing short-term assistance to address an emergent need and help families retain and maintain employment.
221 3rd St. SE
Canton, OH 44702
Toll free: 1 (888) 698-6893
Toll free: 1 (888) 698-6893
Local: (330) 452-4661
TDD: (330) 451-8879
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8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery

Funding for mental health and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery support services. Visit their website for more information about StarkMHAR.
121 Cleveland Ave. SW
Canton, OH 44702
Phone: (330) 455-6644
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8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Talk to a school counselor

Reach out to your local school district to plan an advocacy campaign, create a student advocacy group or determine another way to spread a message you’re passionate about.

Alliance City School District

Aviator Food Bags: Weekend food bags for students who may not have access to consistent meals throughout the school year. Free GED classes for individuals in Alliance. Register for morning classes Mondays at 8:30 a.m. or evening classes Mondays at 5 p.m. (registrations may take up to three hours).
200 Glamorgan St.
Alliance, OH 44601
Phone: (330) 821-2100
GED Classes: 330-829-2267
GED Classes: 330-829-2267

Canton City School District

Offers Adult Career & Technical Education - learn more at www.ccsdistrict.org/adulted FREE Classes at Aspire of Stark County:
  • Earn a High School Equivalency Diploma (GED)
  • Improve English (ESOL-English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Prepare for pre-employment testing
  • Study for entrance exams
  • Brush up on skills for success in college or training programs
  • Improve your current job skills
  • Help your children with homework
  • Gain personal enrichment and satisfaction
305 McKinley Ave. NW
Canton, OH 44702
Phone: (330) 438-2500
Adult Career & Technical Education: (330) 438-2556
Adult Career & Technical Education: (330) 438-2556
ASPIRE: (330) 438-2559

Canton Local School District

Backpack Program - Weekend backpack meals every Friday for qualifying students. Career programs offered through the South Stark Career Academy.
600 Faircrest St. SE
Canton, OH 44707
Phone: (330) 484-8019

Fairless Local School District

11885 Navarre Rd.
Navarre, OH 44662
Phone: (330) 767-3577

Jackson Local School District

Career Tech information at jackson.stark.k12.oh.us/Page/1911
7602 Fulton Dr.
Massillon, OH 44646
Phone: (330) 830-8000

Lake Local School District

Career programs offered through the Stark Career Compact:
  • Career-based intervention (CBI)
  • Health tech
  • Legal studies
  • Marketing & business management
Performing Arts Summer Spectacular: A unique six-week theater camp for students entering seventh through 12th grade that culminates in the performance of a musical production.
436 King Church Ave. SW
Uniontown, OH 44685
Phone: (330) 877-9383
Stark Career Compact: (330) 877-4282
Stark Career Compact: (330) 877-4282

Louisville City School District

407 East Main St.
Louisville, OH 44641
Phone: (330) 875-1666

Marlington Local School District

10320 Moulin Ave. NE
Alliance, OH 44601
Phone: (330) 823-7458

Massillon City School District

Career Technical Education - Helping students to develop professional skills and experience to prepare them for future employment:
  • Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA)
  • Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)
  • Skills USA
  • Business Professionals of America (BPA)
  • Educators Rising
  • Junior Achievement
930 17th St. NE
Massillon, OH 44646
Phone: (330) 830-3900

Minerva Local School District

Free GED classes for students in Minerva. Register for classes Mondays at 9 a.m. (registrations may take up to three hours).
406 East St.
Minerva, OH 44657
Phone: (330) 868-4332
GED Classes: (330) 438-2559
GED Classes: (330) 438-2559

North Canton City School District

Career programs offered through the Stark Career Compact:
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Business management
  • Construction tech
  • Culinary arts
  • Interactive media
  • Medical technology
  • Pre-engineering
  • Teaching professions
  • Video production
525 7th St. NE
North Canton, OH 44720
Phone: (330) 497-5600
Stark Career Compact: (330) 497-5620
Stark Career Compact: (330) 497-5620

Northwest Local School District

Northwest local school district in Canal Fulton, OH. www.northwest.sparcc.org
2309 Locust St. S
Canal Fulton, OH 44614
Phone: (330) 854-2291

Osnaburg Local School District

310 Browning Ct.
East Canton, OH 44730
Elementary: (330) 488-0392
Elementary: (330) 488-0392
Middle School: (330) 488-0334
Middle School: (330) 488-0334
High School: (330) 488-0316
High School: (330) 488-0316

