SAMPLE LETTER TO LEGISLATOR FOR SELF-ADVOCATES
(sourced from Stone Belt, Bloomington, IN)
City, State, ZIP]
The Honorable [Representative or Senator Name]
Indianapolis, IN, ZIP]
Dear [Representative or Senator] Last Name:
I am writing today, because I live in your district, and I’m a voter. I know that as a part of your job as an Indiana legislator, you have to decide how to spend the state’s money, and you need ideas from your voters. I’m a person with a disability, and though you might not always hear very much from people like me, I want you to know we have a voice and we need your help.
First, let me tell you a little bit about where I live and what I do. [Fill in information here about where you live (for example: group home, supported living apartment, with your family) and who you live with. Then tell the legislator a little bit about what you do (for example: work, arts programs, bowling, music, shopping) Then explain who helps you do those things and how they help you. (For example: My staff worker at (your provider’s name) helps us cook our dinner, and we all help do the cleaning. They give me my medicine, help me with my banking, and do the grocery shopping. And when I go to art class or to work, my (your provider’s name) staff person helps me get ready and drives me where I need to go.)]
I’m concerned because a lot of people need direct support professionals (DSPs) like the ones I work with at (your provider’s name), but there aren’t enough of them. Part of the problem seems to be that DSPs don’t get paid very much. The money they get paid with comes from Medicaid and providers like (your provider’s name) have had state budget cuts. I’m worried that my provider may need to cut some of our services. If that happens, I may have fewer choices about what I can do and where I can live.
You can help us when you vote for the budget this year. Please make sure that people with disabilities don’t lose tax dollars that go to support disability programs, services and supports.
Thank you for your help and for your service.
[Your first and last name]
Become an advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities and Opportunity Enterprises
Here are some ways to advocate:
Invite friends to OE events. See the list of upcoming events.
Speak well of those with disabilities. Here are some guidelines.
Display a Disability Awareness poster at your office or school. Download one here.
Contact your legislator in support of individuals with disabilities and the staff that serve them. Click here to download a complete guide.