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What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is the act of speaking on behalf of or in support of another person, a cause, an idea and/or policy. Self-advocacy is when an individual speaks on behalf of themselves in support of a cause, an idea and/or policy.

Why Advocacy Matters?

To ensure that people living with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability (IDD) have a life free from discrimination, filled with liberty—it is important that we educate policy makers and local, state, and federal legislators on the key issues that impact their daily lives. This allows them to make decisions needed to ensure that we all live a life of equality.

How to Advocate

  • Understand the key issues that impact our neighbors living with an IDD
  • Find out who your local, state, federal legislators are, their terms in office, and contact information
  • Write, email, and call your local, state, and federal legislators to share with them the key issues
  • Understand the legislative process and how and when to engage
  • Join a local advocacy group chapter (e.g., The Arc of Indiana, self-advocacy groups, etc.)

County Legislative Updates

Why does local advocacy matter? By being an advocate, you can help elected officials understand how proposed legislations and policies may impact individuals in our communities.

State Legislative Updates

State-level advocacy gives legislators and policy makers an opportunity to be more informed when making decisions that impact the lives of our neighbors living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Advocates have the power to build momentum at the state level; therefore potentially making waves in federal government.

Federal Legislative & Policy Updates

You don’t have to go to Washington, D.C. to make an impact at the federal level. You can advocate simply by writing letters to lawmakers and making connections in D.C.