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Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign


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This session + you = action! The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities conducts the Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign to show legislators how everyone benefits when people with disabilities have community-integrated jobs at a competitive wage. During the campaign, legislators visit people at their place of work and see these benefits firsthand. In this session, we describe the campaign, how it works, and the many ways people can participate in it. People who attend this session will be motivated to get involved with the campaign and show legislators why community-integrated employment is important!

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Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign

  1. 1. Get Involved in theTAKE YOUR LEGISLATOR TO WORK CAMPAIGN! Presentation by Joshua Ryf, Communications Director, WI-BPDD & Andrew Gerbitz, Board Member, WI-BPDD Integrated Employment Network Event Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells August 28, 2012
  2. 2. Question:Who has contacted their legislator?
  3. 3. What is Take Your Legislator to Work?A campaign to raise awareness thatevery adult with a disability inWisconsin can participate in gainfulemployment and have a meaningful jobin the community.
  4. 4. Why conduct the campaign?Reason #1: Educate legislators
  5. 5. Why? Educate LegislatorsLegislators create laws and allocatefunding that affects people withdisabilities.We want legislators to know thatindividualized, community-integratedemployment is a high priority and goodfor Wisconsin.
  6. 6. Why conduct the campaign?Reason #2: Show employability ofpeople with disabilities
  7. 7. Why? Show EmployabilityGive individuals with disabilities theopportunity to show their skills andtalents to their elected officials.
  8. 8. Why conduct the campaign?Reason #3: Raise awareness about theimportance of community-integratedjobs
  9. 9. Why? Raise AwarenessWhen people with disabilities havecommunity-integrated jobs, everyonebenefits:• Stronger workforce• More inclusive community• People pay taxes and rely less on programs and services
  10. 10. Why conduct the campaign?Reason #4: Strengthen disabilityadvocacy in Wisconsin
  11. 11. Why? Strengthen Disability AdvocacyPeople who participate in the campaignwill have the confidence to voice theiropinions to their legislators.Building relationships betweenlegislators and people with disabilitiescan be beneficial to both parties.
  12. 12. Where does the campaign happen?Everywhere in Wisconsin!33 Senate districts + 99 Assemblydistricts = 132 possible visits** 133 if you count the Governor
  13. 13. When does the campaign happen?October, in conjunction with NationalDisability Employment AwarenessMonth (NDEAM).
  14. 14. Who can be involved?People with disabilities who want toparticipate and show their legislatorhow everyone benefits when peoplewith disabilities have community-integrated employment at acompetitive wage.(Participants)
  15. 15. Who can be involved?People who know a person with adisability who might be a goodcandidate to participate.(Facilitators)
  16. 16. Who can be involved?Facilitators can include:• Family/friends of a participant• MCO staff• IRIS consultants• Employers• Job coach
  17. 17. Who can be involved?People who want to oversee a regionof the state and help make thecampaign successful in their region.There are 14 regions in Wisconsin.Stipends are available.(Regional Coordinators)
  18. 18. Who can be involved?Employers of people with disabilitieswho provide community-integratedjobs at competitive wages.(Employers)
  19. 19. Did we miss anyone?
  20. 20. Legislators!
  21. 21. How does it work?For individuals with disabilities who areinterested in participating, there arethings to do both prior to and duringthe visit.
  22. 22. How? Prior to the VisitIndividuals with disabilities who areinterested in participating…1. Get approval from their employer2. Complete the Participant Information Form3. Invite their legislator to visit4. Plan the visit
  23. 23. How? During to the VisitCampaign participants1. Give their legislator a tour2. Show them what they do3. Introduce them to co-workers and employer4. Sit down with their legislator and share their story
  24. 24. 2011 Campaign40 people with disabilities participated28 legislators and the Governor madevisits
  25. 25. One of those 40participants was…
  26. 26. Andrew Gerbitz!
  27. 27. Andrew’s Visit
  28. 28. Andrew’s Visit – Video (TMJ4)
  29. 29. Questions for Andrew?
  30. 30. How do YOU get involved?Participants:Get approval from your employer tohave a visit sometime in October andthen submit a completed ParticipantInformation Form.
  31. 31. How do YOU get involved?Facilitators:Spread the word about the campaignto people you know who would begood candidates to participate. Also, afacilitator may help coordinate asuccessful visit between a person witha disability and their legislator.
  32. 32. How do YOU get involved?Regional Coordinators:Complete and submit a RegionalCoordinator Application. If selected,you will (A) have the opportunity toensure your region has successful visitsbetween people with disabilities andtheir legislators and (B) get $250.
  33. 33. BPDD is here to help!Regardless of your role, BPDD will bewith you every step of the way. We willmake sure everyone has the supportthey need so they can be involved inthe campaign.
  34. 34. Handouts & Sign Up
  35. 35. Questions?
  36. 36. For more information…Go to, orcontact Joshua Ryf at (608) 261-7829
  37. 37. Thank you for attending!