The Advocacy Series

“Asking for what you need is one of the bravest things that you’ll ever do.” -Brené Brown

The Family Services staff at the IFOPA connects families to resources and support within the FOP community and beyond. We love working with families to learn about their specific needs and the barriers to meeting those needs. As a way to serve you better, we are excited to launch The Advocacy Series.

Our hope for the The Advocacy Series is to:

  • Deepen the communication between the IFOPA and community members and learn more about the factors keeping you or your loved one with FOP from getting their needs met
  • Educate individuals with FOP and their support network on ways to be an effective advocate
  • Create opportunities for community members to connect and learn from one another
  • Combine IFOPA resources and community knowledge to create a workbook for people to use as they navigate their own advocacy opportunities

In 2021, The Advocacy Series will focus on the following quarterly topics:

1. Advocacy: You Can Make A Difference
    We’ll discuss how to build upon your strengths to communicate your needs and create an action plan for more effective problem solving.

2. Advocacy At All Ages
    Advocacy begins by empowering children to overcome challenges rather than enabling them to rely on others. Learn how children, teens and young adults can start advocating for their needs at different developmental stages.

3. Advocating in a Medical Setting
    Take control of your medical journey by learning the tools you need to be an effective member of your health care team.

4. Advocating for Mobility and Independence
    Learn how to access the tools, equipment and transportation you need to get outside and engage with those around you.

Community members can participate in The Advocacy Series in the following formats:

  • Introductory Podcast: Hope Newport and Karen Kirchhoff, Family Services staff will introduce the quarterly topic and provide highlights of the content to come.
  • Community Panel: Meet with other members of the FOP community over video conferencing to hear the experience of others and complete activities together as a group.
  • Resource Webinar: Hear a subject matter expert address the topic and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Preliminary Schedule: 

To sign up to receive January's podcast and more information about future Advocacy Series programming, click here.

Month Program
January Advocacy: You Can Make a Difference Podcast
February Advocacy: You Can Make a Difference Community Panel
March Advocacy: You Can Make a Difference Resource Webinar
April Advocacy at All Ages Podcast
May Advocacy at All Ages Community Panel
June Advocacy at All Ages Resource Webinar
July Advocating in a Medical Setting Podcast
August Advocating in a Medical Setting Community Panel
September Advocating in a Medical Setting Resource Webinar
October Advocating for Mobility and Independence Podcast
November Advocating for Mobility and Independence Community Panel
December Advocating for Mobility and Independence Resource Webinar


For more information about the program or to share your experience as an advocate, please contact Hope Newport, IFOPA Family Services Manager, at or Karen Kirchhoff, Family Services Coordinator, at

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