DD Awareness Day, Rhyanne

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day

Each year in March, National Disability Awareness month is celebrated. This year’s theme is “Side by Side”. This theme was continued at the Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day, where they also added, “Hand in Hand” and “Heart to Heart”. People with and without disabilities working, going to school, playing and participating in their communities together.

On March 8, hundreds of advocates people gathered at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to advocate policy issues that impact the lives of people with developmental disabilities. Attendees met with policymakers to educate them about how state government services and policies can be improved, expanded or strengthened.

Our LEND trainees traveled to Columbus to attend this event and put the knowledge they’ve been learning into action. Here’s what they had to say about the event.

Rhyanne: Disability Awareness Day was awesome, but I also left with a couple of questions. How is advocacy different than lobbying and are there events like this for other specialty groups?

I was touched by Zayne, whose mother shared a bit of his story about living with autism and then he played his guitar for the crowd. The emcee, Shari Cooper was spectacular as well.

I took great pleasure in speaking with the staffers and realized in many ways they are just like me, ready to obtain salient information and help where they can.