Fox Valley Advocacy Coalition: Serving People with Disabilities and the Elderly in Northeast Wisconsin and the Fox Valley

About

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The Fox Valley Advocacy Coalition (FVAC) has been helping people with disabilities and elderly since 1988.  This nonprofit organization is affiliated with The Advocacy Coalition, Inc. of Brown County which is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1986.

The FVCA is a network of community representatives concerned with the rights and interests of people with disabilities and the elderly.  Members work together to increase communication and education among individuals, agencies, public officials, and the larger community.

The membership focuses on issues and services that increase opportunities for community participation for people with disabilities and the elderly.

The Coalition continues to evolve with the availability of appropriate services and encourages community awareness.

The FVAC is involved in many uses, however their main focus currently is transportation, parking, education, and legislative advocacy.

Wheelchair Entering Valley Transit Bus up gentle slope ramp Transportation: FVAC is trying to maximize the independence of people with disabilities and the elderly by insuring the availability of affordable, accessible transportation options.  FVAC advocated to keep evening transportation, supports the regional transit authority legislation in the Fox Valley, takes para transit consumer comments or complaints, supports Making the Ride Happen, and has discussions with Valley Transit on how transportation affects those they serve who are elderly or have a disability.

Disabled Parking sign fine $300Parking: Some FVAC members advocated for higher penalties for disabled parking violations. Through legislation penalties were raised to $300 in Appleton, WI and eventually Wisconsin wide.  It is hoped a large fine will be a deterrent for illegal parking.  Special parking for people with disabilities ensures easy access to vehicle and place of business.  Many people with disabilities have restrictions on distance walking or need special equipment for accessing their vehicle, which wouldn’t be very accommodated by a normal parking space.

Two people holding up a sign Practice the R-word respect One has a disabilityEducation: FVAC educates agencies and the community at large about the rights and needs of people with disabilities and the elderly.  FVAC has educated key stakeholders about important issues: Family Care, guardianship, fixed-route transportation changes, home care options, and has informed people about services like Options for Independent Living, make the ride happen, and where to go for help on important issues.

 

 

Advocacy and Pen - ballpoint pen and laying on top of the definition of advocacyLegislative Advocacy: The Fox Valley Advocacy Coalition collects and distributes information on important issues and current legislation to inform legislators, voters and the general public.  It also mobilizes citizens to write letters of support or concern about key public issues.  FVAC has advocated with legislators and other public officials on topics such as the Regional Transit Authority, guardianship, and the Home Care Initiative.

 

While The Fox Valley Advocacy Coalition is primarily composed of representatives from local groups and organizations, it is open to all people who want to advocate for people with disabilities and elderly. There is no official membership or dues.   To be involved in the Fox Valley Advocacy Coalition call President Holly Keenan at 920-225-1740 or Secretary Jill Gretzinger at 920-832-0344 to express an interest.  A contact form can be filled out on this page for expressing interest in joining or for more information.  Meetings are every other month (six times a year) to discuss issues and set priorities.

Meetings are held at SOAR Fox Cities, Inc., 211 E. Franklin St. ,Suite A, Appleton, WI 54911, Lower Level Conference Room.

You also will find meeting times on this website (www.fvacwi.org).

Holly Keenan and Jill Gretzinger are members of FVAC, but they are also involved as advocates as Mobility Manager of Making the Ride Happen and Easter Seals Help Line Coordinator respectively.  FVAC encourages individuals, but many of their members are representatives of advocacy websites, local groups, and organizations.

Below is a list groups members represent in the FVAC.A meeting of the Fox Valley Advocacy Coalition showing three of its members.

    • Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)
    • CP Center of Mideast Wisconsin
    • DisabilityVoice (DV)
    • East Central Wisconsin Regional Transportation Planning Commission
    • Easter Seals Wisconsin
    • Making the Ride Happen (LSS)
    • Options for Independent Living
    • Outagamie County Aging Services

A meeting of the Fox Valley Advocacy Coalition showing three of its members.

  • Outagamie County Housing Authority
  • SOAR Fox Cities
  • The Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • United Way Fox Cities
  • Valley Transit
  • WisconSibs, Inc.
  • Wisconsin AAC