Iowa Advocacy Connection - 2017 Issue 3

Issue 15, 11/30/2017

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2017 Make Your Mark Conference

Our annual Make Your Mark! Conference took place September 20-22 at the Honey Creek Resort in Moravia, Iowa. We were excited to welcome more than 70 participants to talk about how change affects all of our lives.

No matter who you are, it can be difficult to deal with change. Our sessions focused on finding ways to adapt and deal with the changes that come into our lives. With sessions about social media, managed care, dealing with stress, transportation, finances and more, conference attendees were able to choose the topics that were the most important in their lives.

On Wednesday, we started with a pre-conference session with Page Eastin and Brian Wines about recent changes in federal policy that affect many Iowans with disabilities. They talked with participants and answered questions about the Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule and the Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act and the effect they have on the ability of Iowans with disabilities to live and work in the community.

On Thursday and Friday, our sessions let attendees choose the topics that interested them most. From privacy and supports to a cooking class, there were a lot of options! We also enjoyed general sessions from Peter Leidy and Judy Warth that focused on successfully navigating change and dealing with stress. Laughter yoga, from Warth, brought big smiles.
On Wednesday and Thursday, we gathered around a campfire to make s’mores. One of our speakers, Peter Leidy, treated us to some live music!

For more photos from the event, visit the photo gallery or our Facebook page. Don’t forget to tag us in your photos (@ID Action) from the event!

Thank you to our sponsors, Amerigroup Iowa, the Center for Disabilities and Development and the Iowa Association of Community Providers. We appreciate your support.

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National Voter Registration Day

Every September, organizations around the U.S. host voter registration drives and educational events in honor of National Voter Registration Day. ID Action was no exception. This year, we hosted voter trainings in several Iowa communities to share information to educate individuals with disabilities about the election process and help them to understand Iowa’s new voter ID law.

While most of the 2017 elections are finished, 2018 will be here before you know it and with it a new round of important elections. Our voter trainings can help you prepare. We focus on helping people with disabilities overcome barriers to voting, register to vote and understand Iowa’s election process. If you would like to schedule a voter training in your community, please contact us!

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Prepare for a New Legislative Session

The Iowa Legislature will reconvene in January 2018, and ID Action has information you can use to get ready.

ID Action Advocacy Toolkit
Find out how to contact your legislators, learn about the process of meeting with your legislators at the Iowa Capitol and find tips to be a successful advocate. Find it here.

infoNET Bill Tracker
Once the session has started, keep an eye on infoNET’s bill tracker. As a disability policy resource, infoNET can give you information on what’s happening in the Legislature.

Grassroots Advocacy Center
infoNET Iowa offers the Grassroots Advocacy Center to help you easily contact your elected officials. By using your address and zip code, infoNET identifies your legislators and helps you send an email in minutes. Find it here.

Remember, it’s not too early to contact your elected officials. The best time to reach out is before the sessions starts. ID Action will continue to help Iowans prepare to make their voices heard.

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Take Action in Your Community

ID Action exists to help Iowans with disabilities connect with civic and political opportunities in their communities. If you’re looking to get more involved in your community, consider volunteering. You can pick any cause that matters to you. You’ll meet new people, build your skills, help your community and build your confidence. You’ll also be an advocate in your community.

See other ways you can take action HERE.

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Share Your Story

Do you volunteer with an advocacy group or a community organization? Have you overcome barriers or obstacles in your life? Do you have a positive impact on your community? We want to hear your story!

Your experiences are valuable. ID Action regularly shares the stories of Iowans with disabilities with our newsletter subscribers, social media followers and members to show the positive impact people with disabilities have on their communities. If you would like to be featured, send us your story through email at contactus@idaction.org or by mail to P.O. Box 737, Des Moines, IA 50303. You can also call us at 866-432-2846.

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