The Arkansas Alliance for Disability Advocacy is a new program of Disability Rights Arkansas, aimed at increasing disability visibility in public policy. The Alliance educates and empowers disability advocates, increases community awareness and support of disability-related issues, and fosters collaboration between advocacy programs to give self-advocates, peer advocates, parent advocates, and legislative leaders the tools they need to be active and effective within the disability advocacy movement.
On this month’s episode of Speak Up Arkansas, host Kerri Michael speaks to Alliance Director Ally Thomlinson, along with Self-Advocate Network Development coordinator Michael Thornton and Ashley Simmons, a parent advocate and mom of two young boys. Topics include: How to get involved in public policy as a self-advocate, what makes a successful self-advocate, the importance of being able to make your own decisions, why it’s important to make sure policymakers understand what people with disabilities actually deal with, and more!
As always, you can tune in tonight at 5:00 p.m. on KABF 88.3 FM, livestream at kabf.org, listen anytime on our website, and now, you can watch as well as listen by visiting DRA’s YouTube channel! We’ll be posting our shows there after they air from now on, so be sure to like and SUBSCRIBE to our channel. (We post a lot of great content on our YouTube page, so if you’re not already a subscriber, get on it. You won’t want to miss a thing!)
The Arkansas Alliance for Disability Advocacy provides oversight, administrative support, and technical assistance to three existing advocacy groups:
- Self-Advocates Network Development (SAND), which provides advocacy training and leadership development to people with disabilities across Arkansas;
- Community of Champions, which educates high school and college students and faculty on the need for disability advocacy and how to be active in advocacy activities; and
- Partners in Policymaking, which educates participants on effective ways to develop relationships with elected officials in order to directly influence public policy impacting people with disabilities.
The Alliance is funded through a grant from the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. To get involved, visit DisabilityRightsAR.org/AADA or call (501) 804-8258.