We are pleased to introduce the first edition of the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council's (DDPC) monthly newsletter. This newsletter is a way for the DDPC to provide you with updates on our projects, share successes and introduce some of our Council members. In this issue, we focus on the ways the DDPC is serving un and under served communities.
The DDPC funded the Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) to create a program to expand Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Advocacy within the disability community. With our help, FREE created PrideAbility!
Advocacy Coordinator Claire Miller explains: "PrideAbilty workshops are providing informational and educational opportunities across the state to collaborate in filling in the gap in service delivery for LGBTQ individuals with I/DD."
Want to learn more? Follow PrideAbilty on Facebook, see events, and join the growing LGBTQ Advocacy Movement!
Diversity in Self-Advocacy
The DDPC is happy to announce a new partnership with the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS). In October, the DDPC began a grant project to help build SANYS organization's ability to engage with diverse self-advocates across New York State. As part of this grant initiative, SANYS will build relationships with community-based organizations serving diverse populations and make the organization more accessible to a variety of culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Community Outreach Coordinator Shameka Andrews told us:
“As a long-time self-advocate and Community Outreach Coordinator at SANYS I want to say that we are excited to be working with the DDPC to strengthen our approach to Diversity and Cultural Competency. Making inclusive communities real is important to us here at SANYS and this new partnership will help us continue to grow our important work in this area.”
Community of Practice on Cultural and Linguistic Competence
The DDPC and its partners were one of ten applicants competitively selected by the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) to participate in a 5-year Community of Practice (CoP) on Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Developmental Disabilities.
The CoP initiative will provide DDPC and its collaborative partners access to talented faculty and staff at Georgetown’s NCCC who will provide technical assistance and leadership development. The initiative will also facilitate peer exchange, including the sharing of resources, challenges, and best practices among states. The DDPC will work in collaboration with its partners to strengthen New York’s capacity to serve individuals with disabilities from diverse communities.
"The Community of Practice initiative is strongly in line with our core values to promote diversity and engage culturally and linguistically diverse communities across New York” said Sheila Carey, Executive Director of the DDPC.
Meet the Members
Ketrina Hazell described: "My favorite part of being on the Council is being able to make decisions and represent the disability community at large, and being able to support and add to the work that is being done on the individuals and families committee as a committee member myself."
Ketrina began working with the DDPC as a member of our Cultural Competency Workgroup, but has since become one of the DDPC's newest Council Members. In addition to being a member of our Council, Ketrina was also awarded 2018's Ms. Wheelchair New York.
Ketrina uses her position to promote self advocacy and disability awareness in schools and throughout her community. Ketrina also volunteers for a variety of organizations serving people with and without disabilities. She says she wants to give kids a chance to "become someone and dream big!"
Ketrina says growing up in an underserved community like Brooklyn East NY and having a disability can be tough. That is why she feels her representation is important. Ketrina told us what diversity meant to her,
"Cultural Competency and Diversity is so important to me because it limits barriers that families, professionals, as well as people with disabilities face. It will allow them to have access, equality, a community, awareness and be educated on services and programs that are available to them."
Ketrina is the president and organizer of her very own advocacy group called Voice’s of Power. In addition to her amazing advocacy work, Ketrina wants to become a certified medical administrative assistant, she enjoys making handmade bracelets and writing. One day she hopes to publish her own book. We are so proud to have Ketrina serving on our Council.