Iowa APSE hosted a Day on the Hill on January 18, 2018.
More than 30 participants including advocates, individuals with disabilities, and providers were able to engage with legislators around Employment First. Em’s Coffee shared coffee and stories from the owner, an Iowan with a disability. The Iowa DD Council also provided advocacy training before the event to increase the comfort and confidence of participants who asked for funding to align with supported employment, a state match of federal Vocational Rehabilitation dollars, and a focus on capacity building for provider transformation. The event is already showing influence. Following the visits, Representative Art Staed of Cedar Rapids, IA, shared his support of Employment First via Facebook and his newsletter.
My daughter Kara Huss, my son Kyle and I participated in APSE’s Day on the hill. We were able to meet with our Senator Pam Jochum from Dubuque. We are fortunate to have a senator who truly supports employment for people with disabilities. Senator Jochum and our State Representative Chuck Isenhart were both instrumental in getting rule changes addressed and implemented in 2015 and 2016 that have moved integrated competitive employment in Iowa forward. It is always nice to visit our elected officials to thank them and remind them how important it is to continue to work for better employment outcomes for Iowans with disabilities.
– Bill Stumpf, Iowa APSE member and parent