#AdvocacyMatters: Our Path Forward

August 13, 2021 / #AdvocacyMatters

Earlier this year, you answered our calls and stood beside us in fighting against a budget bill amendment we saw as harmful and threatening to our work. You made countless phone calls and sent hundreds of emails to your representatives on our behalf asking them to remove this amendment. Seeing so many individuals and organizations from all corners of Ohio and across the country join us was both empowering and humbling. Unfortunately despite a tidal wave of advocacy and testimony, the amendment was included in the budget bill and was signed into law on June 30th.

These events left many of you with questions about the impact on Disability Rights Ohio, our work, and our future. To be clear, our operations, our funding, and our mission have not changed. The new law creates a joint legislative oversight committee—a group of elected officials from both the Ohio House and Senate—that will examine the activities of DRO as Ohio’s protection and advocacy system (P&A) and client assistance program (CAP) every two years. Our concerns about this legislation have centered on the threat it presents to our independence from state government – a requirement of our Federal authorization – and diverting the time and attention of our staff away from our mission.

We understand that you probably have more questions about this new legislation, so please visit our new FAQ resource here. The focus on our mission hasn’t wavered, and our resolve has been galvanized by this experience. Your support over the last few months made a difference within our organization, our community, and our state. To each and every member of the Disability Rights Ohio team, #AdvocacyMatters.

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