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Policy and Advocacy

Advocacy Highlighted in a DictionaryWe're committed to advocacy at all levels that supports the inclusion, productivity, and independence of all individuals with developmental disabilities. We know about issues impacting individuals with developmental disabilities in education, employment, health, and inclusive living. We talk directly with federal, state, and local representation to provide information and ensure critical issues, services, and supports are on the radar.


Advocacy is an important tool individuals and groups use to raise awareness about a cause, need or to protect or improve governmental policies that impact the quality of life. Advocacy promotes a sense of empowerment, self-expression, and independence.

There are three types of advocacy: self, group, and systems.

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  • Self-advocates speak on their own behalf about an important issue, policy, or service.
  • Self-advocacy groups defend the rights of select individuals.
  • Systems advocacy works to develop policy and inform policymakers at the local, state, or federal levels.

Parents, families, individuals with disabilities, researchers, and other professionals have played a role in protecting and advancing the rights of individuals with disabilities through advocacy. You can too!

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