Advocacy Days

Begins April 18-20, 2023

Every day, we advocate for legislation that fulfill the Council’s legislative priorities by building relationships with legislators and their staff. Advocacy Days is a chance for you to hear about these efforts and learn how you can become an effective advocate on the important issues facing people in Wisconsin who are blind or visually impaired.

Advocacy Days 2023:
Begins April 18

Check back for a countdown to next year's event.

Advocacy Days will be a hybrid event this year, with both online and in-person components. On April 18 an Advocacy 101 session will be offered online via Zoom 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 online “Lunch and Learn” Zoom sessions on specific topics from noon to 1:00 p.m. The topic on Wednesday, April 19 will be Health Care Access for People with Vision Loss. The topic on Thursday, April 20 will be Transportation Equity for Non-Drivers.

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. You must attend one of the Advocacy 101 sessions to participate in the Capitol session.

Session Descriptions

Advocacy 101
This session will include:

  1. An overview of the Council’s advocacy priorities and our biennial state budget recommendations.
  2. A review of the state budget process to identify advocacy opportunities.
  3. A storytelling tool to enhance the effectiveness of your advocacy efforts with legislators and local officials.

NOTE: This sessions is required to be able to attend the May 3 State Capitol session.

Health Care
Over 109,000 Wisconsinites have blindness and vision loss, but only about 3% of us receive vision services such as orientation and mobility training, access technology instruction and vision rehabilitation to live more safely and independently. Part of the challenge is the serious lack of these services statewide. In this session attendees will:

  1. Learn about a statewide study of the impact vision loss has on quality of life and overall well-being.
  2. Discover the implications of this research for people living with vision loss, our families and our communities.
  3. Develop advocacy strategies for increasing awareness of this information among policymakers at the state and local levels, and among service providers like our doctors and care providers.

Speakers: Denise Jess, WCBVI and Jacci Borchardt, Vision Forward

The ability to get to where we need to go on our schedules, whether to work, to the doctor or to spend time with friends or family, is essential. Transportation access is a social determinant of health, a link to employment, and often a step toward financial security. Nearly 1/3 of Wisconsin residents are non-drivers, yet our transportation systems are built for those who do drive. In this session, attendees will:

  1. Gain understanding of the transportation programs in our state to better advocate for change.
  2. Learn about the transportation proposals from the Council and other advocacy groups for the state budget and how they would impact the quality of services.
  3. Develop advocacy strategies to creating greater transportation equity and access for non-drivers.

Speakers: Denise Jess, WCBVI, Nick Musson, Greater WI Agency on Aging Resources and Holly Keenan, Luther Social Services

Advocacy Days Registration 2023

Legislative Priorities

You can view and download our legislative briefing documents covering Civil Rights, Education, Employment, Healthcare, Transportation, and Accessible Absentee Voting. More information on these issues and other policies can be found on our Advocacy page.


Accessible Absentee Voting

Key Data on Older Adults with Vision Loss in Wisconsin

“I am inspired each year to attend the Council’s Advocacy Day because I never wish to pass up the chance to begin to build a relationship with a legislator or member of staff. Additionally, it is important to bring the Council’s legislative priorities forward to key personnel who may not have considered state programs and services from a blind/visually impaired person’s perspective.”

Rhonda Staats
Council Board Secretary, La Crosse, Wisconsin