Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland, as a Center for Independent Living, provides advocacy services and support to persons with disabilities and their families. Our goal is helping them live and work in a barrier-free community. We work to change the politics, laws, and attitudes of the community by providing training, information, referrals and intervention for individuals experiencing discrimination or other difficulties in securing services. We also educate consumers and the community about their rights under the ADA.
Our Independent Living Advocates work with persons with disabilities teaching them about their rights, and how to effectively advocate for themselves. We educate the community about disability rights and the importance of inclusion for persons with disabilities – in all aspects of society.
DRC Advocates provide assistance with both systems and individual advocacy. We encourage people to contact their legislators and other elected officials in an effort to advocates for issues related to disability rights and other important aspects of life. Accessibility to and within public buildings, the right to bring a service animal into a place of business, employment discrimination or lack of reasonable accommodation are issues addressed by our advocates.
Self-advocacy is defined, “as the action of representing yourself or your views or your interests.” We believe, it is most evident, when addressing the rights of persons with disabilities. Decisions, relating directly to your life, should be made with your best interests in mind.
Why Advocate? At DRC of Siouxland, we believe “with equal rights – come equal responsibility, or personal responsibility.” We encourage you to engage and participate, put in the effort to impact change and model for others. These are the foundational principals which help mold our country. Personal responsibility stirs us to take action over ourselves – The one person in which we have control. We encourage you to become part of the solution benefiting all.
In the United States, we are fortunate to be a part of a system allowing us to elect our legislative representatives on state and national levels. The voting process enables each of us to be a part of a system enacting policy change. but also to be a part of a system that allows us to bring about change to policies, rule or laws.
We are able to engage a network of persons with common goals and attitudes broader impact. This is Systems Advocacy.
Every year, hundreds of decisions are made by government officials impacting the lives of people with disabilities and their families. It is very important, as a person with a disability, in learning to advocate for legislation that increases independence and accessibility for the disability community.
First and foremost, exercise your right to vote!
In addition, contact your legislators and government officials directly. Believe it or not, they do real all emails and letters and take note of all phone calls. First, you’ll need to find the person that you wish to contact about an issue. Click here to find the elected official that best suits your purpose. For more information on specific advocacy issues, please Contact DRC.
If you are not registered to vote, a good place to start is by clicking here.