of our services are provided with the independent living philosophy as
their foundation. For a complete description of the philosophy, click here
Occasions of discrimination may be general and widespread. It may affect
many people, and happen once or repeatedly. It could be in a
specific neighborhood, region, or statewide. The responsible
person or entity may be a business owner, a city or county service, or
an “institution,” such as a business with dozens of offices, or a branch
of the government.
discrimination may come in the form of an accepted practice or social pattern that no one
has analyzed or questioned. Perhaps people just “looked the
other way.” It might be unintentional, or
rationalized as acceptable because of the “cost savings” or budget constraints. BUT, it is still discrimination.
multiple individuals encounter the same barrier(s), it may be most
effective and efficient for many people to work cooperatively to advocate the
alteration of the 'system.' This is known as institutional advocacy or, not surprisingly, as
Systems Change Advocate, based in the Santa Barbara office, coordinates consumers in ILRC’s entire service area
through a variety of activities, including marches, rallies,
letter-writing campaigns and legislative visits. We participate in
statewide action groups and empowerment teams, including Access Watch
and the Systems Change Network, and are part of a statewide coalition representing the disability community.
Issues that involve a change in public policy are taken beyond local boundaries to the state or federal elected bodies. All legislators – local, state and
federal – listen when their voting constituents speak up and voice their
concerns. And of course, the more voices joining together, the more forceful the
message – increasing the likelihood that change will occur.
Click here to find a list of legislators, addresses and sample letters and e-mails you can customize and send.
Make your voice heard!