Evaluate Outcomes Discuss Lesson
After implementing the advocacy process, the team should debrief and evaluate gains made toward achieving goals as well as any opposition. If the organization was able to make reasonable accommodations, there may be no need to follow up. Celebrate!
In many cases, some follow up will be needed. If organizations provide a timeline for providing an update honor that before taking further actions. However, follow up promptly with the representative you met with if the designated date has lapsed.
In some cases, lack of follow up may simply be an oversight and the agency will move forward with making efforts to provide access, opportunities, and services to individuals in need of reasonable accommodations.
Continue to work through the process for equal access and inclusion to ensure the process does not stall. Once all goals have been reached, recognize the organization’s willingness to make needed changes to support individuals with special needs and maintain an alliance. Celebrate!
Unfortunately, there are instances when the advocacy process completely stalls within organizations. In these cases, be ready to contact outside governing agencies. Typically, these are state or federal entities that enforce regulations, provide funding, or approve operating licenses for that organization.
It may also be a good idea to seek legal counsel to test the validity of your claim and obtain additional guidance.
Taking these steps will help further develop an argument for your claim. Armed with additional information, schedule a meeting with the appropriate governing body to present your case. Implement the same plan previously used and provide steps already taken prior to contacting the governing body. Activating this process can be lengthy. Advocates entering this process must have a high level of commitment to seek justice for citizens with developmental conditions.
If your claim can be resolved at this level enjoy the fruits of your labor and celebrate!
In a few cases, a remedy may not result by using resources provided by a governing body. At this impasse, legal recourse can be considered. However, this is a costly undertaking and should only be considered when a claim has been vetted and deemed to have strong merit.