About Iowans with Disabilities in Action

Iowans with Disabilities in Action is a nonpartisan, statewide initiative dedicated to generating greater civic and political participation among people with disabilities.

Collectively, Iowans with disabilities could make up one of the state’s largest blocs of influence; however, research shows that apathy, a lack of confidence and other barriers prevent thousands from engaging in advocacy.

Iowans with Disabilities in Action is a resource for Iowans with any type of disability. We invite you and your family members, friends, advocates and others to join us. This important initiative offers unique tools intended to inform, educate and empower Iowans with disabilities to more effectively advocate for change that increases their opportunities to be productive, independent and included members of their communities.

What is Iowans with Disabilities in Action?

Iowans with Disabilities in Action is a nonpartisan organization created to increase the civic and political participation of Iowans with disabilities.

How can I learn more?

Contact us to receive informational materials or to present to your group or organization.

How can I be sure this information is unbiased?

Iowans with Disabilities in Action is funded through a federal grant. In order to receive this funding, all information and activities provided to members of Iowans with Disabilities in Action must be nonbiased and nonpartisan. Iowans with Disabilities in Action’s goal is simply to increase the number of Iowans with disabilities who actively participate.

Who would benefit by joining?

Any Iowan interested in disability advocacy who would like to learn about or become more actively involved in civic and political opportunities available would benefit.

How much does it cost?

Registration with Iowans with Disabilities in Action is FREE.

Why participate in the political process?

Americans with disabilities are an almost-silent voice in American politics. Many choose not to vote, and many more do not participate in the political process. Local, state and national policymakers make important decisions that directly impact Americans with disabilities, but the people they will most affect rarely influence those decisions.

According to the American Association of People with Disabilities, 62.7 million Americans with disabilities are eligible to vote, yet only 16 million voted in the November 2016 election. 

In addition to voting, Iowans with disabilities have opportunities to make positive change by volunteering on a campaign, joining a political party or cause, advocating for change or even running for office.

In order to make the state a better place for everyone, individuals with disabilities need to have a greater voice in their community and in public policy decisions made at all levels of government.

Will my contact information be given to others?

No, we will only share contact information if YOU specifically give us permission.

History

Why do a large number of Iowans with disabilities elect not to exercise their political rights?

Why are so many Iowans with disabilities absent from the political process?

With estimates showing there are more than 450,000 Iowans with disabilities, why do four out of 10 persons with disabilities say they are not at all involved in their community?

The Iowans with Disabilities in Action project was launched with the assistance of Iowans with disabilities and their families whose thoughts and attitudes would help to shape the project. A series of focus groups with members of the disability community around the state and the research uncovered three primary barriers to civic and political participation:

  • A lack of knowledge about the issues and/or basic civic and political processes.
  • Low confidence, low self-esteem and concern that opinion leaders don’t care or won’t listen.
  • Poor accessibility and availability of transportation options.

The response to that stakeholder input became the basis for the strategies that the project would employ to put those Iowans with disabilities in action.