#AdvocacyMatters: From The Top

May 26, 2023 / #AdvocacyMatters

Our mission, our vision, and our drive is rooted in the real, lived experiences of disabled Ohioans… including those who inform and refine our work. Our Board of Directors is made up entirely of people with disabilities, family members of people with disabilities, and service professionals with experience in this area. Individually, their backgrounds provide insight and understanding into the challenges facing the communities we serve. As a group, their experience creates a comprehensive force that drives our organization to be more effective.

Last weekend our Board of Directors met in person at our Columbus office to hear firsthand updates from our leadership team about all the moving parts within our organization currently. One by one, members of our team presented about their ongoing projects, their victories, their setbacks, and everything in-between.

“Hearing each member talk about their team in person, enabled me to get a true sense of their passion and commitment for their work,” reflected DRO Board Vice President Susan Koller. “This is something you cannot get from just reading reports.”

“Hearing each team leader speak in detail about the volume of client assistance their teams provide in addition to their efforts to educate the public and advocate for disabled Ohioans. etc. is astounding,” added Board Member Jenni Barnhart Mohler

Now, this commitment to these diverse perspectives and lived experiences on our board is set to expand. Recently work began on a Diversity Plan for our Board of Directors, with a clear and concise understanding that DRO “needs to have a board that reflects the diversity of Ohioans with disabilities. This diversity will ensure that DRO is considering the needs of all Ohioans with disabilities, including those who are most disconnected from the disability service system and may not know about DRO.”

With work on this plan underway, our momentum towards equitable and truly representative leadership is ever-growing.

“Many of our board members have ‘accurate empathy.’ They simply ‘get it,’ Board President Bill Bauer concluded. “The diversity of our board allows us to represent wholistically our various unique attributes.”


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