March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM), an annual celebration to create awareness about developmental disabilities and the importance of inclusion, and share stories of individuals with disabilities. We caught up with Jenifer Randle, Executive Director at the Developmental Disabilities Council of Oklahoma to discuss the importance of protecting and advocating for the civil and legal rights of individuals with developmental disabilities.
What does the Developmental Disabilities Council of OK work to achieve and what support & services do you provide for individuals with developmental disabilities?
The Developmental Disabilities Council of Oklahoma works to advance communities in Oklahoma so everyone has the opportunity to live, learn, work, and plan where they choose. 60% or more of the Developmental Disabilities Council of Oklahoma are people with ID/DD or a family member of a person with a developmental disability. Other members of the Council fill key roles in Oklahoma’s services, for example, healthcare, developmental disabilities services, education, and vocational rehabilitation.
How is the Developmental Disabilities Council of OK providing an inclusive experience for all?
The Council has partnerships with great organizations working to improve support and services as well as training opportunities to increase the number of advocates in Oklahoma, which include Oklahoma Partners in Policymaking and the Oklahoma Youth Leadership Forum. Council members also play key leadership roles in organizations and initiatives throughout the state, impacting every level of service delivery and assuring a high quality of service.
Why did you choose to implement Recite Me on your website?
Recite Me is helping the Council be more responsive to all our website visitors by making it more accessible and inclusive. Recite Me allows each viewer to customize their experience for what’s important to and for them based on their individual preferences and needs. Adding Recite Me is also helping the Council reach visitors with specific language needs. We are excited that Recite Me is helping us reach more people.
What do you hope for the future of disability advocacy?
The Council hopes that our families and individuals with developmental disabilities receive the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Disability rights are civil rights!