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Voices for Change

Find out how Medina County Advocates are making their voices heard in our county, state and nation.

Advocating for Education
October 2022

Marci Straughter tells the story of riding to her job at an ARC Industries workshop in a van several years ago when one of the workshop participants complained about the lunch her staff had packed that day. “I was like, ‘Do you know you can tell them what you want for your lunch, and you could also help them cook it?’” said Straughter, who, like the workshop participant, is an individual with a developmental disability. “She said, ‘No, I didn’t know that.’”

That’s just one example of Straughter’s decade-long effort to spread the gospel of advocacy to people with developmental disabilities – to encourage others to speak up for themselves and take more control of their own lives.

Marci’s advocacy has surely paid off.  She has served two terms on the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council and recently, she made history by becoming the first person appointed to the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities who also is eligible for board services. “I feel really good, because when I’m on the board and I’m the only one with a disability, I get to tell the board members how it is for a person with a disability,” she said, “because if they don’t have a disability, they don’t know how it feels.”

According to the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, there were eleven such members of boards in the state at the end of 2021. Marci now makes it an even dozen.

Marci recently joined our Medina Advocates General Meeting and shared her insight on the importance of perseverance when it comes to going after what you believe in. She gave MCBDD Advocates advice on strengthening our own advocacy skills here in Medina County and the importance of being a valuable member of our community.

Advocating for Transportation
July 2022

The Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities hosted a 3-day Transportation Resource Series to educate individuals and their families on transportation modes within our county. Over the years, advocates have been encouraged to participate in sharing their experiences with transportation access, and they were able to continue the discussion through this series.

Day 1-Shannon Rine, Director of the Medina County Public Transit, and Courtney Jordan, Provider Relations and FSS Specialist at the Medina County Board of DD, shared their knowledge about the Medina County Public Transit system.

Day 2-Panelists were able to share their experiences using Uber and Lyft, and gave personal input regarding safety, ease and cost.

Day 3-Drive Team, a local driving school, took time to share information on their unique program. Panelists and parents shared their views and personal stories of obtaining a driver’s license.

Legislative Day 101
May 2022

All legislation begins as an idea. Legislative advocacy means working with lawmakers and lawmaking bodies to gain support for a cause or initiative. It is important that Ohio lawmakers hear from advocates as they create or modify public policy. Your elected officials will make time to listen to ideas or concerns about developmental disability-related policy in Ohio.

Things to Consider

                      • Get to know your legislator and their staff. If you have a relationship with your legislator, a letter or a visit will have greater affect.
                      • Know your issue. You should know your issue well enough to explain it in a way that is understandable to the average person.
                      • Have a clear and specific goal or message. The clearer and better your ideas, the better chance you have of success.
                      • Be courteous.

If you are interested in speaking with your senator or representative, you can contact their office staff by email, mail, or phone.

Find Your Local Legislators



DD Awareness and Advocacy Day 2022
March 2022

Bill has always had an interest in educating himself on programs and topics on a state level that may affect individuals with developmental disabilities. So, when he heard about this year’s DD Awareness and Advocacy Day at the Ohio Statehouse being held on March 2, he didn’t skip a beat and immediately registered to be a participant. Bill was a highlight at the March MCBDD Advocacy Meeting as he shared information and insight from the Statehouse.

Thank you, Bill, for always keeping us in the loop and speaking up!

Advocate For Yourself!

Voting in your local communities is a huge way to use your advocacy skills, and with the Primary Election coming up in May, it is more important than ever to make sure you are registered to vote. Learn about this year’s upcoming elections and get registration information by following the button below.

Voter Information

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