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State and Federal Legislative Advocacy Experiences for LEND Trainees

Briefly describe the activity and its purpose.

The two Ohio LEND programs (Nisonger Center and Cincinnati Children's) partner with the rest of the Ohio DD network to provide LEND trainees with a policy and advocacy practicum as part of the Ohio state legislative advocacy day.

Annually, self-advocates and family members from across the state gather to educate and lobby state legislators and staff regarding issues of significance to individuals with disabilities and their families. At Nisonger, trainees receive direct instruction from the Family Faculty member and the Ohio DD Council policy staff on current Ohio disability issues and how to present and discuss these issues to legislators and their staff. They then accompany individuals with disabilities and family members on legislative visits. The state legislative advocacy day is followed by a series of LEND seminars addressing Disability Policy and Advocacy.

In addition to the state advocacy training, several trainees also participate at the federal level in the Disability Policy Seminar and report back to all LEND trainees regarding disability policy at the federal level.

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