Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities


 Disability Awareness Committee Holds Annual Awards Ceremony
 
The Mayor-President’s Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) recognized community members who have improved the lives of those living with disabilities. Honorees were celebrated on Wednesday, October 11 at the tenth Annual Awards Ceremony held at the George Bowles Recreation Center at Pa Davis Park in Lafayette. he Mayor-President’s Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) recognized community members who have improved the lives of those living with disabilities. Honorees were celebrated on Wednesday, October 11 at the tenth Annual Awards Ceremony held at the George Bowles Recreation Center at Pa Davis Park in Lafayette.
 
This year a total of nine awards were given in various categories:
Distinguished Merit – 232-HELP                                                         Outstanding Individual with a Disability – Barry Guidry
Educator of the Year – Dr. Hunter Beasley                                        • Veteran of the Year – Ray Green
• Employer of the Year – Albertsons                                                     • Youth of the Year – Lillian DeJean
• Family of the Year – Libby Airhart Family                                          • Vickie Nettles Advocacy Award – Sarah Conque
• Outstanding Direct Support Professional – Vanessa Culbertson  
Click Here to see the awards ceremony photo album.
Mayor-President Joel Robideaux stated, “We have so many inspiring people who work tirelessly to enhance the lives of our neighbors living with disabilities. With this committee serving in an advisory capacity to consolidated government, Lafayette Parish is much better equipped to address the needs and rights of those living with disabilities.”
 
All award recipients were nominated through a community-wide, open submission process and were ultimately chosen for their outstanding work by a selections committee. The honorees’ families, friends, colleagues and those who nominated them attended the event to celebrate the recipients and their contributions in bettering the lives of the disabled community.  
  
Think Before You Park - The D.R.E.A.M.S. Foundation of Acadiana and the Advocacy Center of Louisiana partnered with
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the
Mayor-President’s Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities, to produce a public service announcement reminding drivers that observing handicapped parking signs is not just the law, but it is also the right thing to do.
 
Proximity to a building’s entrance, space for loading and unloading wheelchair equipment and weather all play a significant factor in the ability for citizens in wheelchairs to move in and out of a vehicle. For wheelchair-bound citizens and their caregivers, not being able to park in designated handicapped spaces can hinder or
 
even make it impossible to get their destinations. Watch Think Before You Park now!
 
 
 
Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities Quarterly Reports - The purpose to brief LCG, as well as the public of ongoing committee projects and initiatives.
 
 
Committee Members: 

Nell Hahn Nell Hahn - Chair
Nell Hahn is the Director of Systems Advocacy and Litigation at the Advocacy Center, Louisiana’s protection and advocacy agency for individuals with disabilities.  She has been with the Advocacy Center since 1997. She handles individual and class action litigation enforcing the rights of people with disabilities to be free from discrimination in health care, education, other government programs, housing, and public accommodations.  She also participates in and oversees agency projects that are aimed at achieving broad changes in systems that affect people with disabilities in Louisiana. Before her employment with the Advocacy Center, Ms. Hahn was in private practice in the employment and civil rights firm of Hahn, Levy, and East in Austin, Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.
Susannah Craig

Susannah Craig - Vice-Chair
Originally, from upstate NY, Susannah Craig has called Acadiana home for over three decades.  She has worked with families of children with special needs since 1992 and is the mother of an adult son with cerebral palsy.  Susannah has worked at Camp Bon Coeur, programs for children with heart defects, since 1999.

Susannah served on several boards across Louisiana and in NY.  She has been an advocate for people with disabilities for many years and has worked closely with the medical and educational communities to assure that children with special needs receive the services and support that they need.

Hollie Barousse Hollie Barousse
Acadiana native Hollie Barousse is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and currently works as the Accounting Manager at One Acadiana, a regional economic development organization. Hollie is a driven individual with over 20 years of personal experience overcoming physical challenges. She is an avid runner, active member of The705, and serves as a lector at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church. She is passionate about using her experience and abilities to collaborate with committee members to positively impact Lafayette Parish residents.
Jared Scott Jared Scott
Jared Scott is a 2003 graduate from Lafayette High School.  He attended LSUE and ULL for a few semesters before suffering a spinal cord injury in July of 2007.  As a result of the injury, Jared became a quadriplegic.  Jared enjoys conducting online research about products that people love in order to find the best item and price.  He attends the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital; and has recently become a new member of the Disability Awareness Committee at LCG.  He is looking forward to making the downtown area much more accessible for all.
Jordan Aarstad Jordan Aarstad
My name is Jordan Aarstad. I am a graduate student pursuing my master’s degree in communication disorders at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. I have spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy, which has lead me to one of my greatest passions in life - disability advocacy. Another huge passion of mine is animal rescue and rehabilitation. I also love to volunteer in my community and spend time with my family and friends. When I am not doing those things, you will probably find me seeking adventure while white water rafting, canoeing or camping. I love to travel and be in nature, especially with my dog (son) Sebastian.
Kathy Boudreaux Kathy Boudreaux
Kathy Boudreaux is a lifelong resident of Acadiana. She is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Kathy is currently the Director of Services for Goodwill Industries of Acadiana and has worked in social service for 18 years. In each of her positions, she served individuals with special needs in some capacity. She serves on the board of directors of the D.R.E.A.M.S. Foundation of Acadiana and was a past board member of the Autism Society of Acadiana. Kathy is also the mother of a son with Autism. She is both professionally and personally connected to issues related to disabilities and is dedicated to advocate for those with special needs.

 

Committee Liaisons:
Ariel Fisher
Veronica Ryder

To contact the Committee:
Email: Disability@LafayetteLA.gov
Phone: (337) 291-8308
 
OTHER LINKS:
 

Lafayette Consolidated Government does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, income, gender, age, and disability in access to, or operation of its programs, services, activities or in its hiring or employment practices. Click here to review the ADA and Title VI Plans.