Advocacy – "Giving aid to cause: active verbal support for a cause or position."
Advocacy happens on many levels and IVUN encourages Members to utilize its comprehensive information and extensive network of people and organizations to advocate for themselves.
IVUN wants its Members to achieve and maintain independent living, but also asks its Members to be active in solving the larger issues facing all people with disabilities.
IVUN's Advocacy Roots
Gini Laurie, founder of International Ventilator Users Network, an affiliate of Post-Polio Health International (formerly Gazette International Networking Institute), earned the moniker of "grandmother of the independent living moving" for her years of gathering names and experiences of people with significant disabilities.
Laurie loved "learning new things" and early on recognized the power of information and peer support. Her newsletters, which evolved into an annual journal in the '70s and '80s, featured letters from her "friends around the world," who shared the life stories – how they got an education, became employed, fell in love and had families. She delighted in connecting people with common problems and interests and set back and watched them "go to work."