Medicaid and other government funding for people with disabilities is under major threat in Washington, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) stand to lose access to services and supports that are crucial to their lives in the community. Losing this funding will mean going backwards in terms of disability rights and community inclusion. However, people with I/DD have few options when it comes to speaking up for funding and for their rights. In order to bridge the gap between people with disabilities living in Southwestern Pennsylvania and the policy-makers of Harrisburg and Washington D.C., ACHIEVA plans to produce a series of videos where self-advocates will have a platform to speak about issues that affect their lives.
With the 100DaysofUS grant, ACHIEVA plans to utilize professional video production services. We hope that higher quality video will result in more views and shares, and that it will also be more convincing. We will involve the local disability community by asking self-advocates to come forward with their stories. The advocacy team will select a diverse a cross-section of individuals to feature, and the stories not featured in the videos will be included in the marketing on our social media pages and website. We will launch a social media campaign using #100DaysofVisibility and related tags. We will involve our partners, including other Arc chapters, in distributing the videos. Will use our social media accounts and e-newsletter, which reaches over 4,000 inboxes every week, to share the videos. March is I/DD awareness month, and the campaign surrounding the launch of the first video will tie in well with other social media messaging occurring in March. We hope that beyond the creation of the videos, that the campaign will encourage self-advocates to share their thoughts and make their voices heard.