A Life Like Yours Alliance: Strengthening Self-Advocacy in Virginia

This project linked many self-advocacy groups into one Alliance. They took the lead to make change. Together, they talked with lawmakers. They worked to get better supports for people with developmental disabilities (DD).

Grantee: The Arc of Virginia

Project Dates: 8/1/2019 - 7/31/2020

Areas of Emphasis: Self-Advocacy

Award: $50,000

Match: $12,500

The goal of this project was to increase the number of inclusive supports for residential, employment and day activities for people with DD. The Arc of Virginia wanted to help self-advocates to lead the movement for change. They decided that self-advocates should form an Alliance. At the start of the project, 22 self-advocacy groups across Virginia wanted to join. By the end, 18 self-advocacy groups had joined. They were made up of 158 members. 24 people called liaisons connected the local groups to the Alliance leaders. The liaisons trained 47 people with DD and 36 family members on inclusive services. They also taught lawmakers about what it means to have inclusive services. People volunteered for about 2,700 hours to reach the project goals.