Perry Local School District

Public school system in Perry Township. Career tech classes offered.
4201 13th St. SW
Massillon, OH 44646
Phone: (330) 477-8121

Plain Local School District

Career Tech information available at plainlocal.org//career-tech-overview
901 44th St. NW
Canton, OH 44709
Phone: (330) 492-3500

Sandy Valley Local School District

Career tech classes are offered.
5362 State Rte. 183 NE
Magnolia, OH 44643
Phone: (330) 866-3339

Tuslaw Local School District

1835 Manchester Ave. NW
Massillon, OH 44647
Phone: (330) 837-7813
Local libraries

Visit your local library to access a wealth of information and resources on self-advocacy and community activism.

DeHoff Memorial Branch

216 Hartford Ave. SE
Canton, OH 44707
Phone: (330) 452-9014
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm

East Canton Branch

224 N Wood St.
East Canton, OH 44730
Phone: (330) 488-1501
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Jackson Township Branch

7186 Fulton Dr NW
Canton, OH 44718
Phone: (330) 833-1010
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1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Lake Community Branch

565 Market Ave. SW
Uniontown, OH 44685
Phone: (330) 877-9975
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Louisville Public Library

700 Lincoln Ave
Louisville, OH 44641
Phone: (330) 875-1696
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Madge Youtz Branch

2921 Mahoning Rd. NE
Canton, OH 44705
Phone: (330) 452-2618
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Massillon Public Library

208 Lincoln Way East
Massillon, OH 44646
Phone: (330) 832-9831
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1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Minerva Public Library

677 Lynnwood Drive
Minerva, OH 44657-1250
Phone: (330) 868-4101

North Branch

189 25th St. NW
Canton, OH 44709
Phone: (330) 456-4356
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm

North Canton Public Library

185 North Main Street
North Canton, OH 44720
Phone: (330) 499-4712
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1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Perry Sippo Branch

5710 12th St. NW
Canton, OH 44708
Phone: (330) 477-8482
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1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Plain Community Branch

1803 Schneider St. NE
Canton, OH 44721
Phone: (330) 494-3399
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7:30 am - 8:00 pm
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7:30 am - 8:00 pm
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7:30 am - 8:00 pm
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7:30 am - 8:00 pm
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7:30 am - 6:00 pm
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Rodman Public Library

215 East Broadway Street
Alliance, OH 44601
Phone: (330) 821-2665
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9:00 am - 8:30 pm
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9:00 am - 8:30 pm
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9:00 am - 8:30 pm
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9:00 am - 5:30 pm
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9:00 am - 5:30 pm
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9:00 am - 5:30 pm

Sandy Valley Branch

9754 Cleveland Avenue SE
Magnolia, OH 44643
Phone: (330) 866-3366
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Jackson Township Branch Library

7487 Fulton Rd. N.W.
Massillon, OH 44646
Phone: (330) 833-1010

Stark County District Library (Main Branch)

Start Smart programming and events for children from infants to pre-teens. For information about Technology Training Services, contact [email protected].
715 Market Ave. N
Canton, OH 44702
Phone: (330) 452-0665
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1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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9:00 am - 8:00 pm
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Contact Congress

Ohio legislators

Reach out to your local legislators about issues you’re passionate about. This is the best way to influence public policy on a larger scale.

Helpful links

Active Minds

Supporting students across the nation through education, information, advocacy and leadership opportunities.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

An online community dedicated to suicide prevention through education, research, advocacy and support.

A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Getting Through to Your Elected Officials

Compiled by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, this guide provides comprehensive information on how to communicate effectively with elected officials.

Autism Speaks

Self-advocacy resources and guides for young people who have been diagnosed with Autism.

Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition

Advocating for education and awareness to help influence public policies and strengthen Ohio communities.

NAMI Smarts for Advocacy

Helping individuals, families and friends affected by mental illness to transform their experiences into grassroots advocacy campaigns.

Ohio Self-Determination Association

Hub of self-advocacy resources for people with disabilities.

People First of Ohio

Provides self-advocacy assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Self-Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC)

Resources about self-advocacy and support for self-advocacy groups.

Stark County District Library

Online collection of books and resources about self-advocacy.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

A database with topics and issues affecting youth and young adults.