Governor’s Outstanding Leadership in Disabilities Awards

The Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs (GODA) will host the Governor’s Outstanding Leadership in Disabilities (GOLD) Awards on November 16, 2016, at the Old State Capitol. The GOLD Awards recognizes extraordinary individuals and organizations who have contributed their time and talents to benefit the lives of persons with disabilities in Louisiana. GODA will be accepting  nominations for the following: Educator of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Family of the Year, Service Animal of the Year, Youth of the Year, Veteran of the Year, Direct Support  Professional of the Year, Employer of the Year, Patsy Barrett Memorial Award, Service Provider of the Year, Ken Vince Memorial Award, and Distinguished Merit Award. GODA encourages our statewide community to nominate anyone deserving of recognition. To download the 2016 GOLD Awards nomination packet, please visit:


Deaf Education Alliance Summit 2016

The 2016 Deaf Education Alliance Summit will be held August 26-27.   Rachel Coleman and Paula Rodriguez will be the keynote speakers for the two day summit. There will also be a Signing Time concert and one free ticket will be available to the first 30 registered for the summit. The summit will be held at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. The registration deadline is August 22, and the regular rate for two days is $150 and the daily rate is $85. The early bird special is $10 off & ends August 9. For more information and to register go to For questions contact Rana Ottallah:


26th Anniversary of ADA

Governor John Bel Edwards recognized the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 with the following statement:

“Today we celebrate the 26th anniversary of the Americans with  Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush...The ADA was the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. It was a collaborative effort of Democrats, Republicans, the legislative and the executive branches, federal and state agencies, and people with and without disabilities.”


Louisiana Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

In preparation for the hurricane season or other disasters, the Department of Children and Family Services encourages Louisiana residents to pre-register for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP). DSNAP provides assistance to eligible low to moderate income households  with  buying  groceries  due  to  lost  income  or  damages  following  a  disaster. Pre-registering before a hurricane or other disaster is important, as some individuals may not have access to the required paperwork following a disaster or evacuation. Individuals who are currently receiving SNAP benefits do not need to pre-register; benefits will be added automatically. DSNAP is only administered after a federally declared disaster, and after the  state receives approval from the United  States  Department of Agriculture, Food  and  Nutrition  Services to activate services. To pre-register for DSNAP  visit:   or call 1-888-LAHELP-U.                                                                                                                 


ADA Awareness March in Washington, DC

On July 26, 2016, individuals from around the nation participated in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) March on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Louisiana’s Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) Director Jessica Lewis was among the hundreds of participants who marched on Capitol Hill in recognition of the 26th anniversary of the signing of the ADA. Participants met with members of congress to discuss concerns relative to accessibility and disability rights. The march was coordinated by the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL).


Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board

The purpose of the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board is to provide information and recommendations from the perspective of advocacy groups, service providers, and parents. The Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board is established by an executive order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards and authorizing legislation. Dr. James Gilmore is the Executive Director of the Children’s Cabinet, and is housed under the Governor’s

Office of Programs and Planning. The Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board meeting will be held on August 30, 2016, at the Claiborne Building.


Partners in Policymaking

The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council is sponsoring Supported Employment workshops as part of its Partners in Policymaking program. These workshops will feature issues important to self-advocates and parents regarding employment in the community and will be held in Pineville on September 15, 2016, and in Monroe on September 16, 2016. Additionally, applications for the 2017 Partners in Policymaking class is being accepted now through September 30, 2016. Each class begins in January and ends in June. For more information, please visit: