3 Tips for Articulating Policy

The Conversation Corner, By Brook Fieldman 

Part 8 of 8 – This is the last post in this series of blog posts on supporting, encouraging, and tips and tricks related to communication.

Tips for Communicating Disability Policy

The previous blog in this series detailed the importance of building knowledge on self-advocacy and increasing communicative confidence to participate in advocacy. This blog is intended to go hand in hand with that resource to guide you on how to effectively communicate about disability policy in relation to Down syndrome. The first step in advocating for oneself and ensuring a strong disability policy is understanding Down syndrome. As many of you are aware, GiGi’s Playhouse offers wonderful resources and opportunities to better understand Down syndrome. I’ve included additional resources that provide further, more detailed information on Down syndrome advocacy and policy: 

This is not an all-inclusive list as there are many others out there! 

Now some of you may be wondering why you need to learn about disability policy surrounding Down syndrome. There are many situations where knowledge of policy can be a benefit, such as in the classroom, workplace, healthcare facilities, housing accessibility, transportation, and much more. Effective communication in these settings is crucial for promoting inclusion and ensuring individuals with Down syndrome have full access to resources within society. 

I have three tips for effectively articulating policy. 

  1. Use language that is respectful and straightforward. By shifting your mindset from disability —> to ability you will better reach your audience and recognize the diverse experiences of all. 
  2. Make your language accessible. Adding visual elements or closed captioning includes everyone in the conversation. 
  3. Collaborate with others who can support you. I challenge you to engage with others, whether that be through an advocacy group or policymaker, to amplify your message.

You have the power to advocate for yourself and others. Your extensive knowledge and relation to disability policy and the lives of those with Down syndrome isn’t always consistent among the general population. Therefore, you can advocate for change. 

Thank you for reading.

Submitted by, Brook Fieldman, Augustana Intern

  • Augustana College Class of 2024
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders Major
  • Disability and Asian Studies Minors

Handouts from this blog series can be seen here as they become available.

Join us for a recap night! Family Speaker: Communication & Expectations Monday, April 29, 2024 at 5:30 pm.

Register using this link.

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