Advocacy Campaign Essay
The purpose of this paper is to implement an advocacy campaign that will assist adults with disabilities with the necessary resources that will assist them in becoming productive citizens in the community. As children with disabilities, community- based support services are not available after he or she becomes an adult, consequently, there is no information provided to aid them with basic needs such as social empowerment, financial assistance, provision maintenance, and other agencies that will assist them and their families if needed. This paper will also discuss the goals, barriers, and support factors that will assist in this advocacy campaign, as well as the activities that will be implemented along with the necessary resources that are available for adults with disabilities. Introduction, Needs, and Goals A young child who is diagnosed with a disability, alter their familys lives forever. Dealing with the challenges from the disability, families had to rely upon strengths within themselves that they did not know existed. Community-based services for children with disabilities are available until the child reaches adulthood.
After the child becomes an adult and wants to pursue a career, they have to pay for it themselves through financial aid or school loans that have to be repaid back once graduation is completed. Some people with a disability cannot drive therefore, it is difficult for them to get out and socialize so they remain confined to their homes without a support system. Advocating for people with disabilities will help them receive community resources as needed that will assist them with their advocacy needs. Disabled people face many challenges in society. There is a great need for advocacy when it comes to assisting these individuals with crises that affects their daily living. The purpose of this advocacy campaign is to educate disabled people and their families about the resources that are available to assist them with their basic advocacy needs. Knight and Oliver (2007) stressed that there is a demand for advocacy for children and young people with disabilities that have difficulty with making important decisions that will affect their lives. The basic needs that hinders individuals with disabilities live a productive life in the community are (1) social empowerment (2) financial assistance for education, (3) provision maintenance, and (4) support systems.
Empowerment is described as a person who cannot completely accomplish their goal and become a part of society and, if they are not able to have a say, and take control over their situations regarding their life (Miller, Hinterlong, Greene, 2010). People cannot completely accomplish their goal to be a part of society if they are not able to have a say and take control over their situations regarding their life. Houten and Jacobs (2005) stressed that empowerment cannot take place unless there is active participation in their community and society. However, active involvement of disabled people has not been clear in reality, it is difficult if we take a quick look at the living circumstances and the capability of disabled people. According to Voorhis and Hostetter (2006), social empowerment among social service professionals placed attention on the perception of empowerment among social service professionals, and their responsibility for client empowerment through advocacy. Financial assistance for education to assist people with disabilities will help them further their education after undergraduate because financial aid is no longer available.
Boone and King-Berry (2009) asserts that people with disabilities and their relatives have a serious need for information related in particular to their disability status. For example, they also mentioned that a financial incentive program that offer cash or other benefits should be created to increase more income, additional services, and or else an economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities. Providing financial assistance through community support will decrease the anxiety of them not being able to complete educational goals because lack of funds, and also stop them from applying for student loans that is repayable once they receive their degree. Provision maintenance is an ongoing service for individual with disabilities to help aid in housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation on a regular basis when needed, not just when their impairment will not allow them to perform these daily functions, so they can continue to live independently. Provision maintenance will benefit them by providing them with a service that will complete those chores on the days they are not mobile because of pain.
According to Moone and Lightfoot (2009), people with disabilities desire to live independently in the community and a need for suitable services is needed that will support them with daily living. Support systems are essential to everyone, not just those with disabilities. However, individuals with disabilities depend on the aid of family, friends, and services within the community to assist them until they are totally dependent upon themselves. Support services for people with disabilities are vital to the achievement of students with disabilities (Tagayuna, Stodden, Chang, Zeleznik, Whelley, 2005). Professionals must also accept that they have a responsibility to work with and support the disabled persons family, because a person who places the family in danger, also places professionals in danger as well. Therefore, professionals must build relationships with families for personal growth and development by supporting people with disabilities. Van Haren and Fiedler (2008) convey that professionals must positive to make families not so dependent on their advice and services through a family empowerment plan.
