Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Roundtable Discussion

The Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs will host the ADA Roundtable Discussion on May 23, 2016 at the Claiborne Building. This roundtable discussion will feature national accessibility expert Kristi J. Avalos, the President and CEO of Accessology. ADA coordinators, human resource directors, governmental agencies, advocates, university administrators, and other interested parties are encouraged to attend. This roundtable discussion will have a morning session from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. and an afternoon session from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. This event is free of charge; however, seating is limited. Participants are encouraged to bring their questions and concerns relative to the ADA. Each session will include discussions of basic requirements for governmental entities, infrastructure, and other important facets of the ADA. To attend this roundtable discussion, you must register by calling the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs at (225) 219-9866 or email jamar.ennis@la.gov.

Ms. Wheelchair America Visits Louisiana

Ms. Wheelchair America Dr. Alette Coble-Temple met and Ms. Wheelchair Louisiana Jamie Duplechine with Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards to discuss disability awareness and to promote the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant. The mission of this pageant is to provide an opportunity of achievement for women who happen to be wheelchair users to successfully educate and advocate for the more than 54 million Americans living with disabilities. Dr. Coble-Temple, as the national title holder, is charged with promoting awareness of the need to eliminate architectural and attitudinal barriers, informing the public of the achievements of persons with disabilities, communicate the needs persons with disabilities to the general public, the business community and the legislature. Governor Edwards presented certificates of recognition to Dr. Coble-Temple and Jamie Duplechine for their accomplishments. 

Partners in Policymaking

The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council has initiated their series of regional workshops in lieu of the regular Partners in Policymaking program in 2016. These workshops are hosted by Liz Gary, the Partners in Policymaking Coordinator to provide a piece of Partners to people around the state who otherwise cannot participate in the regular Partners in Policymaking classes. All participants will receive information on how to become involved in systems change for individuals with developmental disabilities and how to become empowered advocates. Partners alumni are also encouraged to attend as a “refresher.”

Stay tuned for additional information, topics, and workshop registrations as they are finalized. A $10 stipend is available for individuals with developmental disabilities and family members of people with developmental disabilities who travel 50 miles or more roundtrip to a workshop.

There will be workshops in Lake Charles, LA on June 17, 2016, and New Orleans, LA on June 18, 2016. Click here for more information.

To register for an upcoming workshop in your area, please email Robbie Gray at robbie.gray@la.gov or call (225) 342-6804.

2016 Disability Rights Rally at the Louisiana State Capitol

On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, hundreds of individuals from LaCan participated in the Disability Rights Day at the Louisiana State Capitol. This event was coordinated by the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council and featured keynote speakers Bambi Polotzola, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs, and Governor John Bel Edwards. Those in attendance were encouraged to meet with their legislators to discuss the importance of funding various supports and services that individuals with disabilities need to live in their own homes and be fully participating members of their communities. Governor Edwards presented a certificate recognizing the efforts of the organizers and participants of this day of advocacy and awareness.

7th Annual Active for Autism: 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Fest

Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge will host the 7th Annual Active For Autism 5k Run/Walk and Fun Fest on April 30, 2016 at the Louisiana State Police Headquarters. This event promotes awareness, acceptance, and inclusion of those affected by autism. This event also provides community education while generating partnerships with families and organizations across the state. This event will take place from 8am-12pm; however, early attendance is encouraged so that you may register for the 5K Run/Walk. Individuals of all ages and backgrounds are invited to show their support for a loved one with autism or to have a great time. There will be ample entertainment, vendor booths, and fun activities for everyone. For more information or to sign up a volunteer for this event please call (225) 216-7474 or visit www.fhfgbr.org.

2016 Cajun Classic Wheelchair Tennis Tournament

The 2016 Cajun Classic Wheelchair Tennis Tournament took place in Baton Rouge during the month of March. The tennis tournament celebrated its 27th year anniversary and featured 128 professional and amateur athletes from 21 countries and 24 states. The Cajun Classic is sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation and is one of only two Level-1 tournaments in the United States. The Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs presented a certificate of recognition to the organizers for coordinating this event.

Sign Language Interpreting

The Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs will facilitate your right to effective communication between you and Governor John Bel Edwards by providing sign language interpreting services at all press conferences. The Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs will continue to make programs and events accessible to our statewide community.

Stay Connected

The Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs would like the opportunity to share your updates, and participate in and promote your events. Please contact (225) 219-9866 or email jamar.ennis@la.gov for more information.