The Arc of Dallas — Advocacy for Choice and Change

Advocacy for Choice and Change

Three men smile and pose for the camera.
Left to right: Marvin Barnes, Barry Sheft and George Goodenow visit at the Texas Advocates conference in Grapevine. They all graduated from The Arc of Dallas’ leadership program.

Statewide Need
There is a continued need for the development of training programs and resources to assist Texans with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families learn leadership and advocacy skills. To do this, leadership development and advocacy skills training programs must exist in many different areas around the state. Because it is unlikely that any one organization can provide enough funding to meet the demand, it is imperative that organizations that offer this kind of training work with others. This type of collaboration can help to increase the number of identified leadership development and advocacy training programs that are able to provide culturally appropriate training for individuals with DD.

Project Goal
Help empower members of the community to create changes in public policy. Increase supports and opportunities for people with disabilities and their families.

Project Summary
This project provided advocacy and leadership training, supported an inclusive grassroots advocacy network in North Texas, and helped to facilitate advocacy activities that promoted full inclusion for people with DD in their communities.

The project proposed to provide on-site advocacy and leadership training to individuals with DD, family members, and other interested community allies. A minimum of one training per quarter was to be provided with increasing depth of training on each topic. The training was divided into two 12-week curriculums, including a basic and advanced training program. Trainings included using volunteers from the community, group discussions, experiential exercises and situation modeling, peer presentations, professional speakers, online interaction with peers and advocacy networks and a graduation ceremony.

Proposed activities included coordinated legislative visits, formal awareness presentations, staffing booths at information expositions, and organizing a rally at the annual March for Respect. Other proposed activities, with input from the Grassroots Advocacy Network of North Texas, included demonstrations, letter writing campaigns, media blitzes and other advocacy projects. The target was to have at least one advocacy event/project per quarter, plus one media exposure or event that targets large groups of the general public.

Project Period
Apr 2012 – Mar 2015

12700 Hillcrest Road, Ste. 200
Dallas, TX 75230

Geographic Reach
Collin, Dallas and Rockwall counties

Texas map with Dallas, Collin and Rockwall counties marked