The goal of this advocacy campaign is to support individuals with disabilities by connecting them to community based services that will aid them in their pursuit to become a well-rounded individual, to collaborate with United Cerebral Palsy in assisting with this campaign for resources for people with disabilities. As Luecking and Wittenburg (2009) reveals, a system linkage is needed to provide services for people with disabilities whose service needs, and lack of contact to supports systems can cause difficulties in preparing for schooling, work, and independent living for people with disabilities. Barriers and Supports There are several potential barriers that may hinder this campaign applying resources to people with disabilities. They are (1) a need of financial assistance if people with disabilities want to pursue a career beyond undergraduate to relieve stress of not having enough funds to continue their education because the only funding that is available is student loans, which will place this population in debt.
Regardless of how much students and parents spend in the United States, such as credit cards, which shows lack of financing, over fifty percent of college students have accumulated over five thousand dollars in debt from a loan company like Sally Mae (Boone, King-Berry (2009). It is important to help these people with educational funding from community resource that will help them financially while continuing their education. Another potential barrier that may hinder this campaign of applying resources for disabled people is needs for disable people to socialize within the community regardless of their handicap. It is difficult to socialize when a person is confined at home because of a disability. There should be a resource that provides people with disabilities to go and socialize with other people beside them that have a disability. According to Taub, McLorg and Bartnick (2009), there is a barrier called environmental, which get in the way of disabled women participating in social activities because of the location of the activity. For example, a person in a wheelchair, there may not be enough space for it. The last potential barrier that may hinder this campaign of applying resources to disabled people is a need for the already existing community based services to work together and provide these clients with the necessary resources if needed.
A person may believe that it would be simple for community-based services to work with a counselor to provide home health care for their disabled client on an ongoing temporary basis to assist him or her with personal and home care needs per their request. On the other hand, some community base services do not provide that type of home health care. Singer, Biegel, and Ethridge (2009) support this barrier by asserting that care giving is not needed for a few weeks or months during a loved ones acute illness, instead the need for assistance with daily living commonly last for years (p. 101). Even though there are several barriers that may hinder the advocacy campaign for helping disabled people, but there are various support factors that will assist with the efforts of this campaign such as non-profit organizations, home health care, state legislatures and elected representatives. Non-profit organizations. Home health care is needed for people with disabilities to assist them with personal care and household chores when their mobility has decreased due to the pain from the condition when it occurs, not always because they may not be in pain on a daily basis.
Therefore, there should be organizations and federal and legislatures that work together to assist these people with their personal care needs like maxim health care (www.maximhealthcare.com), which is a non-profit organization that will collaborate with other organizations and federal, state, and local policies that will help aid in the advocacy effort for these people (Wehrwein, Pollack, 2005). Activities Problem Definition Since the problem definition has been described that will advocate change a proposed campaign will be developed (Rothstein, 2008). After that, it is necessary to research of the resources for advocating for disabled people that have access to that will help in their campaign. A resource will include centers for people with disability and the people who need information on the necessary resources these advocacy needs. Next, developing the advocacy campaign for disabled people will include finding volunteers, creating the vision and mission statement, leadership team, fundraisers or sponsors that will provide monetary resources, and the results of the campaign. The volunteers will consist of skillful advocates who have years of experience that is elected and appointed leaders that will work for the cause of this campaign (Donaldson, 2008).
For example, the president, the vice president, secretary, treasurer, and the Chaplin. The vision and mission statement will be created from the consumer education from the issues researched for this campaign for people with disabilities. The leadership team will consist community leaders that are strong, effective, and organizers (Keys, Factors, 2001). The leadership team will be committed and knowledgeable in the issues that people with disabilities encounter. The committee will also consist people who will locate sponsors or create fundraisers to provide funds for this campaign. The results of the campaign will be the resources that will enable people with disabilities to receive services to assist them with becoming active citizens within the community, finances for school, home health care that will assist them with personal care and household chores when need, and support system that will help them and their families become independent on making their own decisions. Strategic Planning This process will be developed from social marketing strategies for reaching people with disabilities. Social marketing is characterized as marketing techniques that will be used to gear skillful people in the area of disabilities to promote change for action (Moone, Lightfoot, 2009).
