Education Advocacy – Parent Advocacy

Parents are the best advocates for their children. No one knows your child better than you. Suppose you have a child with a disability or special health care needs. In that case, you have to do some extra learning about the specific laws, regulations, supports, and services available for your family. You don’t have to be a genius to learn these things. We are here to help you. 

Check out our training calendar for opportunities to learn how to advocate for your child in the educational system.  Need one on one assistance, call one of our information and training specialists at (504) 888-9111 or toll-free at (800) 766-7736.

Self-Advocacy – For individuals with a disability/Special Health Care Needs

Self-Advocacy is learning how to speak up for yourself, making your own decisions about your own life, learning how to get information so that you can understand things that are of interest to you, finding out who will support you in your journey, knowing your rights and responsibilities, problem-solving, listening and learning, reaching out to others when you need help and friendship, and learning about self-determination.

Advocacy – System Change

When a community of people works together to change policies, rules, or laws which determine how services are provided to and for individuals with disabilities and special health care needs, it is called systems advocacy.

Resources for System Change Advocacy

Partners in Policymaking
Partners in Policymaking is a national leadership training program for people with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities. It provides the most current knowledge about disability issues and develops the competencies necessary for effective advocacy to influence public policy at all levels of government. 

Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council – Louisiana Council’s Advocacy Network  (LaCAN)
LaCAN furthers the Council’s mission by advocating for policies and systems that support inclusion everywhere people learn, work, live, and play. LaCAN advocates for service systems that support children and adults with disabilities to live in their own homes and be fully included and participating members of their local schools and communities.
LaCAN provides information and support to individuals wishing to effectively advocate for systems change in the areas of home and community-based services, education, and employment. Regional LaCAN teams include individuals with disabilities, their family members, and professionals. These members are notified by email or phone when communication with state agency officials, legislators or the Governor is necessary.

How to Call Your Elected Officials Fact Sheet
A plain language fact sheet on how to call your elected officials with sample scripts.
Source:  Autistic Self Advocacy Network

In-Person Meetings with Elected Officials Fact Sheet
A plain language fact sheet on how to prepare and conduct yourself at an in-person meeting with elected officials.
Source:  Autistic Self Advocacy Network 

Sending Elected Officials Emails, Letters, and Faxes Fact Sheet
A plain language fact sheet on how to send written letters to your elected officials including some sample letters.
Source:  Autistic Self Advocacy Network 

They Work For Us:  A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Getting Through to Your Elected Officials
This plain language guide focus on the basics of civic engagement. Civic engagement means actively participating in our democracy. In a democracy, regular people choose, or elect, who gets to be in government. The people we elect should listen to our concerns and advocate for us in the government. But when they don’t do that, we have the right to make our voices heard. Learn how to make your voice heard.
Source:  Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Updated on 4/12/2023