May be individual, systemic, or self:
- individual advocacy is done on behalf of a single person;
- systemic advocacy involves defending, or supporting a particular position of benefit to a group or class of people (e.g. people with disabilities);
- self advocacy supports and enhances a consumer's ability to be assertive when faced with obstacles in pursuit of independent living goals.
At ACIL, consumers are empowered through education of advocacy methods and encouraged to take directing roles in advocating for their own issues as well as the issues of others. ACIL trains consumers how to contact public officials and present their issues in writing, over the telephone, and by appointment. ACIL keeps consumers up-to-date about their civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act, Fair Housing laws, and other legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability.
Additionally, ACIL provides access on the center's computer system and network to the latest news, amendments, and legislation concerning people with disabilities on the state and national level -- sometimes even before it is published!
To encourage and facilitate self advocacy, ACIL maintains addresses and phone numbers of state and federal public officials and educational materials for effective letter writing, phone calls, and other communication.