For example, the planning will be created through social marketing strategies to support individuals with disabilities by connecting them to the community- based services that will aid them in their pursuit to become active citizens in the community. When advocating for people with disabilities, this type of strategy will benefit because it will focus on what the disable person need, such as social empowerment and finances to further education rather than focusing on the disability (Moone, Lightfoot, 2009). The six marketing are (1) participants, which is the people that will focus on the needs of the disabled people (2) partnering with other agencies that will work with disabled people, this technique is essential to the campaign (3) price, getting the federal, state, and legislators to act on behalf of the disabled people (4) promotion, is the materials that will be used to get the information in the community (5) product, advocating for people with disabilities to receive the necessary resources for their basic needs and (6) place, is where the campaign advocates will meet within the community to provide services (Moone, Lightfoot, 2009). Actions This stage of the advocacy campaign for people with disabilities who will make contact with the people that are in the public eye such as the city officials to support the advocacy efforts on behalf of disabled people, which Eriksen (1997) characterize as lobbying.
Then that person or organization must review the information from research to decide whether lobbying will be suitable advocate that will take action through communicating the organizations needs to such as agencies that provide financial assistance, home health care providers, and support systems such as United Cerebral Palsy through letters, flyers, phone calls to officials to support laws on research for resources in aiding disabled people, support groups for disabled people, and networking are beneficial to advocating for people with disabilities. This process will provide positive point of views on advocacy and support advocates that will act on behalf of disabled people (Toporek, Lewis, Crethar, 2009). Evaluations Evaluation of the advocacy campaign is vital in any organization to ensure that there are no problems that are not identified such as environmental problems, financial problems, attitudinal problems, and problems with the group that might affect the completion of the advocacy campaign (Torres, Preskill, 2001). To ensure that the evaluation of the advocacy campaign is successful in advocating on behalf of the client, the advocate leader will utilize SPIES, which is categorized as strategic planning, implementation, evaluating, and streamlining (www.courseroom2.capella.edu).
Once the mission and the rationale has been established, the advocacy committee must strategize a plan along with the disabled clients to implement the goals that is aim to aid people with disabilities connect to community resources to assist in their advocacy efforts. The disabled person will have to make a decision to become a self-advocate to assist the counselor in fighting for resources to aid them with funds for education, home health aide, and a support system that will help him or her become active people in the community. After the plan have been developed, then the implementation of the activity can be set up by allowing the client to speak at a workshop on his or her behalf about funding for education, and then evaluate by doing follow-up on him or her to see if the plan is being completed. Finally, the counselor would streamline by providing disabled people with support groups for disabled people who are having a difficult time receiving resources that will help them with their advocacy efforts to observe other in similar situations and help them make a decision to continue to plead for their own cause. The advocacy meetings will take place in the local library on every Wednesday of the month. There will be approximately three new volunteer members will be assigned per month as needed for campaign. Each member will be assigned four disabled clients and their family members and provide information as to whether they already receive community-based services.
Counselor Roles in the Advocacy Campaign The counselor that will be advocating in the campaign for disabled people is trained in professional counseling so he or she can intervene with these clients individually or in a group in order to understand the clients disability as well as the advocacy efforts (Kiselica , Robinson, 2001). He or she will beware of their own values, skills, and personalities that are vital to advocacy, which will consist of relationship building and communications skills to effective plead the advocacy efforts to the community clearly so he or she can be heard. He or she is a good listener, seek questions to understand the needs of the client, they will portray good character and integrity that is trustworthy as well as have the ability to think normally so they can plan the best strategy for this disabled people (Eriksen, 1997). He or she will show commitment and appreciation for their clients (Kiselica, Robinson, 2001). For example, the advocate counselor will ensure that the disabled client know that they understand and feel what they are experiencing and will do everything to assist them in receiving the necessary resources that will enable them to become sociable in the community, funds to continue their education, aid with household chores, and support systems that will support their needs.
