Courtesy of Kraig Walker

Members of the People First of Highland County Self-Advocacy Group recently attended the Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day in Columbus.

The annual event kicks off the DD Awareness Month in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse in the first week of March.

This year’s theme, “Celebrate CommUNITY,” highlighted speakers with developmental disabilities who have excelled as leaders in their communities throughout Ohio.

People First of Highland County met with Rep. Gary Scherer (Dist. 92) and Sen. Bob Peterson, R-Washington C.H., to discuss issues facing Ohioans with disabilities.

Self-advocates shared that living in a rural county presents barriers to employment and community living, by not having sufficient transportation. Current options for transportation are often limited to hours within the week that are not flexible, or accessible.

Other issues that were presented were the marriage penalties to their benefits and housing needs in the community.

Rep. Scherer and Sen. Peterson shared stories of the history of the Statehouse and how bills are introduced, presented and the voting procedures. They encouraged the group to continually share their ideas and participate in the political process, as it directly affects key issues in their communities.

The event drew over 400 participants and may be viewed online by searching for 2018 Developmental Disability Awareness Day.

For more information about People First of Highland County, contact the Highland County Board of DD at 393-4237.