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Celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of Ramp Your Voice!

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RYV 2nd Anniversary Image

WINNSBORO, SC (July 21, 2015) – Sunday, July 19th, marked the second anniversary of Ramp Your Voice!’s establishment.  I am amazed at how far RYV! has come along in such a short time, and I wanted to highlight those incredible milestones and the progression seen within the past year alone.

Terrific Twos:  Spotlighting the Phenomenal Achievements of the Past Year

RYV! has entered its “toddler” years, and it has seen growth in others understanding its mission and existence like nothing ever imagined.  As a one-woman business owner, it takes a lot to build something from the ground up; yet, I am slowly seeing the fruits of that hard labor come to pass.  There is a tremendous amount that still needs to be done to bring RYV! to the place where I know it can be; however, I am very proud of the outreach and reputation my organization has gained not only within the disabled community, but outside of it as well.

Due to the significant progress over the past year, I thought it would be fitting to create the first Ramp Your Voice! Annual Report.  This report shares the main milestones; advocacy and community involvement key notes; plans for the next year; and ways you, my readers and supporters, can assist to bring RYV! into a new phases of empowerment and activism in its third year.

When I drafted the annual report, I was surprised at what has taken place in 12 months – when you are working on something each day, the small and large wins can be overshadowed by the brainstorming of new ideas and projects yet to be created.  The annual report brought home the project creations, invaluable connections to advocates, and outreach efforts I participated in, and it excited me about what is truly on the horizon for RYV! if I continue to work hard and fight for my voice and story, and those within the community, to be heard.

Let’s take a look at the key developments of RYV! within the last year:

RYV! Milestones:  

  • Retained first intern (graphic designer) during Spring 2015.
  • Published 100th blog post on March 31st, 2015.
  • Page views doubled during the first half of 2015:  20,000 total page views at the end of June 2015.
  • Highest number of page views in a day:  409 views on March 6th, 2015.
  • Broke record for number of consecutive months with 1,000+ page views:  Averaged 1,600 views per month in 2015 from February to June.
  • The official RYV! Tumblr page has 5,000 followers and counting, and shared over 10,000 posts, as of June 2015.
  • The official RYV! Facebook page cracked the 200 followers mark in June 2015.


Advocacy & Community Involvement Highlights:  

  • Presented at the SC Campaign’s 2015 Summer Institute in June.  Workshop focused the sexuality and womanhood of disabled females.  Approximately 20 attendees were present.
  • Published an article for Easter Seals’ Thrive Program about the importance of self-love and sisterhood as a disabled woman.
  • Submitted a writing piece for Doll Hospital Journal, Issue 2 about the journey to embracing multiple identities, and how Ramp Your Voice! was created from that stronghold of self-acceptance.
  • Supported and/or provided insight towards disability-focused projects and awareness campaigns spearheaded by disabled advocates and organizations.
  • Connected with disabled women and allies who shared similar backgrounds and passions surrounding advocacy and empowerment of disabled persons.


Goals to Accomplish in 2015-2016:

  • More interviews with disabled women of color for the Disabled HERstory series.
  • Establish the Rock & Rolling Diva podcast & vlog series.
  • Launch the #IAmAble! Anthology, Vol. 1 crowdfunding opportunity, and book development.
  • Introduce specialized online curriculums focused on the plight of disabled women.
  • Development of the #RYVChat on Twitter.
  • Creation of the RYV! Online Shop on Etsy.
  • Provide telecommuting internship opportunities to retain the talents of interested, creative individuals.


How Can You Help?

  • Make a donation
  • Share your Disabled HERstory to be featured on the RYV! blog
  • Read, share, & comment on blog posts
  • Spread the word about & request RYV!’a services & curriculums
  • Invite Vilissa to speak at conferences & engagements about the struggles disabled women endure in America, & share her own story as a triple minority


Final Thoughts

Every day I wake up, and realize how truly blessed I am to be working on something that is a part of my life’s purpose.  Not everyone understands what their purpose is in their 20s, and some never realizes it.  Sometimes doing what you love means doing it for “free,” knowing that you will be rewarded in the right time, right season.  That is how I view RYV! – building this organization up in the values and focus I deem imperative means more to me than gaining “fast” money without having a clear vision or conscience as to how I want to stand out within the disability advocacy realm.  Within the third year of RYV!, I do plan to focus on building its financial capital, but my first and foremost priority is to ensure that it fulfills the mission for which it was created two years ago – be an inclusive platform for disabled people, particularly disabled women of color.

As we go into the third year, I ask that each and every one of you continue to support and uplift the message and mission of RYV!; nothing is possible without such encouragement and assistance, grand or minor.

There is only one thing left to say:  Happy Anniversary RYV!  ~ Vilissa

(Featured headlining image:  Courtesy of ShutterStock.)

About Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Vilissa is the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization she created to establish herself as a Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate. Ramp Your Voice! is a prime example of how macro-minded Vilissa truly is, and her determination to leave a giant "tire track mark" on the world.

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