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.
RTC/IL Advocacy Publications offer guidance for writing advocacy letters and conducting campaigns.
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 Advocacy Training Package (PDF) explains the importance of advocacy this way:
"Being an effective advocate is especially important for people with disabilities, since we often face a variety of disability-related concerns to achieve greater personal dignity, choice, and independence. The passage of legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 have granted people with disabilities new rights and protections. However, many attitudinal, economic, social and physical/environmental barriers continue to threaten their full participation to society."