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IBudget Waiver Waiting List Advocate Training. Today You Will Learn Why advocacy is important. What you need to know to be an advocate. How to advocate.

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Presentation on theme: "IBudget Waiver Waiting List Advocate Training. Today You Will Learn Why advocacy is important. What you need to know to be an advocate. How to advocate."— Presentation transcript:

1 iBudget Waiver Waiting List Advocate Training

2 Today You Will Learn Why advocacy is important. What you need to know to be an advocate. How to advocate for the iBudget Waiver Waiting List. How to share your personal experiences to help legislators make better decisions. How to have a good visit with your legislator. 2

3 Who are advocates? An advocate is anyone who speaks or acts to protect: –Their own rights. –The rights of other people. –The rights of a large group of people. 3

4 Issue Advocates Stand up for the rights of a large group of people. Tell the public, members of the media and legislators about their issue. Help legislators make better decisions about how and where to spend money. 4

5 Why do we need issue advocates? Legislators are not experts on all issues. Legislators face difficult choices. Decisions about you should not be made without you. 5

6 What Advocates Need to Know Personal strengths and weaknesses. Information about the issue. How to help legislators make better decisions. How to share personal experiences. What to do during personal visits with legislators. 6


8 Think About Yourself What do you do well? What do you need help with? What is important to you? What do you enjoy? 8


10 What is the iBudget Waiver? The iBudget Waiver is how Florida pays for community-based services for people with developmental disabilities (DD). 10

11 What is the Waiting List? More than 20,000 people with DD are waiting for services. Many of them have been waiting for more than 5 years.

12 What needs to be done? A lot is being done to help people on the waiting list, but many needs cannot be met without more money. While families look for other, local sources of help, the only real answer is more money to serve those on the waiting list. 12

13 What happens if we do nothing? People with DD will continue to go without many critical services. Without services, people with DD will lose some of the abilities they have now. More people with DD may be institutionalized, which is more costly than providing home and community-based services. Delete this slide? 13

14 Families Need Help Most Floridians with DD live at home with their families. Families of those on the waitlist struggle with heavy financial, physical and emotional burdens. 14

15 The Cost of Caring Many families spend more than half of every dollar they earn to care for the needs of family members with DD.

16 Waitlist Example 1 “Michael” is a 22-year-old man with developmental disabilities who has just completed high school. He wants to get a job and move out of his parents’ home. The iBudget Waiver would give him a supported employment coach and a supported living coach to help him learn the skills he needs to live on his own. 16

17 Waitlist Example 2 “Lisa” is a 48-year-old woman with an intellectual disability. Her 88-year-old aunt has been caring for her needs for the past 10 years. Lisa can complete her activities of daily living and personal care, but requires some supervision. Her aunt’s deteriorating health now prevents her from providing enough supervision. Temporary help is being provided by family and friends, but long-term help is needed. Through the Waiver, Lisa could receive companion services that would enable her to remain with her aunt. 17

18 Identify Your Feelings How do you feel about this issue? angryinformedworriedhappy rejectedsadsurprised

19 Discussion Why does this matter to you? How does this make you feel? 19


21 Understand the Process Concerned Citizen Legislator Sponsors Bill Committee Review Legislators Vote to Pass Bill 21

22 Register and Vote! Voting is a right and a responsibility. Your vote helps decide who represents you in local, state and federal government. 22

23 Talk to People Local organizations and advocacy groups. Legislators: –Find your Representative at: ives/myrepresentative.aspx ives/myrepresentative.aspx –Find your Senator at: 23

24 How to Reach Your Legislator Legislators have local offices and offices in Tallahassee. Contact your legislator’s office. Make an appointment to visit their office. Ask to speak to them on the phone. Send them a letter or . 24

25 Tell Them What You Know People remember best what they hear first and last, so: – Tell them your main point first. – Explain why this point is so important. – Tell them your main point again at the end. 25

