The Council’s annual Advocacy Days events in April and May are a great way to share your experiences while working to make a difference in public policy. Telling a personal story makes a powerful impression on lawmakers, putting a “human face” on policy issues.
“I want people to feel empowered in advocacy work,” says WCBVI Executive Director Denise Jess. “Your experience as a person with vision loss is exactly where we start.”
Being a successful advocate is a combination of knowing what story to tell, to whom to tell it, and doing one’s homework. These tools and other advocacy strategies will be examined during the April workshops hosted by the Council.
Advocacy Days will be a hybrid event this year. The first two opportunities will be offered as online Zoom events. On April 18 an Advocacy 101 session will be offered at two different times, 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
On April 19 and April 20, there will be “Lunch and Learn” Zoom sessions on specific topics from noon to 1:00 p.m.
On Wednesday, May 3, we’ll gather in person at the State Capitol. This will be an opportunity to share advocacy ideas and then meet with state lawmakers to discuss issues that impact people with vision loss. Participation in one of the Advocacy 101 sessions in April is required to join us for this part of Advocacy Days.
During Advocacy Days, we’ll share a new report published by the VisionServe Alliance and prepared by researchers at The Ohio State University that is filled with data about older adults in Wisconsin living with vision loss. We’ll talk about ways to use this information when communicating with legislators.
“You bring a more personal or ‘close to home’ perspective because you are a constituent, maybe even a neighbor who shops at the same stores as the lawmaker and attends the same community events,” Denise says. “This personalized connection can leave a big impression in the heart and mind of that lawmaker helping to influence their decisions.”
For registration and other information about Advocacy Days, visit WCBlind.org/events/advocacy-days, call the Council at 608 255-1166 or email us at Info@WCBlind.org.