Promoting systemic change locally and legislatively
WILC’s Systems Advocacy Program engages in educational and outreach activities designed to promote and create systems change in local, state and national policies to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
WILC was one of the first Independent Living Centers in New York State to receive the Statewide Systems Advocacy Network (SSAN) contract in 2002. The SSAN was implemented to support the Independent Living movement in the development of local partnerships and coalitions to engage in community education about issues impacting people with disabilities. The overall goal is to increase knowledge and visibility about Independent Living, resulting in public policies that benefit residents with disabilities throughout New York.
WILC’s SSAN Team advocates for individual consumers in Westchester and Putnam Counties in the areas of accessible voting, employment, accessible and affordable housing, and ADA access violations.
WILC’S SSAN Team advocates for the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in all areas of community living by participating in public hearings, advisory committees, city council meetings, and other forums where public policy is being debated.
The Team advocates on behalf of consumers with disabilities at legislative hearings, provides written and oral public policy testimonies to state and local officials, facilitates press conferences and issues written commentary to area publications and on pertinent social media platforms.