26 Summary You can help your legislators decide how money will be spent. Call, write, or visit your legislators at their local offices. Tell them why more money for the iBudget Waiver Waiting List is important to you. 26


28 Sharing Personal Experiences Sharing your personal experiences can: Make it easier for people to understand your issue. Change public opinion by showing how public policies affect real people. Cause legislators to set aside more money to address your issue. 28

29 Your Personal Story is Powerful It’s Personal  Tell your personal story in your own words. It’s Passionate  Explain how you felt during your experiences. It’s Purposeful  Think about your audience and what you want them to do after hearing your personal story. 29

30 Think About Your Purpose Do you want the audience to think about your issue in a different way? –What do you want them to understand? Do you want the audience to take action? –What do you want them to do? 30

31 Think about Your Experiences What experiences can you share that will help them understand your issue? What details can you share to help the audience see the issue from your point of view? What examples will help them understand why they should take the action you want them to take? 31

32 Where to Start Introduce yourself. –Hi, my name is ___________ and I am a _______ from ___________. Introduce your issue. –I am here to talk to you about setting aside more money to help people on the iBudget Wavier Waiting List. 32

33 What to Add Introduce your issue. –“I’m here to talk to you about the iBudget Waiver Waiting List.” Give an example of how this problem affects you or someone you care about. Talk about how this problem makes you feel.

34 How to End Repeat the main issue or problem. –There just isn't enough money set aside to meet the critical needs of people in Florida with DD. Explain what you want them to do about the problem. –We need the legislature to set aside more money to serve people on the waiting list. Ask them if they will do what you want. – Can we count on your support?

35 Summary Your story should answer these four questions: 1.What is the problem? 2.Why does it matter to me? 3.How does it make me feel? 4.What do I want done about it? 35


37 Ways to Advocate Personal visits. Phone calls. Letters. s. Videos. Public speaking. 37

38 Be Polite Make an appointment. Arrive on time. Be brief (15 minutes or less). Limit your group to five people or less. 38

39 Be Patient Legislators sometimes arrive late. Your meeting may be interrupted. Be flexible and continue your meeting with a member's staff.

40 Stay Focused Don’t waste any time. Introduce yourself and your issue. Listen carefully to each question Take your time answering. 40

41 Phrases That May Help “What I am really here to talk to you about is…” “I don’t know how to answer that question, but what I can tell you is..” “The most important point is…” 41

42 Tips for Talking About Your Issue Use everyday words. Avoid abbreviations. Always be honest. Never talk about politics. 42

43 Before you Leave Ask, “Do we have your support for this issue?” –If yes, then thank them for their support. –If not, still thank them for their time. Ask, “Is there any additional information I can provide?” 43

44 Take and Leave Take a photo with the legislator. Leave behind handouts.


46 Advocacy Example: Jane Jane stopped by her legislator’s office. She introduced herself. She talked about all of the problems she and her family have faced. 46

47 Advocacy Example: Legislator The legislator smiled and asked Jane about her hometown. The legislator posed for a picture with Jane and thanked her for stopping by. 47

48 What did Jane do right? She was registered to vote. She knew her legislator. She took the time to go and meet her legislator. She shared some of her personal experiences. 48

49 What could Jane have done better? Made an appointment. Introduced her issue. Shared experiences related to the issue. Avoided abbreviations like OT/PT. Used phrases to keep the conversation focused. Explained what she wanted the legislator to do. Asked for the legislator’s support. 49

50 What can Jane do now? Write a follow-up letter thanking the legislator for meeting with her. Include information about people on the waiting list. Enclose a copy of the picture taken during her visit. 50

51 What else can Jane do? Schedule a follow-up appointment at the legislator’s local office. Make appointments with her other legislators. Meet with or call legislator’s aides to educate them on the issue. 51

52 Why Advocates Work Together TEAMwork- Together Everyone Achieves More! No one can do everything; but everyone can do something. Focus on what you CAN do. 52

53 Don’t Give Up! Change is a process, not an event. It will not happen overnight, it takes time. 53

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