Who is Orleans County Citizen Advocacy?
Founded in 1988, Orleans County Citizen Advocacy is a non-profit organization that brings people with developmental disabilities and unpaid citizen volunteers together. Our Program Coordinator introduces the volunteers, called Advocates, to a person with developmental disabilities, and then provides ongoing support to their relationship.
Why do we need Citizen Advocacy, and How do Citizen Advocacy relationships make a difference in the lives involved?
Often society’s response to disabilities causes more problems for a person than the disability itself. People with developmental disabilities are usually wounded by society’s rejection, isolation and segregation, and by the lack of control they have over their lives. Through one-to-one Citizen Advocacy relationships, people who are devalued and wounded find protection, respect, empowerment and inclusion. As in all relationships, the Advocates find their lives enriched as well.
Don’t government agencies provide these services?
Often we assume that needs of people with disabilities are met by the government or Social Service agencies. In reality, we all have needs that can only be taken care of by caring neighbors and friends. Most often, the Advocate is the only person involved who is not paid to be involved.
How can I be a part of Citizen Advocacy?
- Become a citizen advocate
- Recommend a person in need of a citizen advocate
- Help with fundraising
- Make a donation
- Consider being on our board of directors
- Attend an informational meeting