Advocacy

Advocacy is problem solving.  It is a tool used within social and political systems to bring change. 

Change for the better rarely happens without advocacy.  People with disabilities have seen major changes in laws, service systems and public attitude in recent years, because of advocacy efforts.  

Advocacy may be something small and simple, like a letter, a public speech, or a request for a meeting.  Advocacy may be broad and sweeping, like Supreme Court litigation, or an international media splash.

DRW's advocacy is designed to advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities.  Our focus is on systems change and building capacity for individual and group advocacy.  

DRW developed the nine advocacy areas, listed to the left, under counsel of people with disabilities. These guide the work we do to advance the disability rights movement.

The word "accessibility" generally brings to mind ramps, as an accommodation for people who use wheelchairs.  However, accessibility is far more than structural modifications to a building. 
Accessible parking space in front of a red-brick building.
Photo Caption:
Accessible parking space in front of a red-brick building.
Whether one has dementia, brain injury, or a psychiatric, intellectual or physical disability, community-based living is possible for people with even the most significantly-involved disabilities.
Youth at independent living rally holds sign that reads, "We want to live in our own homes."
Photo Caption:
Youth at independent living rally holds sign that reads, "We want to live in our own homes."
Education for students with disabilities is relatively new, compared to other civil rights.  Only within the last 40 years has the right for students with disabilities to attend public school been
Blank paper fills a composition notebook.
Photo Caption:
Blank paper fills a composition notebook.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness: these are the basic rights belonging to every human being according to our nation's Declaration of Independence.  As civil rights movements come to fruit
A penny slips into a copper piggy bank.
Photo Caption:
A penny slips into a copper piggy bank.
Among the most fundamental of human rights is the right to be free from abuse or neglect.  The protection and advocacy network, of which DRW is a part, was created by a federal law enacted on the h
Woman using wheelchair takes a moment to rest along long ramp in empty hallway.
Photo Caption:
Woman using wheelchair rests on long ramp in empty hallway.
The health care landscape is rapidly evolving, with rising medical costs, limits to health care or insurance access, and changing law.  For those who receive public assistance, this pool of service
Woman in grassy field does yoga.
Photo Caption:
Woman doing yoga in grassy field.
According to the US Constitution, every citizen must be afforded due process of law.  This means no one can be denied legal rights and all laws must have standard protections.  This is more than be
Lady Justice holds scales of justice against clear, blue sky.
Photo Caption:
Lady Justice holds scales of justice against clear, blue sky.
Everything from appropriate psychiatric discharge planning, to personal care, to supported employment, to community-based dentistry options:  quality supports are the cornerstone of the Independent
Under water, ripples of sunlight waft across the floor of a lake.
Photo Caption:
Viewed from under water, ripples of sunlight move across the floor of a lake.
Self-determination, put simply, is figuring out what one wants and going for it.  It seems easy, but for many with disabilities, this fundamental human right is difficult to secure.
Man using a wheelchair dribbles basketball across court.
Photo Caption:
Man using a wheelchair dribbles basketball across court.