Families Helping Families: Coffee & Conversation

Executive Director Bambi Polotzola will be the featured guest at the Coffee & Conversation event on July 7, 2016 in Lake Charles. Coffee & Conversation is being hosted by Families Helping Families of Southwest Louisiana, Inc., and will take place at their office located at 2927 Hodges Street from 9:30am to 11:00am. Bambi has been involved with disability issues for over a decade, worked with people with disabilities and their families as an educator, provider, and public servant. As a mother of a teenager with a disability, Bambi understands the needs of families. There is an open invitation to anyone who would like to talk to Bambi about the goals of the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs. For more information please visit: fhfsela.org.

The Aging and Disability Resource Centers: Louisiana Answers

The Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) offers information and assistance to adults and families residing in Louisiana to enhance self-sufficiency and the quality of life. To further this initiative, the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs (GOEA) has created a website that is designed to assist older adults, individuals with disabilities, their family members, and caregivers in finding information about long-term supports and services. LouisianaAnswers.com is a valuable resource for individuals to learn more about services for which they may be eligible. A resident of Louisiana may search the database of providers by choosing their parish, requested services, and zip code. Visitors are encouraged to click on the various tabs to learn more about the various trainings, news, and updates relative to the elderly and disabled in Louisiana. To find out more about this website please contact GOEA at (225)342-7100.

Do You Have A Game Plan?

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) encourages all Louisiana citizens to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters by developing a game plan. It is never too soon to make preparations in the event of natural disasters, especially during hurricane season. To assist in this endeavor, GOHSEP has created the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guideline, which could be found on getagameplan.org. This guide has information that will demonstrate how individuals can create a personal evacuation plan, protect their home, prepare for electrical outages, plan for special medical needs, sheltering pets, secure essential supplies and important papers. In addition, this website affords Louisiana residents the opportunity to sign up for weather and emergency alerts, connect with GOHSEP on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to their official YouTube channel. For more information please call GOHSEP at 225-925-7500.

Governor’s Advisory Council on Disability Affairs (GACDA)

GACDA held its first official meeting on June 21, 2016, at the state capitol. The advisory council is comprised of self advocates, parents of children with disabilities, members of the Louisiana Legislature, and individuals representing state and nonprofit entities. GACDA was re-established by Executive Order JBE–16-10, which became effective on April 7, 2016. The members of GACDA are charged with advising Governor John Bel Edwards on the needs of individuals with disabilities in Louisiana. The Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs conducted orientation for members in attendance. GACDA Chairwoman Lynette Fontenot led the council’s discussion on various topics including: accessibility, education, and employment. Governor John Bel Edwards attended the meeting and thanked the members of GACDA for their participation. GACDA’s next meeting will take place in September.

2016 Inclusive Art Contest

Over 70 individuals participated in the 2016 Inclusive Art Contest. To bring greater awareness of the importance of inclusion in today's society, the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs accepted entries that illustrated or describe ideas related to this year’s theme: “Inclusion Matters: A Better World For All.” Carter Byrd of LaPlace was selected “Best in Show” by our panel of judges. Participants were encouraged to use art as a means to share their vision, experiences, and talents to demonstrate this years theme of inclusion. Medals and special recognition from Governor John Bel Edwards will be presented to those who earned first place, second place, third place, and honorable mention. These individuals will be invited to participate in the Governor’s Outstanding Leadership in Disabilities (GOLD) Awards Ceremony, which will be held later this year and televised throughout the state. Artwork from this year’s competition will be publicly displayed and showcased around the state. For more information, and to participate in future art show contests please call: (225) 219-9866.