TOLEDO, Ohio — Mercedes Aguirre takes care of her 12-year-old daughter with disabilities and faces challenges.
But there are some families facing other barriers, who may not know about the help out there.
"The truth is the information here is really great because the reality is there's a lot of need involving these people. Whether it be kids or adults. The truth is it's important and there's a big need," Aguirre said.
On Wednesday, Aguirre was joined by other Latino mothers, family members of those with disabilities and advocates.
During a sit-down, they listened closely as Kerstin Sjoberg, the executive director of Disability Rights Ohio, explained what it means to have a disability and what are their rights.
"We're still learning ourselves some of the barriers because we have not had a strong connection to the Latino community. But on the things that we've noticed is that they are already disconnected from disability service systems," Sjoberg said.
Other barriers include language, or even having knowledge of what help is available.
"You learn things which you may have thought in the past, were not there to help advance your family. Because sometimes you have necessities," Aguirre said.
Disability Rights Ohio aims to squash those thoughts of helplessness by offering translations in several languages and free advocacy assistance for people who are eligible.
"We have attorneys who provide legal representation. We have advocates that investigate abuse and neglect and then advocate for changes or accountability for individuals. We have advocates for people who are trying to go back to work," Sjoberg said.
The goal is to better connect with the Latino community and empower someone like Aguirre, who walked away with a wealth of knowledge.
"That we can help ourselves from this type of information. So that we can look ahead. Motivating them. Supporting them. Encouraging them, so they can be better off in their future," Aguirre said.
Disability Rights Ohio offers information in all different types of formats and they want you to feel comfortable reaching out if you have any legal rights questions.
You can either reach the group through its website Disability Rights Ohio or you can call 1-800-282-9181.