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Disability advocates rally for legislation at Minnesota Capitol

Disability advocates rally outside Minnesota Capitol
Disability advocates rally outside Minnesota Capitol 02:11

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Disability advocates and people with disabilities rallied at the Minnesota State Capitol rotunda Wednesday, pushing for more inclusive laws statewide.

The effort united advocacy groups from all over the state.

"It's so important for our community, the disability community, to get together. Historically, we're typically segregated from each other," said Brittanie Hernandez-Wilson, the Equity and Justice Director for ARC Minnesota. "Being able to come together at the capitol to be one in community is so important for us, it's important for us to know that we're not alone."

Hernandez-Wilson says part of the effort for Wednesday's rally is for disabled people to meet with lawmakers who are advocating for more inclusive laws. 

She says three main efforts for advocates this legislative session are passing laws eliminating sub-minimum wage for disabled workers, to mandate teacher training on ableism and to remove application barriers when applying for medical assistance.

"That there's people all over the state who look like us, who experience the same barriers and access to life," Hernandez-Wilson said.  "It's really powerful when we get to come together and celebrate each other, but ultimately advocate to our legislature and legislators about bills that are important."

"I think we're in a moment now where we're kind of pushing the envelope in a good way," said Ryan Haenze of the Disability Law Center.  "I feel like there's a lot of momentum for creating access and opportunities."

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