People with disabilities often need support in pursuit of their civil rights and personal needs. Individuals can receive assistance with advocacy (both personal and systems change) from their Case manager and life skills trainer.
Advocacy: Ability First provides two kinds of advocacy: (1) consumer advocacy, which involves center staff working with persons with disabilities to obtain necessary support services from other agencies in the community and (2) community advocacy, which involves center staff, board members, and volunteers initiating activities to make changes in the community that make it easier for all persons with disabilities to live independently in their communities.
Systems Change Advocacy strives to change policies to make government, transportation, and housing systems more accessible to people with disabilities. Systems Change advocacy involves removing barriers and increasing access to the community for all people including people with disabilities. Methods used to effect change is to work in partnerships with other individuals and organizations that have the same concerns and goals.
Speaking up for yourself or someone else
Let disability stereotypes work for you!
People with disabilities, if you see
1 person – that person needs help
2 people – it’s a race
3 people – it’s a party
4 people – it’s a protest
5 people – it’s a national movement
15 people – it’s a revolution!
Source: IL NET: NCIL/ILRU National Training & Technical Assistance Project – “Building A Strong Foundation in a Rapidly Changing Environment”
Asking for what you want
Talking to someone who has the power to make a change
Sending a letter
Asking to talk to the supervisor or person in charge
Taking an action
Make a call
Send an email
Send a letter – always sign it!
Write a letter to the editor
Write a newsletter article on an issue to inform & mobilize
Talk to the media (news reporter, radio announcer, etc.)
Talking to a policy-maker
City Council-person, Mayor, State Legislator, U.S. Congressman
Testifying at public hearings & meetings
Join a policy-making body:
A Governmental Council or Commission
An Organizational Board of Directors
Using your Civil Rights
Filing an appeal or grievance when you don’t agree with a service provider’s decision
Filing an ADA complaint with the Utah Attorney General or U.S. Department of Justice
Learn your rights and responsibilities
Get involved with your favored political party at the local level
Volunteering on a political campaign gets you their ear if they win!
Starting or signing a petition
Joining or organizing a rally, press conference or demonstration
Register to vote… and vote!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the word; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.”
- Margaret Mead
Individual Advocacy is a tool used to navigate the intricacies of systems such as Social Security in order to meet our consumers’ individual needs
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