A reminder, this Wednesday, February 19 the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights will be hosting the annual Disability Awareness Day at the Vermont State House. This year’s theme is “Empower People with Disabilities: It’s Only Right(s)” and it is expected about 300 advocates and community members will gather at the State House to spread this message to lawmakers. More from VCDR:
…The two dozen member organizations and allies of VCDR hold Disability Awareness Day every winter, bringing together disability advocates, family providers and policy-makers from across the state. “Disability is not a legitimate basis for discrimination; it truly is a ‘natural part of the human experience.’ This has been enshrined in law, but we need to work to make it real, so that all of us enjoy the right to access all the opportunities our community offers,” said VCDR President Ed Paquin. A highlight of this year’s event will be a keynote address at 5:15 p.m. by Chester A. Finn, special assistant in the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. He was first appointed to the National Council on Disability by President Obama in 2010. In 2008, Finn, who is blind and has a developmental disability, co-founded the Community Empowerment Programs, Inc., which provides community services and educational programming for people with disabilities… The keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion on empowering people with disabilities. Panelists will include Tom Van Meter, Missy Boothroyd, George Nostrand and Nicole LeBlanc. Other highlights of Disability Awareness Day will include workshops throughout the day on various topics and a press conference about employment at 11 a.m. in the Cedar Creek Room featuring Finn and Dr. Bryan Dague of the University of Vermont-Center on Disability and Community Inclusion. Dague provides training and technical assistance to supported employment programs and high school transition programs throughout the state of Vermont.