Highlights from Disability Day on the Hill 2015

On Wednesday, February 4, 2015, several employees from The Arc Mid-South were accompanied by advocates for and persons with disabilities who support the non-profit, to Nashville, Tennessee for this year’s Disability Day on the Hill.  This annual event, which boasts dozens of disability organizations from across the state, gives Tennesseans the opportunity to meet with state legislators to discuss important issues relevant to people who possess disabilities and their family. The Arc Mid-South’s charter bus was completely full- as is typical for this day! The strategy for obtaining voice in as many sessions as possible was to pre-assigned participants into groups of 4 or 5 people to attend scheduled appointments with various state representatives and senators. It proved to provide effective coverage so that Arc Mid-South had local input to many of the state-wide situations.

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The Arc Mid-South Executive Director Carlene Leaper, pictured with The Arc staff Brittany Carter and Representative Debra Moody at Disability Day on the Hill 2015

Representative John Deberry with The Arc volunteers, board members, and service recipients

The Arc Mid-South supports:

Requiring that government resources expand home and community-based services for people with intellectual disabilities
Ensuring that all persons with disabilities have access to quality affordable healthcare, and
Creating school voucher programs that will be fully accessible to any student using special education services

In the morning hours, The Disability Policy Alliance presented What You Need to Know for Effective Disability Advocacy in the Old Supreme Court Chambers.  This hearing  offered speeches by Tennessee commissioners with both the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Education, self-advocates, and one of Tennessee’s current  senators, Bill Ketron.

The engaging and informative events made the daytime hours pass rather quickly. A fitting close to this trip was the hours spent building a stronger sense of camaraderie and support among the large group of proponents for the disabled population of Tennessee.

 





Disability Days On The Hill 2013



The Arc Mid-South traveled to the capital in Nashville on January 30th, 2013 for Disability Days on the Hill!  Sixty-two concerned citizens met with state legislators to talk about issues that are important to individuals in our community living with disabilities.  Issues discussed include the Department of Developmental Disabilities' waiting list for waiver services, family support, and Medicaid expansion.

We were fortunate to have met personally with approximately 21 legislators and also had an opportunity to briefly meet numerous others in the hallways as they moved between meetings.  In each meeting staff from The Arc Mid-South, the University of Memphis, individuals with disabilities and their family members, and people from the community expressed the need for services for individuals with disabilities. 

The highlight of each meeting was the opportunity for the families to share their personal stories so that the legislators could associate a face and name with the funds that are so desperately need. One mother said, "Our main reason for going was to voice our opinion on the Family Support Programs for people with disabilities and how important this is for the family."   

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Coming together to advocate for people with disabiltites
Sharing stories from the heart
Advocating for people with disabilities with Tennessee State legislators
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Proud to have The Arc Mid-South on my Team
Fighting for support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities takes effort from us all
Be Empowered, Be Encouraged
 

 

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