The C.I.A. is a self-advocacy group at Marcfirst that was created in 2009. C.I.A. stands for change to independence altogether. The group is a member of a larger self-advocacy group called the Alliance. C.I.A. meets and discusses how to make life better for those who have no voice. That might be talking to the Marcfirst board or administration or going to Springfield and rallying for the budget. We set goals and objectives for our group and work together to meet them.


Most members are people who are receiving services from Marcfirst now or have in the past. They range in abilities and interests. They include people who love to get in front of a crowd and talk to people that love doing things behind the scenes. The C.I.A. has had a member on the Marcfirst board, two members on Marcfirst committees, two members in community groups, and one member on the Alliance Board. We welcome new participants regardless of if you receive supports from Marcfirst.

C.I.A. Activities

The C.I.A. has been instrumental in bringing Public Speaking training for people with disabilities to Marcfirst. They also have sent groups to the Speak Up, Speak Out conference and currently help people register to vote, participate in webinars, create curriculum for Marcfirst staff training, promote voting in local and federal elections, and enjoy volunteering in our community. The C.I.A. has planned self-advocacy fairs and an art and music show where people with disabilities sold their artwork and performed music. The C.I.A. also hosts a Disability Pride Week celebration each year.

“I talk about how to advocate for myself and on behalf of others.”

- C.I.A. Advocate

“It’s fun, and it is great to teach staff and other people. We really like the rallies and conferences. And it makes you feel good to help others.”

- C.I.A. Advocate

“It is awesome to help people use their voice to help others while learning as well. It also a lot of fun to go to rallies and conferences and meet people from around the state.”

- C.I.A. Staff

“I’m an advocate because everyone has rights.”

- C.I.A. Advocate


For more information, reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 309-451-8888.