11th Annual Chattanooga Autism Conference
11: 45 Eastern Time - Chattanooga's annual autism conference. Presentation by Tammy Vice and Logan Blade - "A Teacher's Gift"
Improving and enhancing the live of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
This page offers a wealth of local and national resources to help faith communities include individuals with disabilities. KUDOS To VKC
The Coalition is an alliance of organizations and individuals who have joined to promote the full and equal participation of men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. We work together to advocate for public policy that ensures self-determination, independence, empowerment, and inclusion for people with disabilities in areas such as accessibility, education, healthcare, housing, and voting rights.
The following are links to sites that have been brought to my attention by families and providers. Please do the research to know what best meets your family's needs. Thank you!
Employment Toolkit shared by Erica Francis
Resources to Get Started
Running For Office As A Person With A Disability
Article by Ed Carter of ablefutures.org
(Links listed below article)
About a quarter of the population has a disability. But, as the National Council on Independent Living points out, Americans with disabilities are egregiously underrepresented in politics. This is evident at the national, state, and local levels. If you are a person with a disability, taking a few of these public seats can help spread awareness and ensure inclusion and diversity, starting within your own hometown.
Not A Solo Endeavor
Just as your government is made up of many people, so too are your campaigning efforts. Before you get started, it’s crucial to assemble your team. Your campaign staff is made up of people with strengths that can help you stand out and spread the word that you’re up for election. A few of the individuals involved are:
Campaign manager. Your campaign manager is your right-hand throughout the election process. They seek out and hire staff, coordinate fundraising events, and help to manage your campaign budget. This role requires a gregarious nature and unrivaled organizational skills.
Press secretary. As the person in charge of public communications, your press secretary handles all interactions relating to the campaign with the media. They’ll help to write speeches and issue press releases.
Treasurer. Your campaign treasurer is the accountant and money handler. They monitor donations and are responsible for keeping accurate financial records. The treasurer must also comply with the rules and regulations of your election board. The ideal person for this important job is someone who’s great with numbers.
Volunteer coordinator. As the title suggests, the volunteer coordinator recruits volunteers and coordinates volunteer activities. They will match people to projects based on their skills, talents, and availability. When searching for someone to fill this role, adaptability and patience are a must.
Marketing specialist. A marketing specialist will ensure that you are represented in the most accurate way possible across the media. They might utilize freelance job boards, such as Upwork, to contract with Photoshop graphic design professionals that can create a logo and ensure consistency in your images and content throughout your political campaign.
As a person with disabilities, you are already used to adapting when necessary. Running for office will require this same perseverance. A recent article in Time discusses the uphill battle that people with disabilities face when entering the world of politics. One major setback is bias and discrimination. Many people innately believe that having a disability might make it more difficult for you to fulfill your duties.
As an elected-official hopeful, it is your job to dispel this and other myths and misunderstandings. One of the best ways you can do this is to demonstrate your track record and to do what you say every time you make a promise. You might start to buy contacting local disability-based organizations to find out areas where you can help. This may be something as simple as bringing up the lack of accessibility at community parks. Whatever and wherever you choose to advocate for, always keep your word. This shows both dedication and strength.
Before you jump into the world of politics, it’s also a good idea to get a better understanding of exactly what that entails. There are plenty of ways to receive political campaign training. For example, there are boot camps throughout the country that can give you a glimpse into what life might look like as an elected official.
Running for office is never easy, and running for office as a person with disabilities is even more challenging. Remember, you don’t and should not do it alone. Put the right people in your corner, and don’t forget that, ultimately, it is your actions that speak louder than any campaign slogan. So do what you say, and prove to the voters that your disability is not a liability, but a driving force in your desire to make their world a better place.