I am currently looking for internships related to disability policy. In my search, I was asked if I have written about my advocacy efforts. In response, I decided to make this post to highlight the work I have done on behalf of people with disabilities.
I began my advocacy efforts as a senior in high school at the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley, Minnesota. There, I took a two week intensive course on legislative lobbying and was given the opportunity to meet with state Senators and Representatives to discuss an issue that was important to me. I chose special education funding because I saw first hand the benefits of a well funded special education program and the drawbacks when the funding was reduced because as a sophomore in high school my adaptive technology was taken from me and given to another student due to budget cuts. As a result of these personal experience I chose to approach the state legislature about the importance of expanding special education funding to ensure that students with disabilities have the opportunity to succeed by receiving the resources that they need to compete competitively with their able bodied peers in an educational setting. The proposal that I created and used in my lobbying efforts is below.
Special Education Funding Proposal spring 2013 More information about the education omnibus bill that was signed by Governor Dayton and took my lobbying efforts into consideration can be found .
My advocacy efforts were further advanced through my summer internship with the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee last summer. In my position on the disability team I plaid a vital role in the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) and worked tirelessly to try to get the Senate to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). I have talked more extensively about these experiences in earlier posts.