Stroke Advocacy Network: Developing Your Story

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This short presentation will give you the resources you need to be effective with legislators and their staff.

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Stroke Advocacy Network: Developing Your Story

  1. 1. Stroke Advocacy Network Developing Your Story
  2. 2. WELCOME! Hello, and welcome to one of our video tips for effective advocacy. As Stroke Advocacy Network members you serve as the core for our efforts to increase Congressional understanding of strokerelated issues as well as to achieve policy change.
  3. 3. HOW THIS WORKS Through this power point presentation, we’ll show you how to develop your personal story to share with policy makers. Personal stories are what you bring to the table. Legislators and staff can hear facts, figures and statistics from a range of sources but only you can tell them the day-to-day impact of stroke on real people.
  4. 4. Where to Start: www.stroke.org As you know, the Stroke Advocacy Network site, accessible through stroke.org, is your one-stop shop for all things advocacy. The following slides show you how to access the page.
  5. 5. Where to Start: www.stroke.org Click on the Advocate button
  6. 6. The Stroke Advocacy Network Page You’ll land on this page
  7. 7. The Story Development Section of the Toolkit From the Stroke Advocacy Network page, you can access an advocate toolkit with instructions on how to develop your story. Here’s how…
  8. 8. From the Stroke Advocacy Network Page Scroll over “Resources” Select “Advocacy Toolkit”
  9. 9. The Advocacy Toolkit Page Click on “Developing and Telling Your Personal Story”
  10. 10. Use the Questions Outlined on this Page to Develop Your Story
  11. 11. Story Development Questions The following slides offer more details on how to consider these questions, as well as some samples for answering them.
  12. 12. Question One: Why is it important for you to advocate for stroke survivors? Here’s an opportunity to share your personal connection. Are you a survivor? A caregiver? A loved one? A health care professional? What are the challenges you’ve seen stroke survivors face?
  13. 13. Question One: Why is it important for you to advocate for stroke survivors? Example I am a stroke survivor who has faced numerous challenges in my efforts to return to work after my stroke. I believe more can be done to make this journey easier. I understand that policy makers have a role to play in improving access to care. This is why I’m an advocate.
  14. 14. Question Two: How has stroke impacted your health or the health of a loved one? Here’s an opportunity to share healthrelated impacts. For example, have you faced challenges with mobility? Brain function? Are you more vulnerable to other health care concerns? As a caregiver have you seen these impacts in others? Remember not to get too technical. You’re attempting to provide an overall impression.
  15. 15. Question Two: How has stroke impacted your health or the health of a loved one? Example As a result of my stroke, my mobility has decreased dramatically. Weekly physical therapy appointments are essential to my efforts to continue to perform every day tasks, such as driving or going to the grocery store.
  16. 16. Question Three: How has stroke impacted your finances and/or your ability to work? While you may prefer not to get into actual dollar amounts, answering this question gives you an opportunity to address the economic-side of stroke. For example, have you been unable to return to your job? How have co-pays and bills for services that are not covered impacted your family’s finances?
  17. 17. Question Three: How has stroke impacted your finances and/or your ability to work? Example As a result of my stroke I have been unable to return to my job as a []. In addition to the reduction in income, my family has faced thousands of dollars in additional medical expenses for services not covered by health insurance.
  18. 18. Question Four: How has stroke most profoundly impacted your life? Clearly, the answers to this question will vary based on the individual survivor. Your goal here is to address both challenges as well as opportunities associated with your stroke.
  19. 19. Question Four: How has stroke most profoundly impacted your life? Example My stroke affected my job, my finances and my loved ones in [] way. Yet as a survivor I know I have a role to play in helping others to survive as well. I hope to share my stories and lessons learned as I’ve moved through this process.
  20. 20. Question Five: What is the most important thing you want others to know about surviving a stroke? Clearly, the answers to this question will vary based on the individual survivor. The key here is to connect your response back to decision makers.
  21. 21. Question Five: What is the most important thing you want others to know about surviving a stroke? Example Physical, speech and occupational therapy is essential to improve quality of life for stroke survivors. These services also help survivors continue to be productive members of society. This is why we hope you will continue to allow access to these critical services.
  22. 22. Use the Stories in the Faces of Stroke Campaign as a Model More at: www.stroke.org/faces_home
  23. 23. A Few Key Considerations: Your Story Should be Relatable Your personal story is essential to the success of any advocacy effort. You can make that story most successful by keeping in mind the following points. •Relate your story back to a specific ask. Why are you telling this story? What would you like decision makers to do?
  24. 24. A Few Key Considerations Your Story Should Balance Reason & Passion If passion guides you, let reason hold the reins – Ben Franklin Your story should resonate with policy makers. To do so you’ll need to be clear about the impacts without going “over the top.” Decision makers need to know how stroke affects real people while at the same time being able to relate back to their role in making a difference. This can’t happen if their time is spent in consoling you. Instead, focus on inspiring them.
  25. 25. A Few Key Considerations Your Story Should be Encouraging, Not Angry For the most part, policy makers are unfamiliar with the challenges many stroke survivors face. In generally they are not actively seeking to make life more difficult. Your role is to help them understand and this is best achieved through calm cool engagement as opposed to anger.
  26. 26. Perhaps most important… Your Story Matters! It’s what you bring to the decisionmaking table. Take a few moments to develop and deliver it. You can make a difference for stroke survivors across the country by telling your story to policy makers.
  27. 27. For More Information Contact: Coral Cosway Director, Policy Advocacy 303-754-0907 | ccosway@stroke.org

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