More than 500 advocates attended the Annual DD Awareness and Advocacy Day at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on March 8. This year’s theme was “What’s Your Story?”
Crawford County had one of the largest groups attending with sixteen self-advocates and four employees. Representing Crawford County, were Kendra Keesee, Tiffanee Hutchinson, Peggy Benedict, Jessica Ireland, Amiee Ward, Shelley Swain. Lisa Swain, Christin Rives, Nate Metzger, James Plasencia, Jeffrey Turner, Gary Poffenbaugh, Mike Neff, Charlie Dierkscheide, and Amanda Deems. Crawford County Board of DD employees that accompanied this group were Deb Tackett, Debbie Orians, Tom Baum, and Sally Baum.
Speakers included topics of self-empowerment, voting rights, transportation, marriage for people with disabilities, and how personal stories do have an impact on policymakers. The event was standing room only.
The self- advocates had appointments scheduled with Senator David Burke and State Representative Jeff McClain and met with their aides, Scott Partika and Kelly Parliment. The group of advocates from Crawford, Morrow, Marion, and Sandusky Counties asked many questions and were able to get answers or leave messages for the lawmakers.
The group had lunch at the statehouse, toured exhibits, did a trial vote on an electronic voting machine, and visited the gift shop. It was a very nice day with even the weather cooperating for the first time in two years! All are looking forward to attending again in 2017.
The Crawford County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Fairway School and Waycraft Industries) supports more than 286 individuals through early intervention, preschool, school age, adult, employment, residential, transportation and other family supports.