2What is Advocacy?Advocacy is arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy.Advocacy occurs when an individual engages in dialogue about an issue they care about. It can occur in many forms - - speaking out, letter writing, protesting, voting, and even wearing a t-shirt that makes a statement.
33 Major Types of Advocacy IndividualSystemsGrassroots
4Advocacy DefinedIndividual: Teaching individuals how to communicate to obtain necessary support services from the community, as well as providing advocacy services.Systems: Directly advocating for changes in the local, state, and federal systems that impact people with disabilities.Grassroots: Groups made up of every day citizens who want to take action to solve issues facing their community.
5Individual Advocacy Help people learn how to speak for themselves Build skills and self-esteem to enable individuals to ask for what they needDevelop skills so persons with disabilities can impact local, state, and national disability policies
6Examples of Individual Advocacy Work with a consumer on a plan to become their own payeeHelp an individual who feels they no longer need a guardianWork with a parent to help regain custody of their children who were put in the foster care system during a time of mental health crisis
7Discussion What types of individual advocacy have you done? What are some of the barriers to successful advocacy at the individual level?What would you like to learn about individual advocacy?How can an ILC improve the quantity and quality of individual advocacy?
8Systems AdvocacyILC’s work in collaboration with other service organizations, people with disabilities (PWD), and the community to influence change at the local, state, and federal levels.ILC’s recognize the importance of PWD playing a role in policy making. ILC’s work hard to get PWD involved and to get them to vote.ILC’s have well developed relationships with federal and state legislators and local governmental representatives.
9Examples of Systems Advocacy Lack of dental care for persons on MALack of housing and resources for persons who are homelessGuarantee consumer involvement in long-term care redesignMental Health Parity
10Discussion What types of systems advocacy have you done? What are some of the barriers you have experienced with systems advocacy?How can our centers be more involved with systems advocacy?
11Grassroots AdvocacyWork with local community members to identify local issues most important to its members and communities.Address issues in a number of ways, including educating the public and policy makers, building community partnerships, and drawing media support for issues facing the community.Educate and empower local citizens on important policy matters.
12Examples of Grassroots Advocacy A local group getting their city to install curb cuts.Attending rallies and events that support policy changes that assist people with disabilities.Collaborating with individuals in power to address issues in direct ways.
13DiscussionWhat types of grassroots advocacy have you done or seen done at your center?What are some of the potential barriers to successful grassroots advocacy?How can IL staff educate and encourage consumers to get involved with grassroots activities and groups?
14How to Pitch Advocacy to Consumers Identify possible areas of interest that consumer might feel strongly enough about to take a stand.Carry LOTS of brochures outlining the advocacy opportunities at your ILC and how they can get involved.
15Signs of Successful Advocacy Group has created clear, measurable goals.Participation by a variety of different members of the community – people with and without disabilities.Extensive knowledge of whom you are trying to reach and what moves them.Compelling messages that connect with your target audience.Additional signs of successful advocacy?
16Signs of Faltering Advocacy Lack of agreement on goals and issues that need attention.Insufficient interest regarding specific issues that are trying to be worked on.Lack of participation and follow through.Poor communication.Other signs of faltering advocacy?
17Barriers to AdvocacyWhat are some of the real and perceived barriers to creating and sustaining strong advocacy?
18Fee-For-Service as a Barrier to Advocacy When doing fee-for-service work for another agency it can be easy to forget that our responsibility is to advocate for the consumer.If a consumer is having difficulty with an agency or accessing a service they need, it is our job to advocate for them, and help them learn how to advocate for themselves!Examples of this barrier in your experience?
19Sharing Consumer Stories You don’t need to be an expert to be an advocate, you just need to tell your story or the story of someone you have worked with, effectivelyReal stories change hearts and minds—use yours to illustrate the need for services for people with disabilitiesYour story is always rightYour lived experience has value and meaningYou don’t have to have all the answers—just a clear “ask”
20Tips for Telling A Powerful Story Legislators are not therapists…Keep your story brief(aim for a minute or two—or even less)Illustrate a pointMake a clear “ask”Remember that positive concepts like hope and recovery are powerful motivators
21Practice Telling A Consumer Story! Partner up with someone and take a few minutes to tell each other a powerful story you know about a consumer you have worked with.Try to think of a story that would motivate a legislator to take action.Remember to keep it concise and to the point!
22ResourcesNational Alliance on Mental Illness (Nami),Telling Your Story;