The FDDC's Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day is March 14, 2023.
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day is Tuesday March 14. This annual event intended to raise awareness about disability issues during legislative session also serves as a rallying cry to self-advocates to reach out to their elected representatives.
Although there will be a small delegation of self-advocates working the capitol March 14, the majority of advocacy work to be done in the 2023 session will take place in local communities. For those who won't be in Tallahassee March 14, there will be a virtual rally from 8:30 – 10 am. The rally will include invited speakers, advocates and leaders from across the state. The rally will be available for replay on-demand. We have included the link to register for the rally here. The registration form can be found at the bottom of the page.
You do not have to be in Tallahassee to advocate with legislators about disability priorities. We encourage you to set up appointments to meet with an aide in your representatives' local offices or set up a virtual meeting. Before you meet with your legislators it is important to familiarize yourself with the 2023 legislative priorities crafted by disability advocates. Make sure you do your research beforehand. A list of legislative priorities can be found on any of the following organizations’ websites: Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC), Florida Self-Advocates Network’D (FL SAND), Disability Rights Florida, and the Arc of Florida.
Of course legislative visits are not the only way to advocate. The FDDC has developed an Advocacy Tool Kit to help you plan your own local DD Day activities. You'll find all the necessary tools to make your voice heard during the legislative session and beyond. The toolkit includes a variety of resources and tactics to help self-advocacy or other groups raise local community awareness about disability issues, such as
• How to organize a press conference/rally
• How to get your city/county to adopt a resolution/proclamation declaring a local Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day
• How to bring awareness to local issues facing the disability community using local media
• How to talk about the issues if you are interviewed by media
• How to conduct an effective social media campaign
• Tips on how to set up meetings with your legislators in their home office
We encourage you to register for the rally today and hope that the rally inspires you to take action. Remember that true political change starts at the local level. Remember that your voice matters. Whichever way you choose to advocate on DD Day and beyond you can make a difference.