Schlesinger developed the concept for his new advocacy business as a result of successfully navigating California’s bureaucratic medical and governmental road blocks on his own behalf. Schlesinger says that, for nearly three decades, he has learned to overcome obstacles and barriers he has confronted as a result of being born with mild cerebral palsy. Conquering battles with teachers, physicians, government officials and government services, he has triumphed on nearly every front, including obtaining his own early Social Security benefit, according to Schlesinger, and he now seeks to share his experience to help others in need.
“I’ve been a self-advocate all of my adult life, and now I’m thrilled to be in a position to put my experience to good use in helping others get the results they need in a faster and more efficient manner,” Schlesinger said. “As your advocate, we help you clear hurdles or power through the brick walls you’re experiencing in government or medical environments and empower you to build relationships with these professionals, who can be indifferent or even intimidating and cause you to lose hope. We help relieve the stress of paperwork and get answers for you as you learn how to get the necessary services you need to live a full and functional life moving forward.”
A native of Long Beach and current resident of Signal Hill, Schlesinger says working with Advocates In Action begins with a free, no-obligation consultation to assess a potential client’s needs and goals. Once on board, clients will be in contact with Advocates on a regular basis, including weekly or as-needed counseling sessions around key and related issues, according to Schlesinger. Should the advocate discover a need for additional counseling for other reasons, clients will be provided with an appropriate referral.
While Advocates In Action can help individuals with an array of issues, the company specializes in insurance and Medi-Cal, Social Security benefits and case management, placement in assisted-living or skilled-nursing facilities, general medical-case management, and patient-care issues.
Advocates In Action also will offer educational-advocacy services, helping the disabled who are transitioning from high school to college, or guiding parents through the individualized education program (IEP) process to secure contracts for their child’s services.
“Our advocates are here to assist individuals in every way possible,” Schlesinger said. “We want to build confidence with those involved that their needs are being addressed, and at the same time empower them by teaching the necessary skills to navigate and become self-advocates should similar issues occur in the future.”