Networking and advocacy help you get the services you need --RSS Feed

By Michael Hineberg, Independent Living Services Coordinator
When you are trying to find the services or resources you need, don’t just take “no” for an answer. When an agency tells you they can’t help, ask them if they know anyone who can help you. Ask everyone you contact this same question, then write down what they say—creating a list of your new resources. This is called networking. Like a vine branching out, you are multiplying your contacts. Be sure to use a notebook to log your conversations. Indicate date, name of the contact, phone number and a short sentence about the new contact or resource. This will help you further down the road after you have talked to many people.
Along the way you will meet people with similar passions. Combine your efforts and you’re not alone. Don’t fight the battle by yourself. Whether you are looking for more accessible transportation, services for your child with a disability or health care, there are people in the community who share your passion. How do you find these “hidden” allies? Just ask!
When you discover a gap in services in our community, your search becomes a systems advocacy opportunity. This can include, but is not limited to, meeting with your local legislators, writing letters or sending email. The level of government you will need to contact will be determined by who provides the service you need. Accordingly, it is essential that you are an active registered voter, so you can say you are a voting constituent.
IndependenceFirst engages in systems advocacy and helps empower individuals to become advocates. We can work with you any step along the way. Call us at 414-291-7520 V/Relay if you live in the Metropolitan Milwaukee area and have a disability.
Starting points to get connected with the services you need:

  • IndependenceFirst provides Information & Referral as one of our core services—if we don’t offer a disability-related service, we can refer you to an agency that does.
  • IMPACT 2-1-1 is a good resource for general human service needs. Simply dial three digits: 211. If your cell phone does not connect with the three-digit 211 number, the 10-digit number to use is 414-773-0211 V/Relay.
  • Additionally, the Milwaukee County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) is another resource for Milwaukee County residents with disabilities. The center can be reached at 414-289-6660 V/Relay. 

| Wednesday, 5/3/2017 - 4:53 PM | 0 comments
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