#AdvocacyMatters: Explaining and Understanding

March 8, 2024 / #AdvocacyMatters

“The first step toward change is awareness,” psychologist Nathaniel Branden famously quipped. “The second is acceptance.”

Earlier this year, we began hosting sessions with members of the Ohio legislature and their staff members to better understand our organization and the work that we do. While the first session covered broadly on our story, our leadership, and our goals, future sessions will focus on specific areas of our work.

Last week, we hosted one of these legislative information sessions with members of our Abuse and Neglect Team. Led by team leader Amy Price, this session helped explain the difference between investigation and monitoring activities, how DRO’s access authority is used, and the distinctions between individual, facility, and systemic advocacy.

“We elevate and amplify the voices of individuals with lived experience by helping to ensure that rights education and protection are occurring and that accessible grievance processes are in place in the state operated, licensed and certified facilities we visit across various of systems of care,” Abuse & Neglect Team Leader Amy Price outlined. “Our work supports the cultivation of safe, inclusive, growth-promoting, healing environments for individuals with disabilities, staff, advocates, and communities”.

“We received a warm reception and had a large crowd. I was happy that aids and legislators both had a lot of questions for us,” Monitoring Coordinator Lauren Kraft added. “They seemed genuinely interested in our work and our role as Ohio’s Protection & Advocacy System. Our team did an exceptional job of describing the team's work and providing a deeper look into client-driven advocacy.”

These sessions continue over the next several months, with upcoming events focusing on Civil Rights & Integration, Education & Employment, Social Security Programs, and more. By sharing the experience, outlook, and passion of our team with those in power, we hope to elevate the discussion around advocacy all across our state. #AdvocacyMatters

Sign up for our weekly advocacy updates at https://bit.ly/adupbm

Make a Donation

Please give. To the best of your ability.