Employee Self-Advocacy: Our Voices Count

QWE Practice Guideline: 440: Demonstrate value of employees with disabilities

Target group: All organizations that employ persons with disabilities

Practice Description

Our Voices Count (OVC) is the MVLE employee self-advocacy group that focuses on influencing change within the workplace and various communities.

Resources Needed

Subject matter experts/trainers

  • Employee or consultant with advocacy knowledge and/or meeting facilitation experience


  • Meeting room

Implementation Process

  • OVC facilitates change in the workplace and community through information-sharing and discussion.
  • The group also serves as a two-way communication tool between employees with significant disabilities and management decision makers.
  • OVC is self-governed and promotes collaboration from employees with and without disabilities, volunteers, and community members.
  • The OVC meetings are held on a quarterly basis.
  • OVC also facilitates communication between employees with disabilities and the larger community through collaborative efforts with agencies, such as the ARC, so employees have opportunities to learn about legislative efforts, sign petitions and otherwise participate if they choose.
  • MVLE analyzes the impact and function of OVC and is currently identifying means to better serve employees with significant disabilities.


  • Employee feedback has resulted in changes to the Person-Centered Planning meeting process, to a more diverse training opportunities, and to changes in the training curriculum.

Location: Springfield, VA
Date Submitted: 2013
Website: https://www.mvle.org/