At RIL, we have two approaches to advocacy: Individual (or personal) advocacy and systemic advocacy (often referred to as “systems change”). Through this two-track approach, we empower our consumers and the disability community to overcome barriers to access and services. We believe that persons with disabilities should have full access to a fulfilling independent life, and we use our advocacy programs to achieve this end.
The core service of individual advocacy touches almost every aspect of our work. With support, individuals can often overcome barriers to programs and services. Our staff are skilled in supporting consumers by aiding in communication, researching rules and regulations, and if needed, providing referrals to appropriate legal services. We believe in the power of collaboration, and all of our advocacy is informed by the specific needs of the consumer.
Systemic Advocacy — Systems Change
Quite often, persons with disabilities are at a significant disadvantage in policy and resource allocation decisions. We acknowledge that there are existing barriers within the community and we support the right of our consumers to organize for change.
“Systems change” is the way that the disability community makes decisions about policies, programs and the allocations of its resources — and, ultimately, in the way services are delivered to persons with disabilities. To achieve this end, RIL provides a space for our local disability community to build collaborative bridges with local decision-makers, community members and other stakeholders.