FL youth advocacy summit

IEL Supports Self-Advocates at Florida Advocacy Summit

IEL staff joined the Family Café to facilitate the first Florida Advocacy Summit (funded through the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council), which included self-advocates with disabilities, family members, and allies. Together, the attendees created advocacy action plans to address barriers to affordable, accessible housing and transportation for people with disabilities in Florida.  

The IEL team designed and facilitated a process for participants to reflect on the barriers in housing and transportation for people with disabilities in their region, identify and come to consensus on policy priorities, and draft an action plan to improve housing and transportation.  

The goals of the Summit align with IEL’s mission to prepare people to create change for themselves and their communities, and IEL’s focus on people with disabilities, a group that is historically marginalized in the policymaking process.  

“We were honored to support this event that centered the voices of people with disabilities, and we are excited about the actions, including policy changes, that these advocates will take in the coming months to improve housing and transportation for people with disabilities in Florida,” stated Mary Kingston Roche, IEL’s Senior Director of Policy. 

For decades, IEL has produced innovative programs including the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP), the Right Turn Career-Focused Transition Initiative, and the D.C. Advocacy Partners. IEL has authored and published cutting-edge publications like the Guideposts for Success that is used as a foundational guide for the transition from youth to adulthood for youth with disabilities. IEL’s Vice President for Transition, Disability and Inclusion, Dahlia Shaewitz, noted “We appreciated this opportunity to support the people of Florida and to continue the work that IEL has led for more than 20 years toward disability justice and full inclusion of all people with disabilities.”