a non-disabled man wearing a baseball cap, a non-disabled woman in a red shirt, and a man in a blue wheelchair hanging out in the community

Advocacy

One of the key services OSCIL provides is advocacy both for individuals and within the community as a whole.

Advocacy is central to a Center for Independent Living’s mission. CILs offers both individual and systems advocacy.

Individual advocacy is assisting an individual with a disability to protect his or her rights or to fight for needed resources. Through systems advocacy, we advance civil rights and equal access for all persons with disabilities on the local, state and federal levels.

Systems Advocacy

Our Independent Living Coordinators keep up-to-date on programs and legislation which may affect people with disabilities. Consumers are encouraged to contact their community leaders and legislators to inform them of their views on various programs and legislative issues.

Below you will find information about Rhode Island’s local legislative offices and the delegation to the U.S. Congress:

In Rhode Island

RI Office of the Secretary of State

Find your local legislators

Rhode Island General Assembly Website

Governor Daniel McKee

In Congress

Senator Jack Reed

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Representatives

Congressman David Cicilline – District 1

Congressman James Langevin – District 2

Individual Advocacy

We work with people with disabilities to teach valuable self-advocacy skills, including:

  • Learning the rights that they have already and making effective use of those rights.
  • Learning how to effectively communicate their needs to both maintain the rights they already have and to make advancement in expanding the rights of persons with disabilities.

OSCIL staff will also work with consumers to advocate for services to meet individual needs, including helping to understand the function and processes (necessary criteria, application process, deadlines, etc.) for Social Security, Vocational Rehabilitation, Medicare/Medicaid, and other service agencies.