The concept that disability is a normal part of life forms part of the basis for the Independent Living Movement. Most people will develop limitations over time due to problems seeing, hearing, moving or other bodily functions.

That is why we consider advocacy an essential part of Independent Living. We must constantly work to assure that our environment is adapted so that we may function as independently as possible.

Every Independent Living Center provides both individual and “systems” advocacy. The difference is that individual advocacy addresses one person’s problem while systems advocacy recognizes that many people might have similar problems. When that happens, systems advocacy tries to fix the system to solve many of those problems.

Advocacy for people with disabilities tends to address the most important areas of life:
• Housing – where can we live?
• Transportation – how can we get to the places we need to go?
• Employment – how can we get the financial support we need to live?
• Services and Supports – how can we get living functions done if we can not do them ourselves?
• Involvement – how can we be active members of our communities?

Click here to find out more about your elected officials.

Grassroots Network

Wisconsin’s Independent Living Centers also support networks of consumers and others who want to make the world a better place for people with disabilities. These “Grassroots Networks” decide what issues are most important for their communities. Members learn how to address them. Then network members do the work to solve problems. Find out more by clicking Grassroots Advocacy.

The Independent Living Council of Wisconsin uses these surveys to develop a State Plan for Independent Living. The Coalition of IL Centers and individual independent living centers use it to develop their advocacy agendas.

Revised Feb. 2017