To promote self-advocacy by and among people with disabilities, ensuring that such people are treated as the equals of other citizens; that they are given the same rights, responsibilities, choices, decisions, and chances to make mistakes like everyone else.
People First is a statewide organization, with chapters in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Glennallen, Homer, Kenai/Soldotna, Nome, Valdez, and Wasilla (as of January, 2006). We teach people who experience disabilities of any kind to advocate for their rights, through training on rights and responsibilities and through Board membership. Our members participate not only on the People First Chapter and State Boards, but also on such other Boards as the Alaska Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board; the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education; Special Olympics; Youth Advocates for Community; Alaska Housing Initiative; Alaska Mobility Coalition; Assets, Inc.; the Arc of Anchorage; and Key Coalition, among others, as well as on committees.
Systems advocacy is an equally important part of what People First does. Members write legislators and our City Council members and we attend City Council meetings. Our members keep informed about emerging issues through national organizations, the news media, and by attending conferences.
In our five-year strategic plan housing; employment; and transportation, as well as personal empowerment for people with disabilities are the major issues we will address through 2010.
People First will have a Listserv up and running (with a new website) early in 2006. This will fill a need for self-advocacy, mentoring, and problem solving among and by people with disabilities and their family members throughout Alaska.
We welcome new members. Together we can make a difference in the lives of people like ourselves who experience disabilities.
For more information, contact us at:
State office and Anchorage Chapter
2702 Gambell Ave.
Anchorage, AK Phone: 907 272-8270
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org