Everyone deserves to be acknowledged in a proper light by society. There are many stereotypes and stigmas regarding many groups in society. The Ohio Public Image Network (OPI) worked to dispel myths in all areas of the public arena.
What was the Ohio Public Image Network?
OPI ensured that people with disabilities had resources to help them navigate a successful life. It began in 1983 as a non-profit organization. Professionals who worked in the field of developmental disabilities contributed to its success. These professionals specifically have experience in communications, public relations, and community outreach.
The organization develops educational materials for other agencies that deal with developmental disabilities. This information was then disseminated to the community at large. There is a need for positive and relevant information regarding this population.
What Kind of Work has OPI Done?
In the past, OPI has developed all kinds of material. For example, they formulated a guide to give to law enforcement professionals. This guide was primarily instrumental during the time that the State of Ohio reformulated laws regarding protection for people with developmental disabilities.
Also, OPI created a junior high information package. It involved disability awareness activities to educate school children at a young age. Informing children about others, not like themselves helped with bullying.
The organization also made an “On the Birth of Your Baby” poster. This poster features landmarks in the developmental psychology and physiology of children. Along with this, OPI sponsored an Ohio-wide contest that asked Ohio school children to develop signs on the subject of developmental disability awareness.
OPI also tries to reach wide to the entire population of Ohio. They sponsor a campaign that focuses on a different valid mandate every year. Some years, their campaigns even receive national or global attention. The 2014 theme was Ability@Work. It looked at how people of all ages can use their talents and abilities to transform communities for the better efficiently.
How is OPI Information Disseminated?
OPI does not just use information packages and corporate training to get their message out. OPI creates logos and other visible graphics to help people get their messages. They go on the radio and talk about their mission. They host social media webinars. Often, the organization will host press releases in hopes that the word will get out through the media. They have awareness months so that people will stop and take note of the community. All these tools are necessary for OPI to create the type of public awareness breaking the stigmas regarding developmental disabilities.
All this will be for naught if the people that work tirelessly for DD are not recognized. OPI holds an annual awards ceremony in March for such individuals. This competition is open to media, organizations, and to individuals. These groups can be nominated for awards given out during this ceremony. The awards help recognize the collective efforts made to ensure that people with developmental disabilities seen in a positive light.
OPI is a group that does a lot of good in Ohio on behalf of people who have developmental disabilities. The network advocates for a population in a society that did not previously have a voice.