Recharging the Batteries

July 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm 2 comments

Judy and Tony chattingI attended the 2011 National Council on Independent Living Conference last week in Washington, DC. It always serves well as a recharge for my batteries! Yes, it can be a drag having to get up a bit earlier than usual (especially on Saturday!), but just being with so many other people who care about and advocate for many of the same things as I do, always makes getting up early worth it!

When I get to the hotel, I usually get a latte to start my day and then look around at the people. It never ceases to amaze me that I see so many people I recognize from previous years but whose names I do not know; as I said, that amazes me but it makes me feel good about the disability community because it lets me know that there are a lot of other people advocating for similar issues as me and they are still actively engaged in that advocacy.

At the same time, I see individuals who of course I know. It’s a good feeling to look around the room and realize, “Hey, I’m in the same room with Judy Heumann, Yoshiko Dart, Mark Derry and Marca Bristo! I must be doing something right!”

One of the highlights is always the advocacy day on Capitol Hill…the day when we, as American citizens, go and speak to those people who represent us in the halls of Congress and we advocate for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters who, for many different reasons, cannot be with us. And members of Congress and their staffs aren’t the only ones’ whose disability awareness is hopefully raised by seeing hundreds of advocates on the Hill. Because it was an absolutely gorgeous day, there were many tourists seeing the sites that day and I’m sure that it must have raised some disability awareness for them as well. I’m sure there were quite a few younger children who had no real experience with people using wheelchairs or scooters, and just by our presence on the Hill, we helped to show them, firsthand, that people with disabilities are people who are capable!

ECNV staff, Congressmen Moran and Connolly

Thinking back on last week, I feel really positive about my experiences. My batteries have been recharged!

By Tony Trott, ECNV Peer Mentor & Editor

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Entry filed under: Advocacy, Event/Meeting. Tags: , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. judithguystudio  |  July 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    This is a beautiful post, Tony.

    Reply
    • 2. ecnvecnv  |  July 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks, Judy! It was a great time at the Conference.

      Reply

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