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CAC Corner: About the LCPD

Sue Reeves

01/14/2015

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people at Capitol building
The Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities sponsors a legislative reception at the State Capitol every year. The next reception will be on Feb. 5.

The Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities (LCPD) advocates for public policy affecting all people in Utah who have disabilities. Membership is open to all and is comprised of voting and non-voting members. The Coalition is incorporated as a private, non-profit 501(c)3 organization in the state of Utah.

The LCPD has developed a very strong relationship with our senators and representatives statewide and works throughout the year advocating through the legislative process for individuals with disabilities. There are no regular office hours; however, meetings are held throughout the year which are open to the public. (See the LCPD website for an updated listing of meetings planned throughout the year.)

Leadership of the LCPD also spends the entire legislative session at the Capitol. Each year hundreds of hours are logged advocating for issues important to the disability community, which includes every individual in the state with a disability and their friends and family.

WHY A COALITION?

As with many things in life, the work, the risk taking, and the dedication of a few have made life better for many. There exists today a wide array of services for people with disabilities. These services have emerged because of grassroots advocacy by people with disabilities, their families, friends, and caring professionals. The results of advocacy have been encouraging over the past 25 years, but the battles guaranteeing the rights of individuals with disabilities are far from over.

Since its inception in 1981, the Coalition has successfully advocated for progressive changes for people with disabilities. Advocacy means “to speak up, to plead the case of another, or to champion a cause.” The LCPD makes being an advocate easier by providing a network of support, experience, training, and by dividing responsibilities to enable advocates to focus their energies on a single issue.

Changing and enhancing state laws that affect our programs and services within the disability community statewide is a quality-of-life issue. All Utah citizens deserve the same respect and supports. Individuals with disabilities are people first and they all come from a broad spectrum of life within our communities. The disability community and disability advocates have a long track record here in Utah of advocating for what is important to them and to their communities. This hard work has accomplished many things, for example, the removal of the R-word from all state legislation.

As you advocate for the disability community, encourage your peers to become involved in the work the LCPD does throughout the year. With greater numbers across the entire state, our legislators will hear from more advocates, advocating for the same issues, which is a truly powerful systems change agent.

For more information, to volunteer, or to donate to the LCPD, contact Joyce Dolcourt by phone at (801) 718-3013 or by e-mail at joyce@xmission.com.

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