The Mayor-President’s Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) recognized community members who improve the lives of those living with disabilities. Honorees were celebrated on November 20 at the 12th Annual Awards Ceremony. The Governor’s Outstanding Leadership in Disabilities (GOLD) Awards will be presented by Governor John Bel Edwards in a ceremony on December 10, 2019 in the Old State Capitol Building.
2019 ACCD Award Winners
The DREAMS Foundation – Vickie Nettles Advocacy Award
See more 2019 ACCD Award photos!
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!
Nell Hahn - Chair
Nell Hahn is a retired attorney. Prior to her retirement in 2016, she served as the Director of Systems Advocacy and Litigation at the Advocacy Center, Louisiana’s protection and advocacy agency for individuals with disabilities. She worked for the Advocacy Center from 1997-2016, handling 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 participated in agency projects aimed at achieving broad changes in systems that affect people with disabilities in Louisiana.
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.
Presently, I am involved with the Sterling Grove neighborhood association I am a member of the steering committee. I enjoy the yard and genealogy
I was born and raised in Lafayette. I am a graduate of Teurlings Catholic high school, class of 1975. I am also a graduate of LSU with a degree in political science. I was diagnosed with an AV- malformation deep in the right side of brain while in law school. I graduated but experienced a bleed while taking the bar exam. My doctors advised me a legal career maybe too stressful on my condition. I became active with the head injury support group at a local hospital. In the group I became friends and helped local playwright Neville Breaux cast and aided him in casting his play exclusively with head injury survivors. It was the first time a theatrical production was cast entirely with head injury survivors. The play was performed throughout Louisiana and Texas, primarily at rehab facilities. In 1990, we were given the opportunity to perform the play in Washington D.C., in conjunction with national head injury month.
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.
Nicole Poiencot is a graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She earned a Master’s in Social Work from LSU in 2001 and obtained an undergraduate degree from LSU with a Major in Psychology and Spanish in 1997. Subsequently, she earned a Post Graduate certificate in Vision Specialist in Vocational Rehabilitation from Mississippi State University in 2015. Nicole Poiencot is a Master Specialist with Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Lafayette Region. She manages a case load of individuals with visual impairments and blindness. She is thrilled to be a part of the Disability Awareness Committee and appreciates the support of the committee members and the public.
Disability Affairs Coordinator:
(Photo Credit: Mary Cormaci)
In November 2017, Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux welcomed Liam Doyle as the Disability Affairs Coordinator for his administration. Liam is a well-known local disability advocate and former Chairman of the Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities. The position was created to serve as an official voice for citizens with disabilities within Lafayette Consolidated Government. According to Mr. Robideaux,“Liam brings the knowledge and passion needed to accurately represent disability issues on a day-to-day basis. With his help, Lafayette’s citizens will see expedited planning and improvement towards ADA compliance, faster responses to constituents’ concerns and greater awareness of our inclusion efforts.”
To contact the Committee:
Phone: (337) 291-8308
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.