Disability Advocacy Day

March 11, 2022 will mark our second celebration of Disability Advocacy Day in Tennessee. 

Tennesseans with disabilities experience disparate access to the same basic education, housing, transportation, and healthcare as state residents without disability. Outside of a pandemic, self and collective advocacy is critical to ensuring access to essential supports and services. Amid the pandemic, Tennesseans with disabilities continue to use their voices to speak up for basic services, and speak out against policies that infringe on civil rights and other legal protections. Consequently, this often-marginalized and overlooked community has made a formidable impact on state policy. 

“People with disabilities learn very early that advocacy is the only way to tackle the barriers they face in an ‘able’ world,” says Tennessee Disability Coalition Executive Director, Carol Westlake. “We learned decades ago that we have to build community, work together, and be clear about what’s needed. It takes advocacy to achieve the basic level of access, inclusion, and support that others take for granted. We have to stand up, speak up and follow up. And we have to stick together. When COVID-19 hit, we knew the stakes. We knew the importance of the moment, and the disability community rallied."

Last year, the Tennessee General Assembly filed an official proclamation in honor of March 11th as Disability Advocacy Day and over 20 landmarks across West, Middle and East Tennessee lit up "Coalition Blue" in support, solidarity and recognition of successful advocacy by the disability community of Tennessee.

How can you or your organization participate in Disability Advocacy Day?

Contact us if your organization would like information or assistance with lighting up "Coalition Blue" at 615-383-9442

Coming soon: a digital library of graphics including social media images, messaging, associated hashtags and other resources!