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Legislative Advocacy

Briefly describe the activity and its purpose.

Many of our trainees enter our program with extensive clinical experience but relatively little legislative advocacy experience.  This is frequently identified in trainee self-assessments as an educational need.

Our Legislative Advocacy program consists of three didactic sessions which include the following:

  • An outline of the training module
  • The history of advocacy
  • A presentation done by a parent partner or health care provider's personal experience with advocacy

Then, trainees are asked to engage in an advocacy activity of their own choosing, such as attending a pertinent  legislative session at the state level, attending the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, DC, and writing their own representative about an issue that is important to them personally or professionally. The final component of this module is to complete a one-page reflection on their experience with this activity.

Briefly describe the positive impacts this activity has had on trainees.

"Call me a glutton for punishment, but I was very energized by this legislative experience! I am hoping, and have been invited, to participate in future rural health policy institutes. I would also like to extend this involvement to disability issues, especially as they relate to access to appropriate assistive technology for children with special health care needs." - Former trainee

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