This is a new series at The Arc Blog called #HandsOff. Each month, we feature a story from individuals and families across The Arc’s network about how some of today’s key policy issues impact their day to day lives.
Meet Joe Damiano! Joe is 23 years old and is a very active advocate in his home state of New York. Joe is the outreach director for The Arc’s National Council of Self-Advocates, a board member for a local non-profit, and the former chair of a self-advocacy group called the Collaborative of New York.
For the last several years, Joe has attended the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, DC and participates in the lobby day to meet with his Members of Congress and talk about issues that are important to people with disabilities.
Here is what Joe had to say about his advocacy and his advice for others who want to get involved to tell Congress #HandsOff important programs:
How did you get involved in advocacy? What is your favorite part of being an advocate?
I’ve been doing advocacy my whole life! Once of my favorite examples of my advocacy work is when I was about 16, my dad took me to Albany, to the state capitol in New York to advocate for a bill to stop using the “r” word. It really resonated with me as a person with a disability. I heard that word in school a lot and I didn’t want people to use it anymore.
My favorite part in general is attending learning sessions like at the Disability Policy Seminar so I can learn about the latest issues. My favorite part about meeting with legislators is getting my point across.
Why do you think it’s important for people with disabilities to be strong advocates for programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Programs like Medicaid and SSI help people with disabilities. Sometimes these programs are people’s only lifeline. They pretty much can’t live without it. It helps them to be independent. If Congress takes these programs away, many people will be impacted. If you’re not an advocate, those benefits may get taken away.
What advice do you have for self-advocates who want to get started in advocacy?
The first thing and the biggest thing, I would say, is find your local self-advocacy group. Self-advocacy groups can help you with tips on how to present to your legislators and how to get your message across, give you a chance to go to lobby days, and opportunities to meet with your legislators. They really help.
You can learn about upcoming meetings for The Arc’s National Council of Self Advocates here.
What tips do you have for self-advocates meeting with their legislators for the first time?
I made a presentation with tips for self-advocates meeting with their legislators. You can see it here.
One of the biggest things you have to do is have a group discussion, with whoever you are going with, to identify the issues you want to bring up at the meeting. It’s always good to invite other people to be part of the process, as long as they are people who support you. It’s always good to have other people be involved.
Be clear on what you what you want the legislator to achieve and make sure you have stories on that topic. Sometimes you meet with a legislator or aide that don’t understand the issues or that we have disabilities – you just have to be patient and educate them.
12 thoughts on “Joe Damiano Says #HandsOff – Learn His Tips for Effective Advocacy”
I’m the proprietor of JustCBD Store label (justcbdstore.com) and I’m presently looking to broaden my wholesale side of business. I really hope that anybody at targetdomain give me some advice . I considered that the most effective way to do this would be to connect to vape shops and cbd retail stores. I was really hoping if anybody at all could suggest a qualified website where I can buy CBD Shops Business Data I am presently considering creativebeartech.com, theeliquidboutique.co.uk and wowitloveithaveit.com. On the fence which one would be the most suitable option and would appreciate any assistance on this. Or would it be easier for me to scrape my own leads? Suggestions?
There is certainly a lot to find out about this topic. I really like all the points you’ve made.
You made some good points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.
Aw, this was a very good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.
An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you need to write more about this subject, it might not be a taboo subject but typically folks don’t speak about such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!
This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thank you!
I absolutely love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own blog and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Cheers!
This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me. Kudos!
When someone writes an post he/she maintains the idea of a user in his/her brain that how a user can know it.
Thus that’s why this post is outstdanding.
Thanks! adreamoftrains best web hosting 2020
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on web hosting services.
Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
your host? I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol
Having read this I believed it was extremely informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!