Our LEND trainees share about their experience at DD Awareness Day this year!

“I really enjoyed participating in this year’s Disability Awareness Day! A highlight for me was hearing from self-advocates about the amazing work they are doing within their communities and beyond, including motivational speaking, remarkable artwork, and substantial volunteering.” Emily Jones, Child Life Trainee

“What an exhilerating experience! After being motivated by the work of self-advocates across the state in the opening session, the proclivity to meet with my local legislator, urging him to support accessible taxi service for those who use wheelchairs, was intensified. The warm reception and reciprocal communication with Senator Thomas reinforced my desire to advocate for the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilties in the future.” Diane Burns, Family Trainee

“Disability Awareness Day was a fantastic learning experience! The speakers during the opening session were so inspiring. Their stories were a great reminder why we are in LEND and why we were there to advocate. I had never been on a legislative visit before and was surprised at how comfortable the legislatures and their staff made the visits feel. I have come to appreciate how our state government is truly accessible and that legislatures care to hear what their constituents have to say.” Allison Loechtenfeldt, Sibling Trainee

“By participating in the Disability Awareness Day, I realize how easy it is for me to positively impact policy change affecting people with disabilities. It was a privilege speaking at the Ohio State house and educating policy makers about the resource that LEND can be to them offering our expertise on children with developmental disabilities.” Sarah Kasper, Speech Trainee

“It was great and a lot of fun.” Rachel Rice, Advocacy Trainee

“I had a wonderful experience attending Disability Awareness and Advocacy Day in Columbus. In particular, there are a few special moments that stick out in my memory. I will begin with being introduced to the inspirational art and story of Wallace Peck. It was incredible to witness how much his influence has brought together his community.  Secondly, I had expected our LEND team to meet with the staff member of Senator Cecil Thomas. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Senator Cecil Thomas had taken time out of his busy schedule to meet with self-advocates, families, and our interdisciplinary team at LEND to discuss our concerns surrounding policies for individuals with disabilities. I am very grateful to have had these experiences and will continue to be cognizant of political policies that impact our communities in order to advocate for positive change!” Elizabeth Burnett, Social Work Trainee

“What I enjoyed most about DD Awareness Day was the opening talks. I was really inspired by the speakers who are both leaders and self-advocates in the disabilities community. They spoke with such passion about their accomplishments and their desire to give back to their community.” Rachel Sullivan, Genetic Counseling Trainee

“Disability Awareness Day was a great partnership between individuals with and without disabilities to create awareness and promote inclusion in all areas of life. The day started with wonderful speeches from self-advocates sharing their personal stories. Later, attendees were able to meet at the offices of our local members of the Ohio legislature to discuss the importance of several proposed bills as well as the role of LEND at Cincinnati Children’s. It was encouraging to see the large number of advocates, organizations, and individuals across Ohio whose goals regarding inclusion and disability awareness align with those at LEND.” Courtney Goldsbury, Physical Therapy Trainee