#AdvocacyMatters: Listening and Learning

September 30, 2022 / #AdvocacyMatters

Our work is most effective when it’s shaped and informed by the real, lived experiences of Ohioans with disabilities. Every summer, our team engages with advocates, allies, experts, and community members to bring into focus the clearest picture of life for Ohioans with disabilities. This feedback is used to develop our organization’s annual Goals and Objectives: A roadmap for our work in the coming year.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for DRO, which means these new Goals and Objectives officially take effect. In this new year of work we hope to achieve a more beneficial balance of individual and systemic advocacy, so we can better understand the flawed, under-funded systems that exist throughout our society and better advocate for those harmed by them. This attention will bring focus to the areas of special education, kids in correctional institutions and residential facilities, people with serious mental illness in nursing facilities, and issues of discrimination within employment situations.

We also plan to continue and expand our advocacy strategies in centering disabled people in policymaking. Focusing on the lived experiences better understood through these surveys and conversations, issues like the direct care workforce crisis and police violence / alternative crisis response services can be addressed through the lens of those most affected.

While in no way exhaustive, this blueprint will help us best shape our work and allocate our limited resources in the coming year. Of course, none of this work would be possible without the advocates and allies – like you – who speak up, push back, and support our mission across Ohio. Because #AdvocacyMatters, we know that together this work will move us closer to our ultimate vision: Voices Elevated. People Empowered. Equity Achieved.

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