ABOUT DISABILITY EMPOWERMENT
In 2016, two Missouri mothers began a push to get a law passed which would require insurance to cover therapies for children with any disability. They formed a Facebook group called Missouri Disability Empowerment where they could gather and communicate with other advocates.
In the summer of 2018, a group of parents who met through the legislative work decided to turn Missouri Disability Empowerment into a non-profit advocacy organization. They nicknamed it MoDE. In 2019, this grassroots advocacy group watched MO Governor Mike Parson sign "Therapy for All Disabilities" into law.
Once parents in other states heard what MoDE had done, they decided to do the same. Mothers in Colorado, Texas, and Florida reached out to the MoDE mothers. Colorado Disability Empowerment, Texas Disability Empowerment, and Florida Disability Empowerment were soon formed. They agreed that the best way to help parents in other states to organize was to form a centralized group--Disability Empowerment.
Disability Empowerment's Purpose
The purpose of Disability Empowerment is to support the formation of parent-led disability advocacy groups in each state. While our main goal is to connect these advocates so they can get insurance to cover the cost of therapies for individuals with any disability, we know these groups might lead other advocacy efforts. As they build relationships with lawmakers, other disability organizations, government officials, and other stakeholders, the Disability Empowerment groups will realize that they can effect great change in their communities and state. This is why the name Disability Empowerment is vague and not specific to therapies--we want each advocacy group to write its own story and develop into what its state needs.
State-by-State Disability Empowerment Advocacy Groups
Every advocacy group that is part of Disability Empowerment is an autonomous advocacy group. They are independently organized and run. Some might be a FB page while others may have incorporated. The one commonality between them is that they all have been successful in or are working towards making sure their state has an insurance mandate for therapy that is inclusive of all disabilities. To see if your state has a Disability Empowerment Advocacy Group, look at our Therapy for ALL Map. If you do not see a group in your state and are interested in forming one, please contact us.