Advocate for Yourself & Others with Parkinson's Disease
Please welcome Occupational Therapy doctoral candidate Ariel Schmidt to the PD Fighters Corner. Ariel has included vital resources on how to advocate for yourself and your loved ones with Parkinson’s Disease. Advocacy can result in greater public awareness of the disease and legislation to increase access, education, and funding for research. Learn how to become an advocate for people with Parkinson’s Disease below!
From OT doctoral candidate Ariel Schmidt
Advocacy. It is so important, but where do I start? Luckily for us there are so many resources that we can utilize to help us take the first step to advocate for ourselves, our loved ones, and Parkinson’s in general. Here are a few easy resources to get you started:
PD Avengers are a global organization that uses the value of combined efforts, influence, and skills to vocally advocate for those with PD, prove that Parkinson’s matters, and to build a sense of urgency to end this disease! They do not ask for money, but rather your voice. It is always said that strength is in numbers and that is exactly their goal. You can become a PD Avenger by signing up at https://www.pdavengers.com/become-a-pd-avenger. Our coaches have become PD Avengers. Will you?
Parkinson’s Policy Forum
This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to take advantage of! The Parkinson’s Policy Forum is held every year in Washington D.C. Normally it is by invitation only, but due to COVID and it being held virtually, it has been opened to the public. Over March 22-25 this FREE virtual event will bring together researchers and community members for policy briefings, advocacy trainings, research updates, and networking. This is an easy way to get involved with policy advocacy within your comfort level. You can register for this online event at https://www.michaeljfox.org/form/2021-parkinsons-policy-forum-application
Michael J. Fox Foundation
We all know about the Michael J. Fox Foundation, but did you know that they have an advocacy resource page? On this page, they have email templates that are already written out to send to your Senators. You can either send the email as is or include your own personal touch. Find the templates at https://www.michaeljfox.org/contact-your-policymakers. You can also stay up to date on the latest Parkinson’s public policy at https://www.michaeljfox.org/advocacy.
Try these resources and see where your advocacy journey leads you.