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Family-Focused Advocacy Organization Interview

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Guidelines for Advocacy Assignment (26KB) [download]

Briefly describe the activity and its purpose.

One of the most important aspects of life with disabilities is a family's ability to reach out and create a network of support from the resources in the community.  It is vital for a family, as well as the professionals working with them, to learn to navigate and use these organizations for all different areas of need. Families need emotional support, education, insurance information, legal counsel, assistance navigating systems of care, recommendations for therapy providers, assistance with IEPs and advice on working with schools, etc. 

The Advocacy Organization Interview is a useful way for trainees to learn more about how family-focused advocacy organizations help families of children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and other special health care needs. 

Trainees choose a family-focused advocacy organization that they would like to learn more about because it may be helpful to families they currently serve or with whom they may work with in the future.  This will be accomplished through (1) a guided interview with an organization conducted by telephone or in person and (2) a thorough review of its website.  Trainees are provided with a list of Family-Focused Advocacy Organizations and an interview template.  They are expect to write a 1-2 page review of the organization and share information acquired through a facilitated group discussion in class.

What are the expected learning outcomes for trainees?

  • Be able to describe ways that a family-focused advocacy organization supports and assists families of individuals with developmental disabilities and other special health care needs.
  • Acquire knowledge about how an organization's websites can serve as a useful tool in helping families to access information, referrals, and resources.
  • Understand how an advocacy organization involves families in program planning, implementation and evaluation.

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