The statewide Disability Rights Day takes place every year on April 26 across the country. This is a day to recognize and celebrate persons living with disabilities.  It is also a day to hold our legislators accountable for maintaining, providing funding and implementing services that allow those with disabilities to live a quality life.  Here in Louisiana the event takes place on the steps of the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, and it's usually held during the first few weeks of the annual Legislative Session.

Each year around this time members of the Louisiana Council Advocacy Network (LaCAN) meet with state legislators to work on a five-year plan addressing the needs of Louisiana's disabled citizens.  On this day council members unite on the steps of the Capital wearing yellow LaCAN t-shirts, creating a "sea of yellow," to show support of home and community-based services in the state.

The LaCAN Council is made up of twenty-eight people, appointed by the Governor from across the state.  Together they develop the five-year plan presented to our legislators, specifically designed to address the needs of persons with developmental disabilities.  This year's slogan is,“A Waiting List is NOT a Service!” Council members want to send a strong message to legislators, that is is time for them to step up and take action. Making thousands of disabled Louisiana citizens wait for waiver services, is unacceptable!

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Shouts out to everyone, from around the state who took time out yesterday, to stand for those who can't stand for themselves.  Big ups to all the Lake Charles organizations, including my sister Beryl Cook and her co-workers at Families Helping Families of SWLA!  They boarded a bus yesterday and attended the statewide event.  Below are pictures they took during this important day, at our states Capitol: