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  • Michelle Zeman

MAGICAL Celebrates Orlando DD Awareness Day

For the second year in a row, MAGICAL hosted its annual Orlando Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day March 29, 2024. As a member of MAGICAL, it was an honor to see our local community come together to celebrate people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

 

Events like Orlando Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day are super important for people with disabilities. This event helped us learn more about what we need and how others can support us. Plus, when we all come together, we’re stronger. We can work together to change policies that affect our lives for the better and raise awareness about the gifts and talents of people with disabilities. Approximately 50 members of the community came out in support. 

 

Planning the event took a lot of work. We used the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Advocacy Toolkit as a guide to help us plan the event. We contacted our state representatives, county and city commissioners, law enforcement agencies and various disability-related organizations in the area. We reached out about 30 days ahead of the event, which we learned was too soon to receive firm RSVPs but served to ensure people were aware of the event and date. We receive an abundance of support from our local community. The event brought a lot of satisfaction to MAGICAL charter member Amanda Ranochak.

 

“As a founder of MAGICAL, I am extremely proud of my team for doing everything they could to grow our small little group into what it is today,” said Ranochak. 

 

The celebration was from 5 to 9 PM at Ironworkers 808 in Orlando and included speeches from self-advocates, supportive messages from our local politicians, and a viewing of “The Voice Inside” trailer, a project of The Autism Theater Project.


A group of people are posing and smiling. The people are dressed in casual clothing and are located indoors.
Members of MAGICAL self-advocacy group and their guests at the 2nd Annual Orlando Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day

 

“Having such a big turnout of people in office gave me better hope for the future,” said Ranochak. “DD Day was a success and it was great seeing the community come together as one to support the cause.”

 

 

MAGICAL will be hosting its third annual Orlando Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day in March 2025 - check back on the MAGICAL Facebook page for additional details. 

 

MAGICAL is one of FL SAND’s grassroots self-advocacy groups serving the greater Orlando area. We welcome new members and supporters to join our group. If you would like to join, please reach out to Advisor Michelle Zeman at michellezemanbcba@gmail.com and Group Leader Michael Lincoln-McCreight at lincolnmccmt@gmail.com.  

 

FSACentral writer Michelle Zeman is FL SAND Fellow and the advisor for MAGICAL.

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