The legal definition of Advocacy is the act of pleading for or arguing in favor of a social issue or actively supporting a cause or proposal calling for social and governmental action. It can also refer to the work or profession of an advocate(s) who represents a person or group. For lawyers, advocacy means representing the interests of the client in the best manner possible.
Community advocates are activists/advocates for social issues who organize others and sometimes raise funds to effectively lobby for causes that affect all members of society or smaller constituencies such as members of the disability community. Community advocates typically volunteer or work for lobbyist groups, think tanks, human rights, organizations representing special groups, animal rights, and environmental organizations, etc. Advocacy includes traditional activities such as civic demonstrations, litigations, government lobbying, and public education. It can also include capacity building, relationship building, forming networks, and leadership development. In general, advocacy refers to activities that are intended to influence society and specific legislation as in the implementation of the ADA.
Part I :
To Do: Watch Videos and post your discussion comments.
a) Read and watch the suggested video and post your discussion comments. — From the following organizations’ website links you will learn about different examples of very important advocacy activities that have or are taking place in the country today.
b) Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF). Doing Disability Justice. Video by Atlantic Documentary: The Disabled Fight for Health Care —Could Health-Care Cuts Cost Disabled Americans Their Freedom:
c) Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) — Advancing equal rights for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. Video by DRA Three different cases related to ADA accessibility and social inclusion. Examples are: the NY Subway System and Uber, Inc. car services and technologies: http://dralegal.org/
2. Chose one case of advocacy activity from any of these above organizations and answer the following two questions:
a) What would you do as an advocate, to support the cause of any of these groups and obtain the results that are needed by the disability community?
b) Can you identify a disability and an older adult’s issue that people should advocate for social justice? Which important social issues these two groups have in common that could be at risk for their quality of life. Please explain.
c) What type of effective advocacy skills or techniques would you use to obtain positive results for the constituency’s cause?
d) From the additional learning resources, Advocacy Charter — which two principles you consider of most importance for effective advocacy. Please explain.