#AdvocacyMatters: On Location

September 16, 2022 / #AdvocacyMatters

Connecting directly with the communities we serve is the only way for our bold vision to come to life… rooted in the real, lived experiences of people with disabilities across Ohio. This principle was on full display yesterday as the first ever Southeast Ohio Job & Disability Resource Fair and DRO’s 2nd annual Duck Derby came to life against the green grass, blue sky, and crisp water of Marietta, Ohio.

In the sunny afternoon, more than 20 employers and service organizations staffed tables throughout East Muskingum Park to connect with attendees from both Ohio and West Virginia. Remarks throughout the day by Josh Schlicher, Mayor of Marietta, Kevin Miller, Director of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, and Amber Kohler, Field Representative for Congressman Bill Johnson offered direct connections between advocates and policymakers. This event was able to present information, resources, and opportunities to a broad group of people who otherwise might not have found them. The partnership between Disability Rights Ohio, Disability Rights of West Virginia, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, Washington County Board of DD, Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living, and the Washington County Veterans Service Commission in organizing this event is a model that can be used to expand our advocacy to other areas of our state.

Shortly after the Job & Disability Resource Fair wrapped up attention turned across the park to the Muskingum River, where nearly 400 bright pink, yellow, and blue rubber ducks were released to race down the water. The first three ducks to cross the finish line won prizes for their sponsors – Andrea R. (first place), Norma P. (second place), and Kelly B. (third place). Between duck sponsorships, merchandise sales, and the support of our corporate partners at ThinkCSC, OPOC.us, and Gallagher Consulting, this event was able to raise thousands of dollars to support DRO’s work throughout Ohio.

Reaching into our communities for these outreach events is a pivotal part of bringing our mission to life. With the continuing support of our partners and supporters, we’ll keep looking for new ways to foster these connections. #AdvocacyMatters

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