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Forum on disabilities planned Aug. 29

Herald-Times - 8/10/2018

Aug. 10--A forum to discuss issues and potential legislation affecting individuals with disabilities is planned for later this month.

Local provider and advocacy agencies will present the Candidates Forum on Disability Issues, giving the public a chance to address important issues with candidates running for the Indiana General Assembly.

The forum will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 29 in the Fountain Square Ballroom, 101 W. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington. This event is free and open to the public.

Seven local candidates have accepted the invitation to participate, including state Reps. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington; Jeff Ellington, R-Bloomington; and Peggy Mayfield, R-Martinsville. Also accepting are Penny Githens, who is Mayfield's Democratic challenger; Amy Swain, who is Ellington's Democratic challenger; Jared Stancombe, a Democrat challenging incumbent state Rep. Chris May; and Thomasina Marsili, a Democrat challenging incumbent state Rep. Bob Heaton.

May, R-Bedford, declined, and Heaton, R-Terre Haute, has not yet confirmed.

The organizations participating in this event include Stone Belt Arc, LifeDesigns, Mental Health America Greater Bloomington Area, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Down Syndrome Family Connection, according to a news release from Stone Belt. These organizations represent some of the most vulnerable residents and advocate for people to be informed about candidates and their positions regarding disability issues.

Stone Belt CEO Leslie Green said organizers expect the discussion to steer toward funding for disability issues in the state budget bill, including for direct support professional wages, as well as ways to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Questions for the candidates can be submitted ahead of time to info@stonebelt.org.

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(c)2018 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)

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