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By Sunrise Group on February 19, 2016

Team Tally Takes on The Capitol!

#TeamTally is made up of self-advocates, Sunrise staff and executive leaders from UCP of Tallahassee. They were among hundreds of Floridians concerned about funding and services for people with developmental disabilities who descended on the state Capitol on Thursday, February 18th for the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day. Advocates and allies were on hand to ask legislators to consider a two-point plan to address the funding crisis, the Wait List and access to care issues for Floridians with developmental disabilities. There was a noon press conference asking legislators, policy makers and others to correct the iBudget rate problems. The day was rewarding for attendees and educational for those working in the State Capitol. Great job #TeamTally!!

By Sunrise Group on February 11, 2016

UCP on the Potomac Treks To Annapolis for DD Day in Maryland

On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, UCP on the Potomac joined a group of 600 advocates and allies from the greater disabilities community in Annapolis for “DD Day” at the Capitol. 2016 marked yet another year with a standing room only crowd. Despite morning snowfall, hundreds of dedicated advocates engaged with leaders at the Capitol and shared legislative priorities. Represented by Gale Gray, this year marked UCP on the Potomac’s inaugural participation in the annual event which is sponsored by the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Coalition. Just days after DD Day, the Maryland General Assembly’s Administrative, Executive & Legislative Review Committee (AELR) put a ‘hold’ on controversial proposed regulations impacting children and adults with developmental disabilities. Advocacy works! Our thanks to the Maryland General Assembly.

By Sunrise Group on January 25, 2016

Inclusive Voices: SuperBowl 50

The Broncos won their eighth AFC Championship Game by pressuring Patriots QB Tom Brady. And while the Denver team may have shut down Brady’s run for his fifth Super Bowl Ring, they did nothing to quell the support and admiration of one Brady super-fan from United Cerebral Palsy of Florida. Self-advocate and creative writing club member, Junior shares his analysis of Brady’s ball skills … even though they will not be going to the Super Bowl this year.

By Sunrise Group on January 20, 2016

Sunrise Celebrates IDOA! #WearYourHeartOnYourSleeve

With an estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide, equal inclusion in the community should seem like a natural part of daily life. Unfortunately, many people still face barriers and do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation. It is important to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual. The first step is acceptance of the fact that disabilities are in deed a natural part of life. A disability may impact any person from and background at any stage in their life. People will disabilities still make contributions and should enjoy active participation in any community. Join Sunrise in celebrating acceptance and IDOA!

By Sunrise Group on January 18, 2016

Inclusive Voices: 10 Disability Awareness Lessons Learned From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At one point in time people with apparent disabilities were prohibited to be seen in public in order to prevent sensitivities of people without disabilities. In 1970, Americans with disabilities were sterilized against their will. Today, most would cringe at the thought of treating people with disabilities in such a way. Resulting from Dr. King’s extraordinary efforts in the civil rights movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed on July 26, 1990. According to Arlene Mayerson, the act “adopted many of the strategies of the civil rights movement before it. Equal opportunities should be available to all shapes, sizes, ethnicity, disabled or able-bodied. The disability rights movement to this day can still be promoted and fought for by people with and without disabilities.

By Sunrise Group on January 15, 2016

ABLE Accounts May Be Available Sooner Than Expected

DID YOU KNOW? Tucked inside a tax bill approved by lawmakers in December 2015 is a provision that will permit individuals with disabilities to open new accounts established under the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act in any state, regardless of where they reside. Despite federal passage of the ABLE Act in 2014, states had to approve their own legislation and develop mechanisms to regulate and administer the new accounts before letting consumers take advantage. As of December 2015, only 35 states had approved such legislation. The December 2015 change means that people with disabilities across the country will be able to open ABLE accounts when the first state programs are up and running which could happen as soon as February or March. Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Nebraska are widely expected to be among the first to make ABLE programs available.