Iowa Advocacy Connection - 2016 Issue 3

Issue 11, 12/5/2016

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Articles in This Issue:

The Election is Over. Now What?

The election might be over, but our work as advocates is just getting started. There will be a lot of new faces in the Iowa Legislature next year, and this provides you with a great opportunity to share your message. Here are few ways you can continue your advocacy work now that the election is over:

  1. Find your legislators: Find out who won in your district by going to and then click on “unofficial election results.”  This will tell you who won each race in Iowa. If you need to look up what district you live in, go to
  2. Do your research: Now that you know who won and will represent you, learn more about them. Most candidates have website or Facebook pages. There will be many new legislators next year, so this is an opportunity for you to tell your story and share your message on issues important to you.
  3. Connect: The best time to talk with your legislators is before session starts. That gives you about a month. While it is going to be a busy time for them getting ready for session, many will hold meetings or forums in their communities. If you can’t connect in person, send an email or letter. If they are a new legislators, congratulate them and then share your message. 

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Advocacy Resources

As you continue your advocacy work, here are a few resources you can use.

  1. Advocacy toolkit — ID Action has put together a toolkit to help you prepare to be an advocate.
  2. infoNET — Iowa’s disability policy resource
  3. Grassroots Action Center —

If you have questions about how to get more involved as an advocate, please contact ID Action at or 866-432-2846.

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This annual recognition celebrates the contributions individuals with disabilities bring to the workplace and spreads awareness of the importance of a diverse workforce. This year we shared with you the stories of Steven and Charity.

Steven’s employment story started with vocational rehabilitation, and he now works for Building Products, Inc. (BPI) in Evansdale, Iowa. He primarily assembles shipping materials but jumps in wherever they need extra help after his work is complete.

Adding Steven to the team has helped BPI maintain a more efficient and lean process in the plant. Steven’s supervisor, Jason Patzner, said, “He has been a great benefit to us.” BPI has increased productivity and potential orders, created a better production flow and ultimately been able to better serve their customers. Human resources manager, Hollie Engle, said, “Overall, this experience has been great. I’ve learned a lot from it. Steven is phenomenal. It’s definitely opened my eyes, that’s for sure.”

After a few not-so-perfect jobs, Charity found herself on the path to success with an internship at Hy-Vee. Here she built the confidence she needed to know she could do a job. She is now employed at the John R. Grubb YMCA in Des Moines, where she works in the childcare room. “I’ve got a purpose. The hours are great. It’s just the right amount and it’s something I can do that’s worthwhile,” said Charity. “I think this is the perfect fit for me.”

Do you have an employment story you would like to share? Email us at to tell us about it!

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Advocating for Change Day


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Mark your calendars today for the next Advocating for Change Day! Watch our website, social media and upcoming IAC issues for more information.

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Make Your Mark! Conference

Our annual Make Your Mark! Conference took place October 4-7 at Honey Creek Resort and was a great success. With more than 100 people in attendance, we saw many familiar faces and welcomed some new faces, too.

This year we focused on preparation, participation and power. Sessions revolved around voting, social media, self-determination and creating and being a part of positive change. Attendees were able to discover Honey Creek’s beautiful grounds and amenities, take in the scenery and even see a few deer!

Wednesday afternoon we kicked off the conference with a session on managed care. Representatives from all three of the managed care organizations were in attendance to talk about the new managed care system and how individuals can maintain person-centered plans.

We enjoyed a bonfire and s’mores both Wednesday and Thursday evenings. A local drum circle joined us Wednesday, and participants enjoyed listening to and partaking in the drums.

Thursday and Friday offered a variety of sessions for attendees to explore. With the election just around the corner from the conference, we made sure to spend some time talking about voting, getting involved and how to make a positive impact. We also welcomed back Dave Price to help us learn how to sift through all the political hype so we could make an informed decision based on facts.

Visit or our Facebook page to see more pictures from the conference, and don’t forget to tag us in your own photos if you attended!


Thank you again to our sponsors:
Amerigroup, Iowa Association of Community Providers, University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Center for Disabilities and Development, AmeriHealth Caritas, Iowa Department on Aging and Iowa CareGivers.

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Local Capitol Day Grants

Are you part of an advocacy group that would like to visit the Iowa State Capitol to talk with your legislators? ID Action is offering Local Capitol Day grants to advocacy groups, which include 10 or more individuals with a disability, to meet with their legislators at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Grants are available up to $500 to help cover the costs of transportation and accommodations for participation. Check out to find more details and download the grant application. A limited number of grants are available, so please contact ID Action soon if you are interested. Local Capitol Day grants cannot be used to participate in other organizations’ lobby or advocacy days.

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