A request from the Self Advocates as Leaders:

Hello, My name is Judy Cunio. I am the Self Advocacy Coordinator for the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities. As part of my job, I am the editor of The SAAL Connection (formerly known as The People First Connection), a publication of Self Advocates as Leaders. The SAAL Connection features stories written by and for self advocates.

I am writing this message because, as many of you know, the state does not have enough money to continue doing everything that it’s currently doing. So that means each agency needs to cut back on the money they spend on services.

But you can help us get policymakers’ attention by sharing your personal story!

We are looking for stories from self advocates about the type of support you get, what it means to you, and what life would be like without it. People can write their own stories or get help from someone to write it. The people who have to make the hard budget decisions don’t always understand the real harm that budget cuts will do to the people who need the services most.

If you would like to help, I invite you to share your story with The SAAL Connection, which is read by many people, including some legislators and other policymakers.  We plan to put together collections of stories and the more stories we collect from around the state, the greater impact we will have.

We would like to have stories in by August 1, 2010.

Please e –mail your stories to me:   Judy.a.cunio@state.or.us

Or postal mail:   540 24th Place NE, Salem, OR, 97301

Or you can call Marcie Tedlow at 503-725-8129