Management Practice: Advocacy (new)

QWE Practice Area: Create a work culture that enhances productivity through performance measurement and business development (130); Partner with organizations and peers in the local community (310); Promote accommodations and accessibility (440); Demonstrate the value of employees with disabilities (450)

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

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

Organization Using Practice: MVLE, Springfield, VA

Users: All employees with significant disabilities

Resources: Quality Work Environment Workbook

For More Information: Sonita Lal, Quality Specialist, MVLE, 7420 Fullerton Road #113. Springfield, VA 22153. Phone: (571) 322-0600.​