Advocacy for People with Disabilities
Advocacy means speaking up for what you want or need.
For people with disabilities, the ability to advocate for oneself is essential. For many people, group advocacy is also an effective way to make changes in systems, policies and procedures that affect their daily lives.
The RTC/IL provides a variety of resources related to advocacy for people with disabilities.
These publications offer guidance for writing advocacy letters and conducting campaigns.
National and local advocacy organizations are listed.
Our research centers include individual projects that involve advocacy directly or indirectly:
- Fair Housing Compliance Assessment and Advocacy
- Community Engagement Initiative Knowledge Transfer Project- for access to recreation
- Building Capacity for Full Community Participation
- Community Engagement Evaluation Project- for access to healthcare
- The Community Health Environment Checklist- Google maps for accessibility of local businesses
- HCBS Waiver: Economic Utility and Related Health Outcomes
- CIL Services Effect on Community Participation
- In addition, the Research and Training Center on Community Living will provide these trainings, many of which involve advocacy
The RTC/IL’s Action Letter Portfolio explains the importance of advocacy this way:
"People with disabilities face a variety of disability concerns that must be addressed to allow greater personal dignity, choice, and independence. The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA) have given people with disabilities valuable tools to make needed changes. But, in order for the ADA and other such laws to be effective tools for change, people with disabilities must bring their concerns to the attention of those who can effect change.
"While many of these concerns can be addressed by advocacy groups at the local, state, and national levels, individuals with disabilities can also make their voices heard to effect significant changes in their own neighborhoods and communities. In order to bring about change more quickly and efficiently, consumers with disabilities should develop and improve their personal advocacy skills."