Advocate

The mission of this program is to advocate alongside our families for positive changes in public policy focused on improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Now more than ever, we need families to help guide our efforts and priorities; we need YOU to speak directly to New Jersey's policymakers about the issues that affect you and your loved one with a developmental disability.

The Arc of New Jersey's Families Network offers an easy way to get involved even if you have limited time. You will receive email updates and action alerts. It takes about fifteen minutes a month and you don't even have to leave your home to participate.

The Arc of New Jersey also offers the opportunity for selected family members to become one of their Ambassadors to the Legislature, the Governor's Office and Executive Officials. We assist our Family Ambassadors in developing a relationship with their elected officials and provide them with all the information and support they need to talk to their representatives about issues that impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Shred the R-word! Campaign
A major ongoing initiative is the Shred the R-word! campaign, a collaboration of the New Jersey Self Advocacy Project and the New Jersey Statewide Self Advocacy Network.

Person First Language
I'm a Person First, My Disability Comes Last
Related to the End the R-word campaign is the ongoing initiative to increase the use of Person First Language. The New Jersey Self Advocacy Project has created the printable I'm a Person First, My Disability Comes Last Kit to assist self advocates and others in spreading the word about person first language

The opportunity for selected family members to become one of The Arc of New Jersey’s Ambassadors to the Legislature, the Governor's Office and Executive Officials is also an avenue to advocacy. Assistance is provided to Family Ambassadors in developing a relationship with their elected officials and provide them with all the information and support they need to talk to their representatives about developmental disabilities issues.

http://www.arcnj.org/programs/family_advocacy.html