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Contacting your Members of Congress

Thank you for letting your members of Congress know you support integrated employment and the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (TCEA)!

If you live in the United States, you have 3 members of Congress: 2 Senators and 1 House Representative. If you’re not sure who your members of Congress are, you can find out here.

The quickest way to get in touch with your members of Congress is by calling their office. You will speak to a staff member of your members of Congress when you call their office, who will let your members of Congress know about your call. You can find the office phone numbers at contactingcongress.org.

You can also find out how to email your members of Congress by clicking the envelope icon on their entries on contactingcongress.org. Then, email each one to let them know you support the bill.

Here is a template you can use for calling or writing:

My name is [your full name], and I am from [city]. I’m [calling/writing] to ask [Senator NAME/ Representative NAME] to support the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act. This bill would make sure that people with disabilities get to work in our communities for fair pay. With the right supports, people with all kinds of disabilities and support needs can succeed in integrated employment, and TCEA would give states and service providers the resources they need to provide those supports. Can I count on the [Senator/Representative] to support the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act?

You can also take a look at lists of TCEA’s cosponsors in Senate or House of Representatives. Here’s a script you can use if one of your members of Congress is a sponsor:

My name is [your full name], and I am from [city]. I’m [calling/writing] to thank [Senator NAME/ Representative NAME] for supporting the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act. People with disabilities like [me/ my family member/ my friends and coworkers] deserve real work for real pay, and this bill will make sure more people have the supports they need to work in their communities. Thank you for standing up for disability rights!

If you want, you can mail a letter using our script as well. Find your members of Congress’ mailing addresses at contactingcongress.org.

After you’ve called or emailed your Senators and Representative, there are more ways to take action — check out our #WorkWithUs campaign page to learn more.

Tips for contacting your members of Congress:

If you can’t talk on the phone, you can use an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device, like an iPad, to type out what you want to say. Then, use text-to-speech to have your text read out loud while you are on the phone. You might want to start by saying that you are using a text-to-speech device because of your disability. If the staff member has questions for you after you say what you want to say, you can let them know you need some time to answer.

You can also write out your script and have someone else read it for you over the phone. All they have to do is say at the beginning of the call that they are speaking for you by saying

Hi, my name is [their name] and I am calling on behalf of [your name], who can’t speak.

If you are able to speak but get anxious when talking to people, you can also call after the office is closed (usually after 5 p.m. EST, or on the weekends). This way, you will get an answering machine to leave a message instead of having to talk to a person.

The staff people for your members of Congress who read the emails and letters usually don’t read the whole thing. Instead, they will skim to find out what law the email or letter is about. So it is important to keep what you write short and sweet, but still show why it’s important to you that they #WorkWithUs. You don’t have to follow the exact scripts that we wrote here. Adding personal details about why the TCEA matters to you can help staff members remember your story.

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