Yes, it’s 2011 and we’ve already posted on some of the things ahead for TASH, but I’d like to take just a moment to review just some of the milestones from 2010!
TASH Launches the National Agenda
TASH identified five core areas of focus as a means to rededicate ourselves to key issues and affect the most change. These core areas – inclusive education, community living, employment, diversity and cultural competency and human rights – create a framework for TASH advocacy, policy and outreach efforts.
Not one, but TWO Congressional Briefings
Key stakeholders in our nation’s capitol were briefed on employment in the community and the need to eliminate sub-minimum wage at a congressional briefing held this summer. Then, this fall, we concluded our inaugural Symposium for Change with a congressional briefing on disparities for people of diverse backgrounds with disabilities.
Family Support Training Project in English, Spanish and Mandarin!
Fourteen two-day family support training events were held in 10 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. These family support events were available in English, Spanish and Mandarin, opening up the family support movement to hundreds of individuals who haven’t been able to access the curriculum until now. This project wouldn’t have been possible without over 30 dedicated self-advocates and family members of individuals with disabilities who dedicated themselves to this project as trainers.
Symposium for Change – Eliminating Disparities for People of Diverse Backgrounds with Disabilities
Health, education and employment were the focus of this event, which brought together self-advocates, family members, professionals and researchers from across the country. The Symposium for Change began with an analysis of available research indicating disparities for people of diverse backgrounds with disabilities and was followed by a series of workgroups to begin identifying bridges to eliminate these disparities. Participants at this event carried their message to Capitol Hill, where congressional members were briefed on these issues.
20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
To honor the spirit of the ADA, we produced a series of videos featuring interviews with disability rights leaders. These captioned videos address topics that fall within TASH’s National Agenda. You can check them out at www.youtube.com/TASHvideo.
Chapters Advocate at a Grassroots Level
We’ve seen time and again the power of grassroots advocacy. In 2010, TASH Chapters took on local and national issues with a zeal and commitment that has continuously reminded us of the importance of grassroots advocacy. TASH Chapter conferences were held in Arizona, New England, California and Kentucky. North Carolina held a day-long event featuring founding TASH member, Lou Brown, and other local leaders. Pennsylvania TASH took on advocacy efforts to educate the public on why a haunted house at the former Pennhurst Institution was not only inappropriate, but detrimental to the disability rights movement. Others supported TASH through TASH Night Out fundraiser events, with funds supporting the participation of self-advocates and family members at TASH Conferences.
APRAIS Tackles Restraint and Seclusion Issues
The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion (APRAIS) continued its push for a federal baseline of protections for students against abusive practices. The coalition released a survey on the use of restraint and seclusion practices across states. During 2010, APRAIS grew to include many national advocacy organizations, creating a powerful voice that led the charge in advocating for the Keeping All Students Safe Act, a House bill that passed in March 2010. As the leader of the APRAIS collation, TASH has continued to spearhead efforts to pass similar legislation in the Senate.
And of course, this great year ended on a monumental high note – the 2010 TASH Conferece! We’ve covered much of the conference already on this blog. I encourage you to read some of the posts right from the conference floor to get a sense of the excitement! This is only a small sample of the work done in 2010. TASH sends a BIG thank you all of its members and supporters who helped us make so much happen to positively impacts out world. We’re looking forward to another successful year in 2011! If you haven’t already, make sure you take a look at TASH’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2011!