Statewide Celebration: DD Awareness and Advocacy Day, March 3

The March 18 issue of Pipeline will include a potpourri of DD Awareness Month activities and events around the state. To submit a short paragraph and/or captioned photo for consideration in this issue, please send it to Sherry Steinman at sherry.steinman@dodd.ohio.gov

A capacity crowd attended the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness and Advocacy Day event yesterday at the Ohio Statehouse, showcasing many self-advocates’ stories of personal growth and achievement. Speakers discussed achievements in advocacy, education, self-determination, and community employment. DODD Director John Martin was among the program speakers, along with many self-advocates from around the state — including keynote speaker Jack Wolf, a young man whose personal story definitely  underscores the Can do! spirit.

Following the speakers, many participants met with their state legislators to discuss key advocacy topics, including accessible parking, visitability, legislation to increase the Medicaid asset limit for people with developmental disabilities, and other issues important to them.

Here are a few glimpses and words of wisdom from the day of Awareness and Advocacy:

Paul Day and Shari Cooper Keep the Program Moving President of People First of Ohio Paul Day, and Shari Cooper, self advocate and master of ceremonies for the program, are fired up about the potential of absolutely everyone in the room.   “What do you want to do?  What do you really want to do?  Well, you can do it!”

Paul Day, Shari Cooper Keep the Program Moving
President of People First of Ohio Paul Day, and Shari Cooper, self advocate and master of ceremonies for the program, are fired-up about the potential of absolutely everyone in the room.
“What do you want to do? What do you really want to do? Well, you can do it!”

 

Hocking County Shows a Can Do Attitude Melaine Barlow and son Ben (at left), along with an enthusiastic group from Hocking County, get ready to head over to the DD Awareness and Advocacy program in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. Ben, CEO of Ben's Bucket of Wings, was handing out business cards left and right for the fledgling Logan County micro-business. “We’re here for the first time.  We’re going to learn a lot today.”

Hocking County Shows a Can Do Attitude
Melaine Barlow and son Ben (at left), along with an enthusiastic group from Hocking County, get ready to head over to the DD Awareness and Advocacy program in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. Ben, CEO of Ben’s Bucket of Wings, was handing out business cards left and right for the fledgling Logan County micro-business.
“We’re here for the first time. We’re going to learn a lot today.”

 

Michael Richards returns to the Statehouse spotlight after 11 years. Michael Richards, owner of M&A Small Engine Repair Shop in Highland County, has been an active self advocate for years, and noted a presentation he made 11 years ago regarding a piece of legislation at that time. Yesterday, he spoke to the promise of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  He observed, “If I had considered myself to be disabled, my business would not have happened. I know I can do! We have a promise from the State of Ohio now for more support. Let’s make it work for all of us.”

Michael Richards returns to the Statehouse spotlight after 11 years.
Michael Richards, owner of M&A Small Engine Repair Shop in Highland County, has been an active self advocate for years, and noted a presentation he made 11 years ago regarding a piece of legislation at that time. Yesterday, he spoke to the promise of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. He observed,
“If I had considered myself to be disabled, my business would not have happened. I know I can do! We have a promise from the State of Ohio now for more support. Let’s make it work for all of us.”

 

Can Do logo

The theme for DD Awareness Month 2015, Can Do, Like You!, emphasizes that people with disabilities have many abilities that benefit and enrich their communities. Free logo artwork is at the Ohio Public Images website.

 

DODD thanks our partnering event planners and sponsors, including: Ohio DD Council; Ohio Association of County Boards (OACB); Ohio Special Initiatives for Brothers and Sisters (SIBS); The Arc of Ohio; Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD); Ohio Public Images; Disability Rights Ohio; Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA); Ohio Self Determination Association (OSDA); People First of Ohio; the Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University; and, the University of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

For more photos and information about the event, see the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council website and ‘Like’ the event’s Facebook page;

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