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Advocates in Action
Advocates in Action is Rhode Island's Statewide Self-Advocacy organization. Our Board of Directors is composed of 21 individuals who have developmental disabilities. These board members represent local Self-Advocacy groups located across RI. Together we work to help people learn to speak up about the issues that are important to them, and to others who have a developmental disability. We help people understand information more clearly, learn about rights, participate in the community and share their unique gifts. We also work to raise public awareness about disabilities. We host Rhode Island's annual statewide Self-Advocacy conference. We have been hosting this since 1996 and the number of attendees has increased over the years. CLICK HERE to find out about the 2011 conference, BELIEVE. In 2000 we co-hosted the National Self-Advocacy conference for Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) with our partner organzation, PAL. More than 1,200 people attended RIde the Wave 2000! We also host the annual Statewide Self-Advocacy. This is a Town Hall style meeting that takes place each Spring. The number of attendees has grown over the years. Approximately 385 people attend the annual event. We coordinate a year-long Leadership Series training for individuals who have a developmental disability, families and support staff. Class members learn leadership skills, including public speaking and facilitation skills. They have the opportunity to put these new skills to use as the hosts for the annual Statewide Self-Advocacy meeting each year. We design and adapt materials in a variety of formats to help people understand issues related to Self-Advocacy. Information is POWER, but you need to be able to understand it if you're going to use it. Making material accessible helps empower people so they can be actively involved and speak up. We supporting local Self-Advocacy groups by sharing materials and event information, connecting groups, offering scholarships to the conference, providing speakers to share at a meeting and more. We help individuals to capture their stories and share them with others. There is a lot of POWER in a personal story! We share our "This is Us" disability awareness experience with schools, colleges, businesses, support agencies and others. We offer training and resource materials for others in print, multi-media and through our website. We work on a variety of different projects each year that are in line with our mission. We are currently working on the documentary film "Best Judgment: the Complex Legacy of the Joseph H. Ladd Center". "Best Judgment" tells the story of our states former institution for people with developmental disabilities, but the film is being developed by US! We are the people who live with a developmental disability and many of the people we're connected with lived at Ladd School. We have a lot to say! We are a member of the Rhode Island Alliance for Full Participation. We believe in working with others to help make FULL participation happen. Together, we're making a difference! We host several fun events each. In addition to having a good time together, these events also provide people the opportunity to connect and network.