- Identifying and clarifying your issue
- Discussing your issue in the context of a personal story
- Advocacy Worksheet [PDF] - Keep the Advocacy Worksheet with you while you go through the rest of this kit, adding to it as you learn.
Identifying and clarifying your issue requires that you be able to take an array of information and distill it down to its simplest form. Knowing your issue includes knowing who to approach to help you solve it, and how they can help you solve it.
Using the Advocacy Worksheet, begin by writing down the issue. Think about your journey that has brought you to the point of making a decision to take action.
"My grandmother was diagnosed with Scleroderma five years ago. My grandmother receives top notch care in Toronto, but moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the climate, and has yet to be able to find a rheumatologist in her new town. Even her family doctor in Niagara-on-the-Lake isn't well-educated about Scleroderma. As a result, my 86 year-old grandmother has kept her rheumatologist in Toronto and has to travel every two months to Toronto. This is dangerous for her, particularly in the winter months, but the appointments are obviously necessary."
Then, determine the most important parts of your story. Distilling your story down into issues that can be addressed is the foundation of your advocacy plan.
- My grandmother's family doctor in her town is not well-educated about her condition, scleroderma.
- My grandmother doesn't have access to a rheumatologist in her area.
Using the Advocacy Worksheet [PDF], you'll be able to discuss your issue in a personal way. Personal stories are compelling to decision-makers of all kinds, and being able to tell your story in a clear, compelling, concise and consistent way will help your audience to understand what you're trying to achieve. For now, try to fill out Sections A and B.