ANNA LEAH SWAFFORD
Monfort Heights | 21 years old
“I was wanting to help people and be looking out for them,” Anna Leah says about how she recently got more involved in advocacy and became part of the HCDDS group Neighbors in Action. She cares a lot about transportation because “it’s important to be able to get to your job and places in the community. I can show people how to get reliable transportation and reach out to service providers.”
Spring Grove Village | 43 years old
Jill says she became an advocate almost by accident, after a friend had an upsetting experience at a public festival. “As soon as I dipped my toe in, it became a groundswell of opportunities where I could be helpful and where I could make change happen,” she says. One of the issues on her radar is the proposed income increases for federal disability benefits that could allow more people with disabilities to get married, and she encourages others to contact their representatives to voice support. “It’s something that has bothered me for a long time since the marriage equality decision in 2015,” Jill says. “There is a gap that doesn’t cover people with disabilities who get benefits and it makes them feel like second-class citizens. I’m not a current recipient of SSI or SSDI, but I hope this bill gets passed and there will be a change to the marriage barrier.”
Mt. Healthy | 36 years old
“The biggest issue for me is accessible transportation for people with physical disabilities so we can get to and from work, and make connections to the communities where we live and work,” he says. James has been active in various issues since 2010, serving with local and statewide organizations. He became interested in advocacy in 2010, after meeting a fellow advocate who lived in the same apartment building.