Thursday, September 6, 2012

Indy Makes It Easy To Advocate

from DSAIA Digest September 2012: Advocacy Made Easier: 

Down Syndrome Indiana (DSI) is making the most of their 5,000 person attendance at their annual walk to help their supporters become effective advocates. Lisa Wells, DSI Executive Director, started the process by creating a postcard addressed to one of their U.S. senators with information about the A.B.L.E. Bill. "Public policy can be scary if you have never taken action before!," explained Wells. "I thought if the overall goal is to get a congressmen to sign on to a piece of legislation, how can we break that down into a series of baby steps that if taken could have a real impact?"

National Down Syndrome Society's (NDSS) Sara Weir, Vice-President of Advocacy & Affiliate Relations, worked with DSI on the language for the postcards which will be available at the walk for attendees to sign and enter their contact information. "This postcard campaign is a great way for members of Congress to hear from the Down Syndrome community about the importance of passing the ABLE Act!", said Weir. "The ABLE Act remains the highest federal legislative priority for NDSS, so it's important that members of Congress hear from the Down syndrome community about the importance of supporting this legislation. This is a simple way to have your walk participants get involved."

DSI has also included articles in their e-newsletter and on the website, as well as on social media outlets. Wells reported that some volunteers are requesting the postcards in bulk to distribute at their schools, workplaces, and to their family and friends. The group will also have postcards at other upcoming events in which the organization participates. Wells reiterates Weir's sentiments that "it is an easy way for people to take action and make a positive difference." 

Groups who would like to utilize the template can download it here. For more information about the ABLE Act and the postcard campaign, click here.

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