LaCAN: What We Do
LaCAN members participate in various advocacy activities throughout the year. Their efforts have resulted in major accomplishments that have improved the lives of individuals with disabilities. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Your level of activity is totally up to you.
Roundtables are held each January-February in every region of the state. Dates for next year's Roundtables will be announced as soon as these become available. Roundtables provide you the opportunity to:
- Meet with legislators in your area
- Get current information on state issues
- Increase your ability to be an effective advocate
- Learn techniques for sharing your personal story to encourage positive changes
Disability Rights Day
A Disability Rights Day is held each year at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. LaCAN members gather from around the state to advocate for the supports and services people with developmental disabilities need to live and thrive in their own homes, schools, and community. The day includes legislative visits and a rally on the Capitol steps. The date for the next Disability Rights Day will be announced as soon as it is scheduled.
Legislators are elected to represent us. Legislators typically want to hear the views and issues faced by their constituents. One of the most powerful ways to convince a legislator of the need for change is to put a face on the situation. LaCAN Leaders support their regional members in making personal visits with their legislators by providing speaking points and helping members with their personal story and message. Leaders schedule legislative visits throughout the year. Please contact your Leader if you are interested in participating in an upcoming visit.
Yellow Shirt Days
During the legislative session, LaCAN members show up at key legislative committee meetings when critical decisions are being made. Every bill must pass through committee in the process of becoming a law, so it is important to let legislators on these committees know the possible effects of these bills on individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Yellow Shirt Days are also held throughout the year to advocate for education issues being addressed at BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education), SEAP (Special Education Advisory Panel), and other key education meetings. LaCAN Leaders coordinate members in their region to make a presence at these meetings. Regional members are also called upon to share their personal stories during times of public testimony.
Information & Action Alerts
Alerts inform LaCAN members of proposed changes to policy that may affect individuals with developmental disabilities and the services they receive. Action Alerts also inform members of what specific action they can take to advocate regarding these changes. Alerts are most frequent during the legislative session but can occur anytime during the year if an issue of significance is identified. Actions typically involve sending e-mails or letters with a specific message to your legislators or other policymakers. It only takes a couple of minutes to respond to Action Alerts and legislators indicate these contacts provide insight into how the laws they create impact people with developmental disabilities and their families. LaCAN Leaders are available to assist you in understanding the content of these alerts and taking action as needed.