Iowa Advocacy Connection - 2017 Issue 2

Issue 14, 6/22/2017

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Make Your Mark! Conference

Change. It seems to be the one constant in life. Learn how you can prepare for and be a part of the changes that are happening in your life and around you. Head home from this conference with the power to embrace and ignite change.

Registration for this year’s Make Your Mark! Conference is NOW OPEN!

We are excited to welcome Peter Leidy back as our keynote speaker. Peter is sure to be entertaining as always while he explores the different issues and opportunities that come with change.

This year’s lineup of breakout sessions includes managing finances, social media and technology, communication skill building, transportation, advocacy and reducing stress. A list of sessions and descriptions are available on the registration website.

Also join us for the preconference session on Wednesday, September 20. This session, Making Change Work for YOU, will discuss some of the changes that make communities more accessible and how you can respond to the threats that affect you.

Early bird and group (five or more) registration discounts run through August 21. We are also offering day rates again this year. All registration rates and discounts are available on the conference website. Click here to learn more and register today for the Make Your Mark! Conference.

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REV UP: Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power

National Disability Voter Registration Week is July 17-21, and ID Action wants to host an event in your community. The REV UP campaign sponsors National Disability Voter Registration Week each year to increase the political power of people with disabilities and to increase the recognition of individuals with disabilities as voters.

As a part of this important week, ID Action would like to visit your community to register voters with disabilities and talk with them about the recent changes in Iowa’s voting laws. If you have your own REV UP event idea, we can help you coordinate that too.

We are hoping to schedule these one-hour events during the week of July 17-21. If you are interested in hosting a REV UP event in your community or would like assistance planning your own event, please contact us at or 866-432-2846.

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Advocating for Change Day

On April 5, 2017, 266 Iowans with disabilities and advocates visited the Iowa State Capitol for Advocating for Change Day. Participants kicked off the day with an advocacy training where they learned how to develop and deliver an effective message.

After the training, attendees made their way up the hill to the Capitol where they had lunch and spoke with legislators. While the weather was drab, the atmosphere within the Capitol was alive with excitement. The day wrapped up with the ACD rally where Senator Robert Hogg and Representative Zach Nunn both encouraged attendees to stay committed to advocacy efforts. The 2017 Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented during the rally.

“Tell us what you need, and ask us to help you. Speak with your legislator, and don’t be afraid to talk with other legislators,” shared Senator Hogg. Representative Nunn said, “Advocacy doesn’t just happen today; there needs to be conversation year round. Invite us to come meet you at your home. That’s where real conversation happens.”

Don’t let your advocacy efforts stop now that summer is here and session is over. Continue reaching out to your legislators and other elected officials to let them know what is working and what changes you would like to see.

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” – Joel A. Barker

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Change and Action Campaign

Are you involved in your community? Do you have opinions about the changes in healthcare or government? Do you take action and speak up for yourself? Have you figured out a way to cope with change? If you answered yes to any of those questions, we want to hear from you!

As we continue to share with you helpful ways you can adapt and be involved with the changes happening in your life, we want your insights on change, too! ID Action is looking for individuals or groups to pull out the camera and share how change has impacted them and what they want other self-advocates to know.

Change can be both exciting and scary, but it is important to not sit back and let it happen to us but to take an active and engaged role.

If you are interested in submitting a 15-60 second video as part of our Change and Action campaign, email us at or call us at 866-432-2846.

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Lifetime Achievement Awards

Cherie Clark with Becky Harker at ACD 2017

ID Action was pleased to award not one but two Lifetime Achievement Awards this year. This year’s award winners are well-deserving individuals who have both committed themselves to advocating and creating positive change for Iowans with disabilities.

Cherie Clark, facilitator and organizer of P.A.D.S., and Becky Harker, executive director of the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, were each presented with a 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Advocating for Change Day rally in April.

This award marks a milestone for Becky, as she will be retiring this summer.

To read more about the accomplishments of Cherie and Becky, visit the latest news on our website.

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