- DRO's Public Policy Involves
- Tips & Tools
- Advocacy Priorities
- Strength In Numbers
- Get Involved in Public Policy Advocacy
- Monitoring and researching legislation that affects people with disabilities
- Educating policymakers
- Informing communities
- Providing resources and support for people with disabilities to get involved in policy work
- Collaborating with other advocacy groups
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One of the biggest barriers people with disabilities face to independent living is the severe shortage of in-home direct care workers. Low pay, flawed and complicated administrative systems, and lack of recruitment and retention efforts within this workforce have led to an emergency-level for people who rely on support to bathe, eat, dress, and engage in daily tasks. Without direct care workers, disabled people are at risk of injury, death, or being forced into nursing homes or institutionalized settings. Disability Rights Ohio is engaged in multiple grassroots and legislative advocacy strategies aimed at addressing this crisis.
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Coalitions and community groups play an important role in advocating for policy changes. Diverse perspectives make for stronger ideas, and multiple voices are stronger than one. Here are a few advocacy groups to watch and join.
The Ohio Olmstead Task Force (OOTF)
OOTF is a statewide grassroots coalition of Ohioans with disabilities of all ages, family members, advocates and organizations that advocates for the right to live, work and participate in their communities. Formed in 2002, OOTF supports the Supreme Court decision that states unnecessary institutionalization is discrimination against people with disabilities.
Get Involved: For information on OOTF’s current advocacy work, upcoming meetings, membership requirements, and to read the minutes of past meetings, visit https://OhioOlmstead.com/
The Ohio Home and Community Based Services Coalition (OHCBSC)
OHCBSC is a group of independent organizations and individuals who advocate for home and community based services in Ohio. OHCBSC has members from across the HCBS system, including providers, non-profits, self-advocates, and more. The coalition strives to ensure that home and community based services and supports are available to anyone who chooses primarily by advocating around the state budget and legislative actions. Ohioans have the right to choose their care, and it is the State's responsibility to ensure that HCBS has adequate means to make an individual's choice their reality.
Get Involved: For more information and resources, visit https://www.ohiohcbscoalition.org/
The Breaking Silences Advocacy Committee began meeting in May 2020. This group was initially created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of emergency preparedness for individuals with disabilities. The committee started meeting at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and focused efforts on bringing together community partners to respond to this pandemic as well as to better prepare and plan for future events.
The Breaking Silences Advocacy Committee is solely focused on issues pertaining to individuals with disabilities within our communities, especially those individuals who have been impacted most by the lack of planning and preparedness around the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee is an extension of the Breaking Silences Peer Group, but has maintained one main goal:
To create an active space for advocates to work together to develop and create community awareness and change in the communities that we live, work and participate in.
The goal of this committee is to establish relationships with local and state officials as well as partnering with community organizations. This committee was formed to ensure that our community members obtain and maintain a place among those who will make decisions that impact our lives.
Get Involved: The Breaking Silences Advocacy Committee is hosted by the Access Center for Independent Living in Dayton Ohio. The committee meets most Tuesdays from 3–4 p.m. EST via Zoom. For meeting invitations, please send an email request to: Maria A. Matzik (she/her/hers), Education and Advocacy Specialist, Access Center for Independent Living, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org.
All meetings have live C-Print Captioning and are recorded. Recording link is available upon request. C-Print transcript is sent to Committee participants and is available upon request. ASL interpreter is available upon request for any meeting without guest presenters, within 48 business hours prior to a scheduled meeting. Most meetings, with guest presenters, have ASL interpreters streaming live.
More Advocacy Groups…
Connect with the Center for Independent Living in your region! http://www.ohiosilc.org/centers-for-independent-living/
The Arc of Ohio: https://www.thearcofohio.org/
Ohio Self Determination Association: https://osdaohio.org/
ADA Cleveland: http://www.adacleveland.org/
The Ohio Advocacy Task Force: https://ohioddtaskforce.org/about/
Do you know of a group that we should highlight on this list?
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Are you interested in making your voice heard and creating change?
Get involved with Disability Rights Ohio's policy advocacy!