I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
Now that I have spent about a year on the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD), I have a greater appreciation for what, we as a Board, are working on. Over the next few weeks, I plan on making followers of this blog aware of what we are working on and how the issues can be incorporated into our everyday lives. While these ideals are designed to help people with developmental disabilities (DD), there are ways that we can all benefit from the ideas in our everyday life.
I currently serve on the Nominating and Membership Committee. One of the tasks that we face is to ensure diversity on the board. The board is broken down into 5 groups. The most important group that is represented is People with DD. It is because of their input that we are able to make educated decisions. Their insight as to how the system affects them is probably our most important resource.
The remaining groups are broken down as follows: Parents of Children with DD (I fall into this group), Family Members/Guardians of Adults, Community (public or private providers of services or non-government advocate), and finally State Agencies (Departments of Public Instruction, Health Services, Workforce Development among others).
Not only do we ensure that a cross section of stake holders are represented, but we try to ensure that the entire state has representation. From Door to Bayfield to La Crosse Counties. From Milwaukee to Eau Claire. We have a good cross section of state representation.
We also look for ethnicity on the board. We have representation from, African Americans, Hispanics and Whites. We just nominated an individual who will represent Native Americans. We are always looking for other cultures to be represented.
Just as I cannot speak for what it is like to live with a DD, I can’t answer questions as to how the system affects people from rural areas or people of color. Only they can. There are issues that are raised that I would have no idea about, because I live in the Cudahy. I do not know what it is like to have to travel over an hour to see a doctor or receive services. I do not understand all of the cultural aspects that individuals face. This past week, I learned some interesting facts about a couple of cultures that I would have never thought about and how they resulted in some care issues being a challenge.
I hope you enjoy these next posts in regards to: Self-Determination, Transition, Advocacy & Organizing and Public Education.