The advocate must be knowledgeable in communications skills such as verbal and nonverbal and realize what the client is saying and not saying. He or she should also be able to speak with any organization that will aid in helping the disabled clients live productively by utilizing their skills in the areas of being able to discuss complicated problems with the clients such as not being able to provide home health care because of the severity of the condition, using the computer to obtain research on disability as it relates to the advocacy campaign, must be able to communicate the advocacy efforts through television or radio (Kiselica and Robinson (2001). These skills are necessary for advocacy work. The counselor has developed many relationships throughout his or her field of counseling. He or she is involved in professional organizations, assisted other organizations that are already involved in activities that already in existence in the community, and no doubt has been involved in legislation in some way. In other words, the counselor is the best advocate for advocating for this disabled people because he or she already possesses the skills that will make this grass root campaign into a reality. However, with any advocacy campaign there are ethical issues that may arise while planning a strategy.
In planning for this campaign, the counselor did not consider that there may be some barriers that may hinder the personal growth and development of the disabled client while working on this campaign (Greenleaf, Williams 2009). The ethical dilemmas that may arise in advocating for disabled people to receive community resources such as being mindful of the power relationship between the counselor and the client, by not letting the client gain control over the interview by speaking on behalf of himself or herself (Knight, Oliver, 2007). For example, not gaining information about the clients disability before the interview, learn their behaviors because there may be some type of concern that they may not be able to complete the interview and counselor-client relationship by overstepping his or her by getting overly involved with the clients problems. Kiselica and Robinson (2001) assert that professionals must describe the boundaries of their relationships with clients even if they take on a more involved role than they are responsible for. For example, a counselor that is disabled may become to involved with the clients situation and make all the decisions the planning stage because they have experienced similar advocacy efforts of the client regardless of what cultural background the disabled client are from, the counselor must let the disabled client become a productive citizens by letting him or her make their own decision for improving change through community based services.
There will be a list of local and systematic resources that will be used in collaboration with the advocacy campaign for disabled people to provide community based services that will assist them in locating social activities within the community to become active, funding for college to continue their education, agencies to assist them with provision maintenance, and support system that will help them and their family to become independent and work on their own behalf. (See Appendix). Recommendations There are several ideas to bear in mind prior to engaging in advocacy that involves learning definitions to the problem that has not been defined, examine the source power, observe and locate the federal and state officials that will make the decision concerning the laws on issues associated with the disability, and understand the completion and expansion of the actions concerning disabled people (Tappe, Galer, Radius, 2009). The advocate counselor must choose a strategic plan that will re-evaluate the actions communicating the organizations needs and sporadically see if more funding is needed by researching more literature and seeking consultation from other agencies who have successfully advocated for disabled people.
When engaging in grass root campaigns, there are many issues to consider such as problems that may arise both inside and outside of the organization, how the definition of the problem is going to become a sticky factor with the public, such as the media and radio, home health agencies, such as Maxim, and community based agencies, such as United Cerebral Palsy, and financial institutions, as well as the counselors profession (Gladwell, 2002). Another issue to consider is a possible setback to utilizing the social marketing strategies, such as flyers and letters, for reaching an organization and agency desired spokesperson in that it may be more successful, and might reach more disabled people than it is capable of serving (Moone, Lightfoot, 2009). Conclusion People with disabilities cause families lives to be changed dramatically because of the obstacles that are challenged on behalf of the disability where families had to depend upon their self-determination that they did not believe they had.
Community based services have been available for children for a long time, but adults have no community based services that will assist them and their families if needed. An advocacy campaign for people with disabilities will enable them to receive community resources as needed to help them with their basic needs. There is a demand for advocacy for assisting people with situations that affects their daily routine (Knight, Oliver, 2007). The rationale for this advocacy campaign is to educate disabled people and their families about the resources that are available to assist them with their advocacy needs such as social empowerment, financial empowerment, provision maintenance, and a support system.