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Ohio Valley Goodwill was pleased to have the opportunity to join with advocates from around the State of Ohio for “Ohio Day” on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on Thursday, April 27th. Goodwill Marketing Manager and Legislative Liaison, Sharon Hannon, joined with more than 50 advocacy team members from the Ohio Coalition for Person-Centered Planning, TAC Industries, The Seneca County Opportunity Center, the Tony Tomaski Center and Wasco, Inc. as part of an official legislative outreach effort in partnership with ACCSES and the Porter Group to talk with legislators about the importance of individual choice. The day-long “Ohio Day” event was held on Capitol Hill at the Rayburn House Office Building and involved meetings with more than a dozen legislators and/or their congressional aides. Representatives Chabot and Davidson were in attendance for the face-to-face meetings with constituents along with many Chief of Staff’s from several of the members offices.
Coordinated by ACCSES and the Porter Group, ACCSES works with government and other stakeholders to assure that services recognize and support the full potential of each person with a disability and the Porter Group is a legislative advocacy organization based in Washington DC. The meetings with legislators and their aides took place throughout the day and offered the opportunity for self-advocates, families and agency team members to share their concerns about the potential loss of services through the prospective closing of adult centers and other legislative changes that could have a devastating impact on people’s lives. Self-Advocates shared compelling stories about their experiences about working in the community and how important it was to them to have the opportunity to return to the adult center when alternative work options didn’t work out. Parents explained their concerns about how well-intentioned legislation failed to understand the needs and choices of their adult child and the tremendous worry about life-planning for aging caregivers. All legislators and aides in attendance at the face-to-face meetings seem to be affected by the emotional testimony provided by self-advocates, families and agency representatives.
Following the day-long congressional meetings, the Porter Group and ACCSES team members escorted the group on a brief tour of the United States Capitol with time for photo opportunities. The day concluded with a reception at The Beer Institute in downtown DC.
“Ohio Valley Goodwill was pleased to have the opportunity to be part of the “Ohio Day” legislative advocacy event,” said Sharon Hannon, Marketing Manager and Legislative Liaison. “We are grateful to ACCSES and the Porter Group as well as all the advocates in attendance for their passionate support of individual choice and opportunities for people with disabilities,” added Hannon. To find out more about the issues discussed at the “Ohio Day” event, visit www.ACCSES.org. For more information about Ohio Valley Goodwill’s more than century long service as an employment and training center for people with disabilities in the Greater Cincinnati area, visit www.cincinnatigoodwill.org/about.