The Brookville Mansion was brimming with cheers and activity on Thursday, November 2. Hundreds of self-advocates from Day Services and Citizens Options Unlimited came to the annual Rights Rally held in Brookville.
Hanna Pollack, who attended the rally for the first time, felt excited and empowered by the event.
“I learned that people have the right to speak their minds, have religion, vote and spend their own money,” shared Hanna. “We can’t be forced to do things. We have that privilege.”
The annual rights rally, organized by Compass Director Karen Hirshfield, and Compass and Quality Enhancement Administrator Colleen Tapia, is an opportunity for members of the AHRC Nassau and Citizens Options Unlimited community to be aware of and feel comfortable exercising their rights in daily interactions.
The event began with a performance from the Family Residences and Essential Enterprises (FREE) Players Drum Corps followed by a presentation, activities, and luncheon.
During the presentation, participants were reminded of their rights to privacy, choice, safety, and community among others.
They also engaged in interactive activities, putting their learning into practice. Day Services Activities Specialists Justine Bokun and Sue Limiti led an exciting “Name That Right” game presenting attendees with different scenarios and the various ways they could advocate for themselves.
CQL Certified Personal Outcome Measures (POM) Interviewer Susan Gill-Orange, and POM Interviewer Samantha Rodonis developed a “Rights or Responsibility” game for attendees to differentiate between a civic duty and a situation where they can assert their autonomy.
Wheatley Farms and Arts was also present at the rights rally providing participants with a survey of potential community classes to vote on and the opportunity to write-in classes they would like to attend. These efforts build on the agency’s commitment to being person centered.