On February 14th, members of The Arc of Indiana and Self-Advocates of Indiana, along with some of ADEC’s own, once again participated in The Arc’s yearly ‘Have a Heart for the Arc’ day. Attendees of the trip representing ADEC and Self-Advocates included six ADEC Self-Advocate members, the Self-Advocates of ADEC Liaison, ADEC’s Community Outreach team, new ADEC President and CEO Chris Kingsley, and ADEC professional support staff, as well as one of our Board Members.

We all made the trip to the Statehouse in Indianapolis that morning to present Valentine’s Day Cards made by members of the various Self-Advocates groups from all over the state of Indiana. The purpose of the annual event is to connect with some of Indiana’s elected officials and bring attention to current issues that affect individuals with disabilities, as well as to bring awareness of ADEC and all that we do to further our mission. Finally, we always like to express our gratitude for their continued efforts to create and support important legislation that’s close to OUR hearts.

That day, Self-Advocates of ADEC met with Governor Eric Holcomb, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, and Indiana State Senators Blake Doriot and Linda Rogers. The day was filled with exciting first visits to the Statehouse and new introductions. When asked how her conversation with the Governor went, Self-Advocate Shayna stated (laughing) “I was star struck! I didn’t know what to say.” Shayna still did a great job representing Self-Advocates, however. All in all, it was a fun, jam-packed, and successful day that hopefully increased our governments awareness and understanding of those living with disabilities.