STIR teaches advocacy

By Ivy Potter - [email protected]

STIR graduates

STIR graduates

Ivy Potter | PDT

A group of individuals graduated from their Project STIR training on Tuesday at the Shawnee State Lodge.

STIR, which stands for Steps Towards Independence and Responsibility is a training session used by the OSDA Council of Ohio Leaders to provide opportunities for people with DD to become leaders in Ohio. Each training opportunity targets 30 individuals with a disability who have family, staff or an ally committed to participate in the training and provide ongoing support to the participant.

The training, presented by people with disabilities, provides practical tools necessary for anyone who is interested in being a self-advocate and leader in making choices and decisions about how to live their lives.

“We are all about the principles of self-determination, which is basically a civil right movement for people with disabilities,” said Executive Director Dana Charlton. “We want them to have the respect to exercise their rights that they have under the constitution just like everyone else in society, who don’t have a visible disability. One of the things that we do as an organization is this leadership training. Our trainers are people with disabilities, and they train other people with disabilities who come with a personal ally, just someone personal in their life that can support them after they go home to support them to use what they’ve learned to continue to try and feel comfortable speaking up. It’s all about having more control over their life, and not letting people make all their decisions for them.”

Charlton says the organization has trained over 1,100 people in Ohio with disabilities since 2010 and 700-800 allies.

The trainings are done approximately four times a year all over the state, the program was awarded an Ohio development disabilities grant for five years and each year they are funded for at least two trainings where poverty counties are targeted. “We’re trying to get this to the people that have difficulty accessing it otherwise,” said Charlton. “We’re able to offer discounted rates for certain individuals with the DD Council picking up what’s left over.”

The training is 18 hours and, fees cover 2 nights in a hotel, most meals and the opportunity to interact and learn with those who come together to support one another.

STIR graduates graduates Ivy Potter | PDT

By Ivy Potter

[email protected]

Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932

Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932