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.

Dear Advocate, your voice is needed

We must let the Governor know how important Centers for Independent Living and the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) are to Missourians with disabilities.

The CDS program provides critical personal care services to nearly 40,000 individuals with disabilities throughout Missouri. These services allow people to remain safe, healthy, and independent in their own homes.

We need to increase funding to CDS in the FY25 state budget.

Please help us advocate! Share with your friends and family how important the CDS program is to you and your community.  Please spread the word to raise awareness and generate support.  

Missourians with disabilities want to remain independent in their own homes. The state government needs to prioritize this funding in their FY24 budget. Let him know how you feel! Individuals with disabilities that can live in their own homes with the proper supports deserve to stay there. 

Email or Mail

Write a letter to state representatives to let them know what the CDS program means to you. Tell them what would happen if you did 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”
  • “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”


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.”