Disability Advocacy

Serving Benton, Henry, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis and Saline County, Missouri.

Advocacy.  Your voice matters.  Call 855-WILSWAY or visit W-ILS.org

Missourians with disabilities want to remain independent in their own homes and our state lawmakers need to prioritize this funding.

The Governor has two proposed cuts to funding the Consumer Directed Services program for Fiscal Year 2022.  If the proposed funding cuts are passed this could mean CDS Consumers  lose services because there won’t be enough money to pay attendant wages.

We need to stop the proposed cuts to CDS in state budget proposal HB 10.

Please help us advocate! You can call or send a short note to your representatives today to let them know what issues are important to you. Legislator Lookup
If your legislator(s) sits on the House or Senate Conference Committee, it is extremely important to seek a phone call with him or her.  Keep it brief, to the point, and ask for his or her help to restore the cuts to CDS and increase the program so we can continue serving people with disabilities in their own home which is the best and most affordable option for care.
If your legislator(s) does not sit on the Budget Conference Committee, you can still reach out with a request to restore the cuts to CDS and get the program adequately funded.

Sample Messages

Email – Right Now!

Email your Representative and let them know that these proposed cuts could really hurt you. Tell them what would happen if you do not have CDS. What kinds of things would you have to stop doing?

You can say:

  • “I will not be able to pay my attendant minimum wage or be competitive with other jobs in the community”
  • “Without an attendant my services will be cut if these cuts pass”
  • “I am afraid I will have to quit [list some things you do in the community]”
  • “I will have to live in a nursing home because I can not [list some tasks that your attendant helps you with, like cooking, bathing, using the restroom, cleaning] by myself and the only other option for my needs to be met is if I am in a nursing home. I do not want that”
  • Dear Representative,

My name is ______ and I am a constituent in your district. I am writing today to let you know that I am passionate about the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) program. Governor Parson has proposed two budget cuts that could be devastate the program. Without CDS,  I ______. Please stop these cuts in HB 10. Missouri has the funds available, especially with the funding from the most recent COVID relief bill. Thank you for your continued support of people with disabilities.

With warmest thanks, (your name)

Social Media and Conversations With Friends and Families – Right now

Share  and tell your family and friends how CDS helps you. Ask them to call their representatives to share the message about the proposed cuts.

Sample post or message to family/friends:

Governor Parson has proposed TWO budget cuts to Consumer Directed Services, the program that people with disabilities in our community use to live at home independently. Advocates across the state are working together to make sure these cuts don’t happen. Call your legislators to let them know that funding for Consumer Directed Services should not be cut by saying “Please VOTE NO on the cuts to Consumer Directed Services in HB 10.”

Sample post directly on your legislator’s social media pages:

You have a chance to save the Consumer Directed Services program.  Please, restore the TWO cuts to the program.  Individuals with disabilities that can live in their own homes with the proper supports deserve to stay there. #AdvocateForCDS

Phone Calls

Call your legislators to let them know that funding for Consumer directed services should not be cut.

Phrases you can use during the call stress the importance of blocking these cuts:

  • “I won’t be able to pay my attendant if these cuts pass”
  • “I am afraid I will have to quit [list some things you do in the community]”
  • “I will have to live in a nursing home because I can not [list some tasks that your attendant helps you with, like cooking, bathing, using the restroom, cleaning] by myself and the only other option for my needs to be met is if I am in a nursing home. I do not want that”
  • My name is ______ and I am a constituent in your district. I am calling today to let the Representative know that Governor Parson has proposed two budget cuts that would devastate the Consumer Directed Services program. People with disabilities use this program to live independently. Without CDS members of my community will lose their independence. Please stop the cuts in HB 10. Missouri has the funds available, especially with the funding from the most recent COVID relief bill. Thank you for your time and willingness to support people with disabilities.

Contact Information

State Legislators 2021
Legislator Lookup

Saline
Senatorial district 021 – Senator Denny Hoskins
House district 048 – Representative Jim Taylor
U.S. House district 05 – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver
House District 051 – Representative Kurtis Gregory

Benton
Senatorial district 028 – Senator Sandy Crawford
House district 057 – Representative Rodger Reedy
U.S. House district 04 – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler

Johnson
Senatorial district 021 – Senator Denny Hoskins
House district 054 – Representative Dan Houx
U.S. House district 04 – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler
House District 051 – Representative Kurtis Gregory

Pettis
Senatorial district 028 – Senator Sandy Crawford
House district 052 – Representative Brad Polliitt
U.S. House district 04 – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler
House District 051 – Representative Kurtis Gregory

Henry
Senatorial district 031 – Senator Rick Brattin
House district 057 – Representative Rodger Reedy
U.S. House district 04 – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler

Lafayette
Senatorial district 021 – Senator Denny Hoskins
House district 053 – Representative Terry Thompson
U.S. House district 05 – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Missouri elected officials

US Senators

Self-Advocacy

WILS encourages, supports, and assists consumers to strengthen their disability advocacy and self advocacy skills through communication, letter writing and face-to-face meetings.

WILS strives to enable individuals with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights to obtain services and benefits.   An Independent Living Specialist works closely with the consumers to instill advocacy skills that allow the consumer to become a self-advocate.  WILS also works with local, state and federal entities to obtain equal access to opportunities in the community.

Disability Advocacy

Becoming involved in disability advocacy and self advocacy are critical to independence and it starts with knowing more about disability rights.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
  • The Fair Housing Act: is a federal act in the United States intended to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination.
  • The Rehabilitation Act: prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, in programs receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment, and in the employment practices of federal contractors.
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): is a four-part (A-D) piece of American legislation that ensures students with a disability are provided with Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs.

Advocacy Benefits

  • 96.4% of the individuals who received advocacy services in obtaining access to benefits, services and programs were satisfies with the assistance they received
  • 82.1% indicated they gained knowledge, skill and/or independence from the Advocacy service
  • 92.8% indicated the Advocacy service they received made a positive change in their life
  • “Helped me to remain in my home.”
  • “Increased my independence.”
  • “People with disabilities need to be independent and to choose things that give us independence advocacy helped me with these choices.”
  • “I was able to obtain food stamps.”
  • “Helped me to receive cheaper rent.”
  • “Gave me the ability to learn a new skill to go back to work.’
  • “Helped me get my disability so I can pay my bills.’
  • “I learned more about Medicaid.”
  • “Helped me be able to choose who I wanted as my care attendant.”
  • “I understand how to stand up for myself.”
  • “I am better prepared to speak up for myself.”