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Elder Voice Creates Disability Voice Advocates (DiVA)

Elder Voice Advocates (EVA) recognizes the interconnectedness of issues facing both elderly individuals and those with disabilities.

The quality care challenges of elders and people with disabilities align in many ways. Together we can unite the voices of older adults and adults with disabilities to create high impact advocacy. A group of adults with disabilities and family members are enthusiastically coming together and beginning their work with a focus on stopping Waiver Reimagine as currently planned.

Elder Voice understands the common struggles, discrimination, and lack of representation our marginalized groups often face in society. Consequently, we saw the need to establish Disability Voice Advocates (DiVA) as a dedicated platform to address the unique challenges encountered by individuals with disabilities, their families, and professionals.

The creation of Disability Voice Advocates stemmed from a deep commitment to social justice and equality for all. Elder Voice Advocates recognized that by focusing specifically on the needs and rights of individuals with disabilities, they could effectively amplify their voices, advocate for systemic change, and cultivate a more inclusive society. They believed that by championing the rights of individuals with disabilities, they could contribute to a broader movement for social justice and equity that benefits all marginalized groups.

Furthermore, Elder Voice Advocates understood the power of solidarity and collaboration across diverse communities. By creating Disability Voice Advocates, they aimed to foster a sense of unity and empowerment among individuals with disabilities, their families, and professionals, recognizing that collective action is essential for driving meaningful change.

Through their shared advocacy efforts, they sought to build bridges, challenge stereotypes, and promote a more inclusive society where everyone is valued and respected.

Overall, the creation of Disability Voice Advocates by Elder Voice Advocates exemplifies a commitment to intersectional advocacy, recognizing the interconnectedness of issues facing marginalized groups and the importance of amplifying diverse voices to create positive social change.


The DiVA mission is to spearhead impactful public policy advocacy that ensures that individuals with disabilities can live independently through tailored support services, accessible resources, autonomy, and inclusion within the community, while simultaneously advocating measures that guarantee quality care and dignity for those residing in congregant settings.


Through strategic engagement, research-driven initiatives, and collaborative partnerships, we work tirelessly to educate legislators and regulators, aiming to create an inclusive and equitable world where every person with a disability can flourish. Our unwavering commitment is to drive systemic change that dismantles barriers, promotes accessibility, and empowers all members of our community to thrive and participate fully in society.



DiVA will be supported by EVA through strategic alignment of the advocacy for elders and adults with disabilities. EVA Board member and disability rights attorney, Misti Okerlund, will lead this initiative.


The DiVA Advisory Committee is a 5-member group that provides support, insight and direction recommendations for the advocacy and education work of the organization. At least one member must be a person with disabilities, one a family member, and one a disability rights professional. EVA will provide the support needed for this Advisory Committee and the responsibilities of the members include:

  • Helping to recruit persons with disability, family member or collaborating organization.

  • Provide direction on public policy initiatives, research focuses and education direction.

  • Contribute their skills and experiences to enhance the DiVA initiatives.


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