Advocacy Defined • “Speaking or acting for or on behalf of a person, an idea, a principle, a cause or a policy.” • Locke, Myers, Herr, 2001, p. 92 • “Advocacy is making a reasoned argument to obtain something from those in power.” • Austin, 200, p. 392 • “Speaking, writing, and/or acting on behalf of sincerely perceived interests of a disadvantaged person or group, without conflict of interest.” • Anderson & Heyne, 2012, p. 392
Advocacy Requires: • Passionate desire to see positive change • Rooted in what group/person wants to achieve • Not just your personal beliefs • Sound understanding of issue or idea • Clear and accurate information • Willingness to go public, to take a stand • May take courage • Anderson & Heyne, 2012
Action Model for Advocacy • Identification of the problem or needs • Conduct advocacy homework • Select advocacy target(s) • Who has the power to correct the problem? • Choosing tactics to employ • Lobbying legislators • Testifying at a hearing • Holding a news conference • Etc. • Austin, 2009
Client Advocacy • What is client advocacy? • What is self advocacy? • Why is it important to teach clients to be self advocates? • 5 point activity: Self advocacy websites • Show where to find • ID site • Write a summary of each site • Write how you might use this information with clients
Self Advocacy • Is when you speak up for yourself and work with others to make change happen. • Is a civil rights movement to empower people with disabilities to speak for themselves and stand up for their rights and needs. • Anderson & Heyne, 2012
How can we build self advocacy? • Knowledge of self • Know what want, know about own disability • Knowledge of rights • ADA, IDEA, steps to redress violations, knowledge of resources • Communication • How to communicate in meetings & groups, negotiation, persuasion, compromise, assertiveness • Leadership • Learning how to function in a group, performing duties as part of a team, political lobbying skills • Anderson & Heyne, 2012
How can we build self advocacy? • Invite PWD to serve on Board of Directors, advisory council, resident activity council • Provide leadership opportunities in programs • Involve participants in hiring & evaluating staff • Invite local self-advocacy groups to speak • Include modules on self advocacy in leisure education sessions • Help families learn how to support self advocacy • Anderson & Heyne, 2012
Professional Advancement • Why do we have to advocate for our profession? • How do we do this?
Professional Organizations • ATRA • Midyear meeting on the Hill • Medicare project/ACA insurance exchanges • Marketing tool kit • National Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy Month (Feb.) • NCTRC • Why Hire a CTRS • Why Become a CTRS • Profiles in Recreation Therapy • IPRA • Posters • DVDs
What we can do…. • Introduce yourself and say you are a CTRS • Wear your CTRS pin on your name badge • Put your CTRS certificate in a frame and hang it in your office • Host a TR month event at your facility • Send your boss a letter for TR month • Have a TR connected voice mail message • Write a news release about your program • Create a flyer, brochure or web page about your program/agency • Write an article in the agency newsletter • Make table tents • Have a rehearsed “elevator speech” • Avoid comparing yourself to OT, PT
What we can do…. • Speak at a local Lions or Rotary Club • Contact your PTA to present on career day • Have your mayor proclaim “National Therapeutic Recreation Month” • Organize a disability awareness event • Distribute handouts with leisure education activities to co-workers • Write letters to the editor • TR t-shirts, pins, balloons • Others…… Be Creative!!!!
What we can do…. • Keep bosses and high-level supervisors aware of what you are doing ---- share success stories • Network with other departments in your own agency • Know EBP and share results • Respond to professional advocacy efforts • Write letters to legislators • Call representatives • Speak up in meetings