#AdvocacyMatters: [ to OVERCOME ]

August 12, 2022 / #AdvocacyMatters

“In a year so fraught with challenges – challenges for people with disabilities wanting to live and receive services in their communities, challenges to students in getting the education to which they are guaranteed, and challenges against the independence and very existence of our organization – one common thread emerged throughout the story of our work: [ to OVERCOME ].”

These words mark the start of our latest Annual Report: [ to OVERCOME ]. Overcoming obstacles is not just paramount to our work at Disability Rights Ohio, it is engrained in the very fabric of who we are and how we strive to show up every day in accordance with our mission. Today - we are excited to share with you in full our latest Annual Report, highlighting the successes shared with our allies and supporters.

With this report, we wanted to make sure to quantify our bright spots. Giving the numbers doesn’t fully reflect the deep energy and commitment that goes into every story of person a helped, but it does give a glimpse into the effectiveness of our work. This past year, DRO helped 5,865 clients while fielding a total of 6,839 requests for assistance. Of this total, all 88 of Ohio’s counties were served. We performed investigations at 93 locations, submitted comments and letters to affect 25 pieces of legislation, and provided continued training at 89 conferences. Even with a lot [ to OVERCOME ], we made unimaginable strides.

The report also highlights many of the continued systemic projects DRO has spear-headed, including the work building upon our 2020 Policing and Racial Injustice report, to magnify the space where race and disability intersect. This section of the report highlights our work in partnering with coalitions to push for anti-racist, and trauma-informed practices in all facets of advocacy work. We will never back down from this lifelong intersectionality challenge, until every Ohioan is free from risk of police violence and harmful outcomes like arrest, incarceration, or involuntary hospitalization when experiencing a mental health crisis.

Included in the report you will find real quotes and testimony of stories from the great people who make our organization work so smoothly. Leaders from each team have shared their triumphs, along with a final message from our Executive Director, Kerstin Sjoberg.

“I am proud of our team’s work in elevating the voices and lived experiences of Ohioans with disabilities, empowering them by ensuring they are at the center of our advocacy,” Sjoberg states in the report.

“Being able to turn the page on an incredibly challenging year and still share success stories like these is a remarkable accomplishment,” Sjoberg continues. “With the promise of a new year, new advocacy, and new challenges ahead, we can’t wait to see what’s in store.”

Our story. Our story of how we have fought [ to OVERCOME ], because now more than ever: #AdvocacyMatters.

To read the full report online, visit the following page or access the full the link here: https://disabilityrightsohio.org/assets/documents/dro-cy2021-annual-report.pdf

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