Monthly Archives: November 2014

Advocacy by number

When I think of an advocate (outside of the diabetes-realm), I think of someone who steps up to bat for the little guy. Not quite a lawyer, not quite a lobbyist. But someone with the know-how, the connections, and (hopefully) the influence to make sure somebody gets that to which he or she is entitled. An advocate is someone who brings the qualities to empower someone else who may feel they are at a disadvantage. Or, maybe, they bring the time and effort to fight the necessary battles on behalf of the person whose time is too consumed with the very thing that necessitates¬†the battle. It’s often a one-on-one sort of thing.

For a student who is unable to climb a flight of stairs, an advocate may pressure a school to install ADA-compliant ramps, as opposed to shuttling the student to a different school in another town that already them.

For a parent who cannot transport their disabled child to doctor’s appointments, an advocate may help solicit donations for a¬†wheelchair-lift-equipped vehicle.

For the victim of a crime, an advocate may help to deal with the logistical difficulties of working through the legal system, obtaining emotional counseling, or finding peer-support.

There are many types of advocates. They are often affiliated with nonprofits, some are volunteers. But generally, they tend to work with the best interests of the individual they are supporting in mind.

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