“Change never happens at the pace we think it should. It happens over years of people joining together, strategizing, sharing, and pulling all the levers they possibly can. Gradually, excruciatingly slowly, things start to happen, and then suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, something will tip.”
Judy Heumann, Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Meet the Need NC is a grassroots movement bringing North Carolinians together to drive change for those with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.
We want to bring all advocates and allies together to ensure that the service and support needs of the I/DD community are met by standing on the shoulders of those like Judith Heumann (12/18/1947 – 3/4/2023) who have advocated before us.
Below are the Meet the Need NC Guiding Principles that will help activate change as we all climb the same mountain together:
We have a greater chance to be heard and make a change when we do this together. We all have different voices, but we have a better chance for policy change if we have a chorus of voices focused on similar goals rather than many different ones.
We are focused on expanding the service pie, not splitting it. We are for all people with I/DD. We will not allow differences of need or opinion to separate our I/DD Community.
I/DD issues are individualized. Whether health or individual or family needs, we must respect and understand that one size does not fit all.
People with authentic lived experiences should be at every table where decisions are made about them.
This is an essential moment in time for change.
This monthly newsletter will feature ideas, events and content from Meet The Need NC, as well as discuss ways you can join our efforts to fulfill the needs of North Carolinians with I/DD and their families. Catch up on last month’s newsletter here.
April 18: Accessing I/DD Services: Part 1
We are meeting on the third Tuesday of every month at noon with new topics brought to you by thought leaders in the I/DD community.
Throughout our series, we intend to create a basic understanding of the unmet needs of those living with I/DD in North Carolina. You can register for one or all of our lunch and learns on Hear. Share. Act: A Lunch & Learn Disability Advocacy Series.
Our next one is on April 18, 2023 at noon and is titled Accessing I/DD Services, Part 1.
Public Policy Update
Policy Updates as of March 23, 2023
I/DD Legislative Priorities for North Carolina organizations: Many organizations decide to focus on advocating by educating and informing on issues. Some of their resources can be referenced below.
Help us get to 170 surveys!
Our state legislature controls policies that impact our I/DD community. It is really important to know what legislators understand about the issues we are facing. We are asking everyone to identify their legislators in the area where you live and ask them to fill out the I/DD survey.
Click on this link to find your the email addresses of your representatives and senator. and connect with them to ask them to fill out our live survey.
Create a short email
Tell them about yourself, loved one, or person you know who has a developmental disability.
Give them this special link to the survey that will help to gauge their understanding and identify solutions: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6hrPgffjmnUCTsy. (This is a special live link to be used ONLY by legislators)
Thank them for taking the time to fill out the survey.
Thank you for your help! We look forward to sharing the survey report with you when the survey and its analysis are complete. We need just 20 more completed before we can close the survey. We know legislators are busy, but they need to hear from you NOW.
P.S. – We’ve been asked by many of you what is included in the survey. This is copy of a PDF of the survey (it is not the live link you are giving to your legislators) for you or others to see what we are asking legislators: PDF of Survey