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History

Speaking for Ourselves began in February 1982 and has been assisting to empower others, pass legislation, and supporting all people to speak for themselves.

We are 40 years strong and continue to uphold the beliefs of our founders.

Scroll through our timeline below and click on the boxes to read more and see pictures.

Freedom Rally in Harrisburg

On April 26th, 2001, Speaking For Ourselves attended the Freedom Rally in Harrisburg, PA.    

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Our Beginning

Our Beginning Speaking for Ourselves began in February 1982. We met at Montgomery County ARC in Norristown. For the first time, we discussed forming a group run by and for people with disabilities. We discussed if we were interested in…

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Chapters Begin to Form

Montgomery County was the first chapter started in 1982. Chapter meetings were first held at the Montgomery ARC Building until we discovered the Norristown Public Library. Meetings were held once a month. During 1983, the other four county chapters started….

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We became a Non-Profit

Speaking for Ourselves became a non-profit corporation on May 23rd, 1985. The people who signed the official documents were Daniel Kolb, Harry Cappuccio, Luann Carter, Peggy Carney, Domenic Rossi, and Mark Friedman. The first Board of Directors was formed and…

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Our Early Conferences

In 1984, a conference was held at Montgomery County Community College and the theme was “What is Self-Advocacy.” It was attended by 300 people. In 1985, we were at the Valley Forge Sheraton Convention Center after they first opened. In…

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Our Words Are Heard

Over the years, a lot of people have traveled nationally and became well known by speaking at presentations and conferences. We traveled to these states: New York, Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado, Washington, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts,…

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Americans with Disabilities Act is Signed

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by President Bush in 1990 and several of our members were invited to the white House for the signing ceremony.  

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Roland Johnson Passes

We sadly miss Roland Johnson, our Past Board President who died in 1994. He was sorely missed, and he was a big part of us. In memory of Roland, we were a part of making a quilt in his honor….

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Debbie Robinson Meets the President

Debbie arrived at the White House as part of a disability leader’s meeting with the President on September 10th, 1997. She was helped through many security checks and into the White House. When she reached the meeting room, it was…

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