Iowa Advocacy Connection | 2018, Issue 4

Issue 20, 12/31/2018

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Articles in This Issue:

State Sweep

State Sweep

Iowans with Disabilities in Action is hitting the road and will visit all 99 counties in Iowa over the next two years. We plan to visit communities throughout Iowa to increase our awareness of how we can best support Iowans with disabilities and their allies to achieve their goals. Ultimately, we want to get to know you and you to get to know us.

We hope to make the most of each visit by talking with Iowans with disabilities, their families, community organizations, partners, elected officials and members of the community.

Why invite us to your community?

Iowans with Disabilities in Action is focused on moving people from taking notice to taking action. To be able to better encourage and support Iowans, we need to have a better understanding of what the needs are in communities throughout Iowa. Ask us to visit, and share the great things about your community along with the challenges.

How can we help?

Over the last 16 years, Iowans with Disabilities in Action has developed a wide variety of resources and information to help move Iowans into action. These resources are free and available to anyone who is interested. We continually develop and create new resources based on the needs of Iowans. We want to know what the needs are in your community — invite us and share.

Our goal with the State Sweep campaign is to build better relationships with statewide community partners; increase awareness of Iowans with Disabilities in Action; build ongoing, lasting relationships with individuals with disabilities and gain a better understanding of the needs of those we meet.

How can we accomplish those goals? We have put together a few ideas to get us started:

Individual one-on-one meetings — Share with us a day in your life. Show us where you live, learn, work and play. Tell us what it means for you to live your life with a disability in your community.

Partner meetings — Providers, nonprofits, community organizations, let's chat about how we can better work together.

Community events — Let's bring members of the community together for a conversation.

Media meetings — We would like to build a relationship with the media outlets in your community.

If you have other ideas, we'd love to hear them. Visit our Contact page today to schedule a visit to your community!


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Local Capitol Day Grants - 2019

Iowans with Disabilities in Action will provide eight Capitol Day grants up to $500 each for advocacy training and support to local advocacy groups who are interested in visiting the Iowa State Capitol, learning about the legislative process and meeting with their legislators to advocate for their issues.

Eligibility and applying for Capitol Day grants

The following are the requirements for your group to be eligible to apply for an Iowans with Disabilities in Action Capitol Day grant:

  • Your group must consist of at least 10 people with a disability (no more than 20)
  • Your group must advocate for disability-related issues

Grant recipient requirements

As an Iowans with Disabilities in Action Capitol Day grant recipient, your group must:

  • Schedule a Capitol Day on either Tuesday or Wednesday in the months of January through April
  • Participate in an advocacy training at the beginning of the Capitol Day
  • Set appointments with your legislators (Iowans with Disabilities in Action can assist)
  • Provide a written recap of your Capitol Day within two weeks of your visit, including any follow-up communication with legislators

Optional activities

While at the capitol you may also want to participate in the following:

  • Watch a floor debate
  • Attend a committee meeting
  • Meet with other state agencies
  • Meet with Iowans with Disabilities in Action or Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council staff

To apply for an Iowans with Disabilities in Action Capitol Day grant, please fill out the grant application. Call 866-432-2846 or email us at with any questions. Grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible groups.

Iowans with Disabilities in Action Capitol Day grants cannot be used to attend other organizations’ lobby days.

  Local Capitol Days

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Advocating for Change Day

Advocating for Change Day

Join us for the 2019 Advocating for Change Day on April 10, 2019. Before heading up to the Capitol to meet with your legislators, you will have the opportunity to attend a legislative briefing where you will learn more about current issues and how to effectively develop and deliver your message. We will also provide tips and strategies for the best ways to contact your legislators while you are at the Capitol and after you head back home.

At the Capitol you will be able to meet with your legislators and other elected officials. Throughout the day you will see the legislative process in action by attending committee meetings or watching a debate from the galleries (when the Senate and/or House are in session). If you are planning to attend Advocating for Change Day, we encourage you to let your legislators know and set a specific time to meet them after the briefing.

If you need to look up your legislators, visit the infoNET website and click on “Take Action.” You will be taken to the Grassroots Action Center where you can look up who your legislators are. You can even email them directly from this page.

Registration for Advocating for Change Day will be available on February 1 on the Iowans with Disabilities in Action website ( This year, lunch will be on your own. However, we will provide cookies and drinks at the Capitol. If you have any questions, call us at 866-432-2846 or email us at


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Getting Ready for Session - 2019

Getting Ready for Session

The 2019 legislative session is scheduled to begin on January 14, 2019. Here are a few ways that you can get ready and be prepared to advocate on issues important to you.

Contact your legislators — Legislators are in their home districts until they head to Des Moines when session begins. Now is your opportunity to meet with them and talk about issues that are important to you. Find out your legislators’ contact information at Call or email your legislators to schedule a time before session starts.

Sign-up for infoNET — Do you want to stay up-to-date on what is happening in the Iowa Legislature during session? If you do, infoNET is a great way. It is Iowa’s leading disability policy resource. Sign up to receive it by going to the website and clicking register at the top.

Find out who’s new — InfoNET has information on newly elected legislators. Check it out here:

Check out our advocacy resources:

  • Advocacy Tool Kit— Build your toolkit and be prepared. Write the personal story you want to share, talk with family and friends about issues and visit the infoNET website ( to learn more about what to expect during the next session.
  • Message Worksheet — Get started preparing your message so when you meet with your legislators you know just want you want to stay. This helpful worksheet with guide you through the process.
  • 12 Steps to Successful Advocacy — Use this tool to help you feel more confident in the advocacy process. This resource provides you with a step-by-step guide to help you be successful.

Check out all of these resources on our website at

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SAVE THE DATE! We are Heading Back to Coralville

Are you ready for another great Make Your Mark! Conference? We are excited to announce that the Make Your Mark! Conference will be returning to the Coralville Marriott in Coralville, Iowa! The conference will be held Thursday, September 26 – Friday, September 27, 2019. Mark your calendars now and look for more information in the coming months.

Have an idea for a session or speaker? Email us at to let us know.

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