MARCH 2, 2018, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Individuals, parents, guardians, staff and community members from various agencies, including The Arc of Anchorage, gathered in downtown Anchorage to share the unified message that Alaskans of all abilities need better services and access to services. The annual Key Campaign rally event convened at Williwaw, where everyone reviewed platform issues together from the Key Coalition of Alaska, learned and practiced Key chants, and enjoyed a pizza lunch.
At noon, everyone bundled up and headed outside, circling Town Square Park several times with decorated posters and chant leaders on megaphones motivating the group. They shared and voiced the message that Alaskans who experience disabilities need more support and inclusion from our community, that leaders in our legislature to listen to the issues that effect their quality of life, and the impact of that support as a benefit for all Alaskans.
The Arc of Anchorage thanks the Key Coalition of Alaska, Hope Community Resources, Stone Soup Group, Access Alaska, Focus and Assets for their participation and support of the 2018 Anchorage Key Campaign Rally, as well as all the individuals and community members that joined in that day as self-advocates.
Key Campaign is a self-advocacy event for individuals experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their support network to take opportunities to share with legislative representatives and government officials and express important issues that impact their lives. Rallies across Alaska coincide with efforts in Juneau to show communities in a public way that policymakers need to truly listen to the voices of all constituents. The rally’s theme this year is “Visioning the Future – Full Lives for ALL.”
Key Coalition of Alaska published the following 2018 platform issues:
- Putting into statute a shared vision of a flexible system in which each person directs their own supports based on his or her strengths and abilities toward a meaningful life in their home, their job and their community. Our vision includes supported families, professional staff and services available throughout the state now and into the future.
- A stable and sustainable fiscal plan which if attained would reactivate the commitment to reduce the waitlist. Currently there are more than 700 individuals on the waitlist. It is imperative that we increase the number of individuals removed from this registry.
- Key Coalition supports the passing of Senate Bill 80—a telecommunication bill that would require telephone utilities to provide services to deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired subscribers that would permit the subscriber to communicate by telephone with persons of normal hearing.
For more information about Key Campaign from the Key Coalition of Alaska, click here.
KEY CAMPAIGN IN JUNEAU
The Arc of Anchorage also sent self-advocate representatives to Juneau for the annual Key Campaign there March 1-2. They had opportunities to meet with legislators, the Lt. Governor and other key leaders in state agencies about current issues facing Alaska’s disability community. It was a valuable time to share concerns about funding, policies and process, an education for both the legislators and self-advocates. Below are photos from their time in Juneau.