The Fayette County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DD) recently congratulated Buffy Enochs on her swearing-in as a Region 3 representative for the People First of Ohio.
On July 19, Enochs attended the 2018 Summer Developmental Disability Conference People First of Ohio & The Arc of Ohio, where she and another board member were sworn in by John Martin, the director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.
This two-day event included the People First of Ohio annual meeting and dance with counties from all over the state. Friday’s agenda began with the swearing-in of new board members, and then Martin moved on to the “State of the State” address.
Martin said there are only six months left before there’s a new governor and director. The group shared with Martin their thoughts on what he has accomplished thus far, and what is still left to do.
Dr. Olivia Caldeira from the Center for Developmental Empowerment shared that people with disabilities are much more likely to be victims of a crime than a person without. Dr. Caldeira discussed why and how it is essential to speak up and stay safe.
Breakout sessions took place providing self-advocates, SSAs, parents and support staff the option to learn about the ever-changing waivers or learn more about Employment First and what it means. Other sessions included Family Choice (The Arc has created a waiver program which allows families to choose and schedule their staff) and Tips for a Successful Advocacy group. Advocates must learn to work together and change the world for the better. Tips were offered to those in attendance on how to organize and move forward.
People First of Ohio is a statewide organization that works with state legislators and builds relationships with other advocacy groups and state agencies. These relationships promote better interaction among people who make decisions in the communities and the state. People First believes that if policymakers begin to really know people with disabilities, they will be able to make positive changes.
For more information about People First of Ohio or the programs and services provided by the Fayette County Board of DD, please call 740-335-7453 or visit www.fayettedd.com.