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Advocate of the Year Announced

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If you look up the definition of tenacious or tireless, you might just see a picture of Cambridge native Angie Plager.  This year, Angie was named the 2013 ID Action Advocate of Year, an award presented each year to an outstanding individual who has advocated to improve the lives of Iowans with disabilities.

Angie is a dedicated advocate who according to Easter Seals, the organization who nominated her, is their “Mission in Action!” She “advocates, volunteers, lobbies and speaks to others about inclusion and accessibility for all people with disabilities so they can Live, Learn, Work and Play in their communities.”

Life changed very quickly for Angie when she was 20. As the result of a car accident, she is paralyzed from the chest down due to a spinal cord injury and uses a wheelchair. Since then, Angie has been determined to raise awareness and advocate for people with disabilities. She is the President of the Spinal Cord Injury Association of Iowa and has been a mentor to others who have similar injuries.

Angie is a frequent visitor to the Iowa State Capitol having been involved in the Lobbyist Apprentice program through the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council. She recently spoke to legislators on behalf of the Easter Seal’s Rural Solutions program to raise awareness of the unique needs of rural Iowans with disabilities. Angie helped mark the 20th anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act at the Iowa State Capitol with a passionate speech about the lives of people living with disabilities.

This year, Angie worked on a bill that would have required all Iowa gas stations have accessible fuel pumps and a large red call button so that persons with physical disabilities would be able to safely fuel up. 

In June, Angie will travel to Washington D.C. to take part in the "United Spinal Association/NSCIA Roll on Capitol Hill". She will represent the Iowa chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. This event will help raise awareness of issues impacting those with spinal cord injuries including health and accessibility. 

In a recent speech at the “Walk with Me” kickoff event Angie said “just because someone has a disability does not mean they do not have dreams, goals or aspirations. People with disabilities are just that…people.” Angie is dedicated to helping others have the opportunity to reach their dreams by being an advocate for accessibility and inclusion for all Iowans. 

And we know it doesn’t end here.  Angie’s already got more ideas in motion, so we know this won’t be the last time we hear from this advocacy star.