The Kennedy Center joined with dozens of other nonprofit agencies throughout the country to advocate on behalf of disability employment issues at the SourceAmerica Grassroots Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., June 12-15. SourceAmerica is a 501(c)(3)national leader in disability employment and choices.  Headquartered in Trumbull, The Kennedy Center was the only agency from Connecticut who participated in this national conference.

Each year, SourceAmerica hosts member nonprofits for training sessions on how to present their case for better employment options for people with disabilities to lawmakers.

Three representatives from The Kennedy Center participated, including: Richard Sebastian, Jr., of Shelton, President and CEO; Ginger Fiore of Seymour, Executive Assistant, and Leah Palmer of Trumbull, member of The Kennedy Center Board of Directors and one of 56 self advocates.

The Kennedy Center delegation traveled to Washington to meet with lawmakers about issues affecting employment for people with disabilities. Sebastian has attended the SourceAmerica Conference for 10 years and has been affiliated this national organization for 20 years. This year he was the co-leader of the self advocate training session.

“We are in DC to advocate for more opportunity to create employment for our nation's largest untapped labor force; people who have disabilities,” said Sebastian. “The shortest distance between two people are our stories. So we are here to tell our stories.”

These legislative visits remind the politicians that decisions made in committees in Washington affect the economy and livelihood of their home districts’ constituents.

“We look forward to bringing these men and women to Capitol Hill so they can tell their personal stories and help shape their legislators’ disability employment decisions,” said SourceAmerica CEO Steve Soroka. “It’s really powerful for the self-advocates to make those connections, have their voices heard and affect policy at a personal and national level.”