State house celebrates annual SC Disability Advocacy Day
Karl and his father, WC Hoecke, attend the SC Self-Advocacy Day every year to support awareness for special needs funding.
State Director for Special Needs Director, Dr. Beverly Buscemi, announced the increase in state budget funds for disability organizations.
By: Brittany Peacock
Many people with disabilities in South Carolina are unaware that the state has different funded programs in the community to assist them in having meaningful and productive lives.
Yesterday, the 25th annual Disability Self-Advocacy Rally was held at the State House to help recognize the organizations that support people with disabilities every day.
One student from The Barclay School For Special Needs named Karl Hoecke was there to show support. He attends this event every year.
"I wrote a speech about a year ago about the "R-word". It hurts my feelings," Karl said.
With his father, WC Hoecke, by his side, they both hoped that today's awareness for people with disabilities continues to bring in government support.
"For 25 years, we've been coming down to the statehouse, talking to our legislatures, and sharing with them the issues that are important for families with children with disabilities," WC said.
The South Carolina Partnership of Disability Organizations is made up of disability advocacy organizations representing autism, brain injury, spinal cord injury, intellectual and related disabilities.
A few of these organizations include: Arc of South Carolina, Impact South Carolina, and People on The Go.
Advocacy organizations and people with disabilities all rallied together yesterday to celebrate the state funding received this year, and to celebrate themselves as people who are not just numbers in a statistic.
Shoes were even donated by one of the organizations to represent families that are currently unaware that the state will provide them service needs if applied for.
"There is over thirteen million new dollars that have been appropriated for service expansion for the programs...and this is huge, we have waiting lists for [these] services," State Director of Special Needs for DDSN, Dr. Beverly Buschemi, said.
Thanks to the appropriated funds, students like Karl can continue to get the services and education they need. However, this funding is only as effective as the families who take advantage of it.
"The shoes really represent the emptiness of what's there. They don't have a spot. They should have a spot. And what waivers can do for families is phenomenal, " WC said.
You can learn more about the South Carolina Disability Advocacy organization and their mission on their website.