Advocacy for Your Community
What is Advocacy?
At The Independence Center, we attempt to empower consumers to be their own advocates and foster independence in achieving their goals. We recognize that the best way for change to occur is when an individual has self-directed that change, so we offer support to consumers with addressing whatever barriers they face in living the life of their choice. Sometimes, an advocate is necessary to support a person with finding the information, people, and tools that are necessary to overcome a problem. The consumer can then move forward with planning and action on how to address their need.
When self/individual advocacy can’t eliminate barriers, the next step is changing the power dynamics at a larger level through Community Organizing.
Community Organizing is the process of bringing people together to build relationships, identify problems, and develop the capacity—the power—to change the decisions and processes of institutions that contribute to those problems. Organizing leads to action that is planned and carried out through campaigns: periods of intense and focused effort, with a beginning and an end, designed to lead to a specific goal that makes a positive, incremental impact on a problem.” (Advocacy and Community Organizing) Organizing depends on “people power” – larger groups of people who have a collective mission and will to change a negative circumstance that affects them all.
For more information, visit our Community Organizing page or contact The IC’s Advocacy Manager at 719-471-8181.
Impacting Change at the State Level With Issue Briefs
Beyond organizing as a group to create positive change for people with disabilities, The IC also works with lobbyists and state officials to address problems that can be solved through systems change and/or public policy. One way of doing this is to distribute Issue Briefs that inform leaders about issues and to start a conversation for change.
To learn about the issues The IC is working on at the state level, click here for our Issue Briefs page.
Emergency Preparedness Program
The Independence Center’s Emergency Management program has outreach and partnerships with various government and community based organizations to provide programmatic access for people with disabilities during emergencies.
To learn about our current efforts and resources for emergency preparedness, click here.
To schedule disability related training, click on the button below, tell us which training courses you’re interested in, and complete the form. Once we receive your submission, one of our Community Organizing team will contact you to schedule your free group training.
Words carry power. When we write or speak about Disability Community, we create images of people that stick. These images may evoke truth, empathy and empowerment about people with disabilities. On the other hand, these images may lead to misconceptions and limiting beliefs. For better or worse, the language we use underlies our social norms that drive our communities that can, in turn, motivate our actions toward disabled individuals.
To learn more about Disability Language, click on the image below to download our Disability Language Guide.