What Do Advocates Do?
Our mission is to invite and involve a wide range of local people into a wide range of responsible personal relationships with people whose lives are diminished because of prejudice toward disability. There are many ways that a citizen advocate can be involved. Some examples are:
- Spokesperson – vigorously representing a person’s best interests and to help them acquire necessary services and support.
- Friend – to begin an ongoing, lifelong relationship that may develop into a true friendship over time.
- Ally – to stand with a person during good times and bad times.
- Monitor – to evaluate and hold human service organizations accountable for their actions.
- Mentor – to offer guidance, affirmation, and direction through your presence, personal example, and advice.
- Opportunity Maker – to arrange for a person to take advantage of new or better opportunities in our community in work, education, civic involvement, neighborhood involvement, or leisure.
- Red Tape Cutter – to help cut through policies and procedures that can sometimes overwhelm.
- Representative Payee– to assume responsibility for a person’s finances and to help the person with planning a monthly budget and saving for the future.
- Adoptive Parent – to provide a forever family.
- Legal Guardian – to assume court-sanctioned responsibility for a person’s major personal or financial decisions.
- Crisis Advocate – to respond and be present to a protege immediately on a short-term basis until a long-term advocate can be recruited, oriented, and matched.
- Advocate Associate – to offer your skills, talents, expertise, and influence to a citizen advocate who is advocating for his or her protege. Advocate associates are needed in networking, political savvy, law, journalism, financial planning, housing, employment, medical, and education.