It is a SCORCHING 90+ degree weather in Washington, D.C. today, but that will not stop TASH members and advocates from across the country, to gather on Capitol Hill to hear from disability champions in Congress and meet with U.S. senate and house offices.
TASH’s Capitol Hill Day started with an 8:30 AM meeting at Iowa Senator Harkin’s office. Then the day started heating up. How hot? “As hot as the topics we are discussing with our legislators,” said Jenny Stonemeier, one of the CHD organizers. Prepared with their water bottles and sunshades, TASH members walk all over the Hill today asking Congress to take action on the following priorities:
- Restraint and seclusion prevention in public schools
- The right to save assets for future goals
- Access to employment opportunities
- Passage of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The folks at the Hill were joined in spirit by other members from all over the country who also conducted legislator visits at local the level.
This was a culmination of months of preparation which included six training sessions to build capacity and confidence in being an effective advocate.
Our efforts to promote equity do not end with CHD. This is an effort to build relationships with our legislators to inform them about the issues that matter to our members; and to build support to enact laws that will improve the lives of our members. ” I attend Capitol Hill Day for two reasons: I enjoy working with colleagues, self advocates, and families who share the same vision of creating a space where we all valued for the gifts we bring to our communities,” said Terri Ward, TASH Board Member and CHD participant. She added, “When I explain our position on legislative bills I feel as though I am educating our lawmakers and somehow I think that helps us all.”
Today has been a successful event. We would like to thank all the folks who took part of this event at our nation’s capital and at the local level in their home states.