Advocacy for Your Community

What is Advocacy?

Self-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.

If you need help with developing your self-advocacy skills, visit our Peer Support & Self-Advocacy page, or contact an Advocacy Specialist at 719-471-8181 or through our contact form.

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

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 Community Organizing 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 get involved with advocacy at any level, contact The IC at 719-471-8181 or through our contact form.

Check out the Advocacy Resources page our The IC’s Resource Guide for more information.