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"All Voices Heard!"

We will not be defined by our disabilities, but accepted and embraced for our abilities and contributions. We must raise our voices, share our stories, demand legislative change, and advocate for an inclusive culture where societal barriers are dismantled. Let us make "All Voices Heard!"

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Self-Determination
Independence
Empowerment Inclusion

What is Disability Advocacy Day?
The South Carolina Partnership of Disability Organizations (SCPDO) unites organizations with a shared goal: ensuring self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration, and inclusion for children and adults with severe lifelong disabilities in all facets of society. Together, we represent the interests of over 500,000 South Carolinians living with severe, lifelong disabilities.
Disability Advocacy Day, a statewide grassroots initiative led by advocacy groups, aims to inform our governor and legislators about the realities, struggles, and needs of individuals with disabilities and their families.
We extend an invitation to the public, lawmakers, and community partners to join us in a collective effort to dismantle barriers and safeguard essential services and supports for people with disabilities. Our annual gathering at the North grounds of the South Carolina State House includes a walk, a rally, and speeches from community partners, self-advocates, and more.
Each member of the disability community has a story that deserves to be heard—whether you're a parent, sibling, professional, extended family member, or supporter. Stories are a powerful advocacy tool, providing lawmakers with a deeper understanding of the real-life implications of their decisions on families. Sharing your experiences with representatives emphasizes the human aspect of policy-making, illustrating the tangible effects on the lives of real people. Your personal narrative is invaluable; it carries weight and significance.
For more information about Disability Advocacy Day and how to make your voice heard, please contact us at scpdoinfo@gmail.com.
See Photos from #DisabilityAdvocacyDaySC 2024 Below! 
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Tips on Advocating

 

One of the most important steps we can take ahead of Disability Advocacy Day is to look up our legislators, see what committees they are on and find out how they have voted on issues we care about. With the website Open States, constituents can find bills they are interested in and also search for their legislators. To find your legislators’ voting records, we recommend searching for them on Ballotpedia. Both of these sites are great resources for any advocate to be properly informed.

 

Once we become informed on the issues and our legislators, we can better advocate for ourselves during the session and beyond. But Disability Advocacy Day is not the only opportunity to advocate! In fact, there are year-round opportunities. Once you have found who represents you and how they vote, feel free to reach out to them on social media or connect with them via email or phone before Disability Advocacy Day. Make sure to let them know you are a constituent in their district. Each legislator has an important voice in their chamber, and they want to hear from their communities.

 

One thing we must remember is that these state lawmakers are our friends and neighbors. A lot of these legislators know some information about a lot of different things, so be prepared to educate them on issues you care about. If you are planning to attend Disability Advocacy Day, feel free to invite them to join you!

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Register for a leadership program for adults living with disabilities and the parents of children living with disabilities. Get information on local, state, and national issues.

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Are you an individual with a disability who wants to develop greater self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills? The I.M.P.A.C.T. Leadership Training is an 8 week program where class is held once a week. Each class lasts two hours. I.M.P.A.C.T. is a SC state-wide self-advocacy group made up of individuals who advocate for themselves and others with disabilities. To learn more about this training, click below to view and download the flyer.

See Photos Below of Disability Advocacy Day 2023
More Disability Advocacy Resources & Information