Sunday, December 04, 2005

Application to ICDD

Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities,

I was thrilled to hear, from Ron Enright and Judy Wauer at our last session of Partners in Policymaking, that there are open positions on the council. I have had such a great experience with Partners, and I am ready to move on to the next step in my advocating experience.

I have always sought out volunteer opportunities. I believe that we need to be charitable and service-oriented to be happy in this world. Long before I had a child with a disability, I was involved in making life better for victims of violence and poverty. When my sweet son Jacob was diagnosed with autism, 3 years ago, I knew that my advocacy was headed in a new direction. I immediately looked for support groups and parent organizations, wanting to soak up all the information I could. I was disappointed to learn of the lack of services and support available to my child in Oregon.

When we had the opportunity to move to Idaho 18 months ago, I figured it couldn’t be any worse than what we were dealing with in Salem. I was ecstatic to learn that Idaho has so much more to offer my son. We found a great therapy center, and had immediate success in getting him into preschool. Our time here has given us many opportunities to learn, and we are grateful for organizations like IPUL and Community Partnerships for this. We have 2 older children as well, and are so glad to be in a safe, family-friendly community. We love it here, and are proud to be Idahoans.

The possibility of working with the DD council is so thrilling. I am ready to jump in and take an active role in improving the lives of people with disabilities. I am just at the beginning of my road of advocacy, and what a better way to start than to learn from, and with, all of you. I have been so impressed when listening to Theresa Wilding, and touched by the stories of Christine Pisani by our common friends, the Partners self-advocates. These are smart, compassionate women that I’d love to learn from. In comparison, I have had so little experience- but I do have the heart and passion to help make changes.

I hope to learn how to be a stronger advocate during my time with the DD council. I want to be a part of the legislative process, learn more about the laws that effect people with disabilities and their families, and encourage other citizens to become involved. I am ready to make the commitment to working to improve Idaho for people with disabilities. I will work hard to promote awareness and support self-determination.

Idaho is a great place to live and raise a family. Let’s make it the #1 place for people with disabilities to call home.

With sincerity,

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