By Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council
On Thursday, March 9, with representatives from the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Disability Rights Iowa, and disability advocates from across the state looking on, the Iowa House of Representatives passed a resolution designating March as Disabilities Awareness Month-the first resolution of its kind in Iowa.
The resolution (HR9) received bipartisan support and was introduced by Rep. Art Staed (D) of Cedar Rapids and Rep. Thomas Jeneary (R) of LeMars. Several representatives took part in reading the resolution aloud in full to the House before passage including:
Rep. Steven Bradley (R) of Cascade
Rep. Timi Brown-Powers (D) of Waterloo
Rep. Ken Croken (D) of Davenport
Rep. Thomas Gerhold (R) of Atkins
Rep. Martin Graber (R) of Fort Madison
Rep. Heather Matson (D) of Ankeny
Rep. Josh Turek (D) of Council Bluffs
Rep. Elizabeth Wilson (D) of Marion
The above all read a section of the resolution and met with the advocates in the House chamber. A similar resolution (SR4) has been introduced in the Iowa Senate by Sen. Izaah Knox (D) of Des Moines. Sen. Nate Boulton (D) of Des Moines introduced advocates to the Senate on Thursday, acknowledging recognition of March as Disabilities Awareness Month.
The purpose of the resolution is to bring awareness to the contributions of persons with disabilities as well as disability-related issues faced by Iowans across the state. Disability rights advocates asked legislators to ensure that the opinions of individuals with disabilities are heard during discussion on policies that could directly impact their lives, emphasizing that it's crucial to make decisions with people with disabilities-not for them.
To view the full proclamation click HERE.