Student Advocacy at the Federal Level

You can find your federal legislators at www.congress.org. Don't forget to report your advocacy efforts to get credit for your physical therapy program!

Write a Letter

This is a great way to draw your legislator's attention to an issue or to get the word out about physical therapy. Plus it's easy - and you can do it from the comfort of your home! Go to the Legislative Action Center for step-by-step instructions on mailing/e-mailing a letter to your legislator on a particular issue.

Meet with Your Legislator

Meeting with your legislator can be a powerful way to get your message across, as well as to listen to any health care related questions or concerns your legislator may have. It is a great way to build a relationship between APTA and the legislator. Please consider contacting your Federal Affairs Liaison and/or Federal Government Affairs at advocacy@apta.org for more detailed information prior to your meeting including current cosponsors or existing relationships with your legislator.

Participate in a Campaign

Due to Federal and State law, information about political campaigns will not be found on your legislator's official Web site. If you are looking for campaign information, it may be easiest to use a search engine with search terms including the legislator's name and campaign year. Once you've located the campaign site, you can simply e-mail the campaign coordinator and offer to volunteer. Also, you may be able to subscribe to an e-mail list, which will give you updates about campaign events your legislator may be hosting.

Attend a Town Hall Meeting

Federal legislators often hold town hall meetings in communities within their district to hear from their constituents over their congressional recesses. Typically, these town halls are not huge gatherings, so your attendance can make a big impression. This is a great opportunity to advocate for issues that are facing the profession or your patients on the federal level. To learn about upcoming town hall meetings, visit your legislator's Web site or call his/her office. You can also join APTA's PTeam to get updates via e-mail when legislators are hosting meetings in their districts.

Invite Your Legislator to Visit Your School

Having a legislator visit your academic program can be a great way for them to learn more about the profession of physical therapy, the academic prepartation involved, and the issues which are facing our profession. Please contact APTA's Government Affairs Department at advocacy@apta.org for assistance with planning this event! APTA's Grassroots team encourages legislator visits to physical therapy clinics as well as physical therapy schools. Read the Practice Visits Initiative (.pdf) (members only) resource for more information.

Every state also has a Federal Affairs Liaison (FAL), who is the coordinator of each component's involvement with the APTA Government Affairs process and department. Contact APTA's Government Affairs Department at advocacy@apta.org to put you in touch with your FAL.

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