#AdvocacyMatters: Because of You

January 21, 2022 / #AdvocacyMatters

The DRO mission – to advocate for the legal, human, and civil rights of every Ohioan with a disability – touches more than 25% of the state’s population. Our small, 50-member team works tirelessly to complete the vital work of protection and advocacy, as Federal P&A grants provide the bulk of our funding. These grants are the lifeblood of DRO… and while they’re stable, they don’t grow to keep pace with the ever-increasing needs or costs of our work.

Late last year, we invited you to become a part of the DRO mission with our Forward: Together initiative. This rallying cry for individual gifts – often in conjunction with grants from foundations that require matching funds – helps us to grow our work and expand our reach to better meet the needs of the communities we serve. We were fortunate this past year to partner with two other advocacy organizations to get a grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council to expand available advocacy resources for students and families struggling to get an education that meets their unique needs and abilities. This wouldn’t have been possible without individual supporters.

How do we know what work needs done? Late every summer we engage with clients, service providers, allied organizations, and community leaders through surveys, face-to-face meetings, and other information-gathering processes to best understand the needs of the more than 2.5 million Ohioans with disabilities. This information is quantified and distilled into our organization’s “Goals and Objectives” for the following year. A roadmap of sorts, this document outlines the needs within our communities and our planned steps to address them.

When we asked you to join us, you answered the call. Your generosity invested an additional $17,400+ dollars through our Forward: Together initiative and a total of $34,600 donated throughout the year, expanding our scope and enhancing our ability to address major issues facing Ohioans with disabilities.

Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to do all that we do. On behalf of our team, our board, and our partners: Thank you for helping demonstrate just how much #AdvocacyMatters.

Kerstin Sjoberg
Executive Director, Disability Rights Ohio

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