History of I-Voice
In 2001 at LDA an idea began to form to advance the civil rights of people with disabilities. The idea of “Their There” developed. Over the next three years, “Their There” became a reality as an organization named, I-Voice. In 2004 the hope for I-Voice was to become a catalyst for change in the community. I-Voice has begun that journey by educating the communities of WNY, and in turn changing the perception of disabled people. I-Voice gives its’ members a voice to those who had previously been denied that opportunity. This is our opportunity to create change in our lives.
Members of I-Voice have attended regional, State, and National conferences over the last seven years and are gaining momentum in their efforts towards change. I-Voice has served as a steering committee working alongside LDA’s Board of Directors, and also has representation on the board. Since it’s inception, the members of I-Voice have been able to create various position papers that have been adopted by LDA’s board, and were sent to many legislators and other elected officials. I-Voice also created a six week seminar on public policy which helped raise awareness of systems advocacy. I-Voice initiated the involvement of people receiving services in the hiring of staff for LDA, which serves to empower individuals by having a voice in who will be delivering services and working to them.