On July 31, students went to the capitol to raise awareness to lawmakers about the issues of misrepresentation of persons with disabilities. Talking to state lawmakers was part of the Youth Leadership Forum, which is being sponsored by the State Board for People with Disabilities. This program teaches and encourages students with disabilities to embrace leadership.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell opened the forum; he encouraged students to hold any and all elected officials accountable. During the forum after listening to students speak, Petersburg Delegate Roslyn Dance said, “You’re right that there are no barriers to your learning. I’m very impressed with what you have and I think that’s something that should be shared beyond just this forum.”
Lawmakers drove to Richmond to hear concerns from these students with disabilities. Several lawmakers also told these students that there could be opportunities to be mentored.