Advocacy groups say South Carolina making strides helping those with disabilities

Able South Carolina celebrated this progress at their sixth annual Advocacy Day

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Dori Tempio lives with a degenerative neuromuscular condition that limits her ability to walk, but she doesn’t let her disability slow her down.

“Part of the mindset in our community when we see people with disabilities, we hone in on what someone can’t do. Why not hone in on what we can do? Because I can sure do a lot,” said Tempio, who is the Director of Community Outreach and Consumer Rights at Able South Carolina.

With two collegiate degrees under her belt, Tempio was able to find a job, but others with disabilities across the state have not been so lucky.

“South Carolina has one of the highest unemployment rates for people with disabilities. We are number six in the nation. We want to change that. We want to make South Carolina the best place for people with disabilities to live, work, and play,” said Kimberly Tissot, the Executive Director of Able South Carolina.

Over the past few years, Able South Carolina has worked with legislators to improve working and living conditions across the state.

Even though leaders say the state has come a long way in promoting access to jobs over the years, some say work still needs to be done.

“We would also love to see an expansion of disability employment in state government, and making sure that the jobs that exist across the state and every county are accessible and available to people with disabilities,” said Robbie Kopp, the Director of Advocacy and Community Access for Able South Carolina.

With some lawmakers vowing to fight for them at the State House, Tempio says she’s proud of her state for making progress.

“I want all individuals to feel pride that they have a disability and know that they’re all an important part of South Carolina,” Tempio said.

Able South Carolina has hosted Advocacy Day for the last six years, hosting the ceremony at the State House Thursday. Attorney General Alan Wilson was among the guest speakers at today’s ceremony.

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