Stories |

Using Advocacy Skills to Incite Change

For over 70 years, The Arc has fought for the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a newly merged, statewide organization, The Arc Minnesota is building on this legacy.

Everyday, Advocates equip families and individuals with the skills and information to advocate for themselves and create a life that is fulfilling to them. Advocates, like Jen.

Jen has been an Advocate at The Arc for over 10 years. Her work includes supporting individuals as they create their own Person Centered Plan, helping families as a certified Healthcare Navigator, and supervising a team of 5 Advocates with combined experience of over 50 years.

Now, she is using her advocacy skills to incite change on a larger scale.

During the last legislative session, The Arc prioritized fighting for the reduction or elimination of parental fees for the Medical Assistance – TEFRA  and simplifying the application process. Jen’s testimony before State Legislative committees – along with those of other Arc Advocates and families we support – was integral to this effort.

Jen receives multiple calls a day from families trying to navigate complicated healthcare systems and from their stories, she understands how these programs could be improved to provide better support. This is where advocacy is essential.

Advocates play an important role, not only because they are a source of information, but because they empower people to advocate for themselves. When Jen supports individuals and families, she provides them with resources to select the options that best suit their lives and bring them closer to their goals.