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Community Change Champions

Our rights are civil rights: We are the movement

Sometimes the most marginalized voices are those of people with disabilities. We’re changing that through a mix mentoring and skills development so people are comfortable and confident taking action.

Community Change Champions is a peer learning group for emerging activists, led by and for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.


Our goal: Full inclusion

We envision a society in which people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities are not only respected, but engaged as equal citizens who make valuable contributions to their communities.


Our approach:

We learn through action and shared experience.

For instance, our series Your Voice Matters helps emerging activists practice specific skills that they will need to raise disability awareness and advance civil rights.

Participants practice sharing stories; identifying allies; identifying people who want to take action or go deeper; and identifying problem-solving strategies. The sessions are conversational and interactive. They build skills naturally.

The format can be adjusted to any topic, but we started off exploring bullying:

  • Session 1: How Bullying Affects Us.
  • Session 2: Who Needs to Hear from You?
  • Session 3: What Do You Need to Say to Your Audience?

Some of our projects:

  • Disability awareness presentations
  • Monthly meetups
  • Advocacy Day participation in Olympia
  • Presentations about employment

Outcomes

We measure ourselves by how well we:

  • Promote equity and social justice
  • Increase understanding and awareness of issues that affect people with disabilities
  • Help people understand how government and the media work
  • Help people advocate for themselves and others, and take action that builds inclusive communities
  • Promote the full potential of people with disabilities
  • Provide opportunities for civic involvement that contribute to the strength and diversity of the community