Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities
(2013 Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities (pictured L-R): Donna Andrus, Mark Guillory, Donielle Watkins, Lynette Fontenot, Chad Romero, Debbie Aymond, and Kenneth Carmouche.)
The duties of the committee, as defined by the resolution that formed it, are: to develop and channel information regarding disabled persons to the citizens of the community through the introduction of special activities; to work with all aspects of community life so that persons with disabilities will realize the rights and responsibilities afforded to all citizens; to receive recommendations, requests, and citizen complaints regarding problems affecting the disabled; to make advisory recommendations to the Lafayette City/Parish President and the Lafayette City/Parish Council regarding problems faced by the disabled which might be addressed by the Lafayette City/Parish Consolidated Government; to serve as an advisory panel to the Lafayette City/Parish President and the Lafayette City/Parish Council on new activities, legislation and procedures affecting the disabled; and to help increase opportunities for employment for persons with disabilities.
Nominations are now open for the 2013 Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities Awards. The deadline is September 13, 2013. Click here to download an application.
Donna Andrus has been involved with Autism Society of Acadiana for the past 10 years and has served on their board of directors for the past 4 years, first holding the position of treasurer and now chapter president. Last year she was awarded the LCG's Awareness Committee’s Volunteer of the Year Award. She is married and has 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Donna was raised in Scott, graduated from Acadiana High, UL (USL at that time) and LSU. Donna works part-time as a consulting reservoir engineer for PetroQuest Energy in Lafayette. She and her husband facilitate a weekly Divorce Care class at their church. Any free time is filled with family, church, gardening, and traveling.
Debbie Aymond is currently Regional Manager for Louisiana Rehabilitation Services for the Lafayette Region, which is an 8 Parish area. She has held that position since September 2007. Prior to that, she served as a Rehabilitation District Supervisor in the Thibodaux Region and a Master Rehabilitation Counselor for twenty-two years. She is the recipient of several awards including the Department of Social Services Walk of Fame in 2007, Distinguished Merit Award, Lafourche Mayors’ Committee on Disability Issues- 2006, Meritorious Service Award, St. Mary Mayors’ Committee on Disability Issues- 1999, and the Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Service Award- 1997. She currently serves on the Lafayette Workforce Investment Board and is Chairperson of the WIB 40 and 41 Coordination Committee. She is also a member of the Lafayette Social Service Network and the Lafayette Parish School System Transition Team. She has been married for 36 years and has two children and four grandchildren.
Kenneth "Ken" Carmouche is full-time student at UL. He raises his two very young two grandchildren with his wife that they adopted a couple of years ago. He graduated from Acadiana High School in 1981. He was a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger (75th Ranger Regiment) at Fort Lewis, Washington until 1986. He was injured in a fatal air jump in 1985 and release with a Honorable Medical Discharge from the Army. He returned to Louisiana and started working for the U.S. Postal Service and retired from the Postal Service in 2008. He is a preacher/elder at the South College Church of Christ in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is a junior at U.L. studying Economics holding a 3.2 G.P.A. He has been married for 29 years to Christine Onezine Carmouche and has two daughters Porscha and Adrienne. He has two grandchildren McKenzie and Kennedy. He is a 100% service-connected disabled veteran. His future goals are to return back to U.S. government as an employee and to give his two grandchildren many opportunities to develop and form themselves a valuable and enjoyable education and lifestyle.
Lynette Fontenot lives in Lafayette with her husband Matthew Fontenot. Having cerebral palsy since birth she has overcome many challenges and is now an artist, motivational speaker and advocate for people with disabilities. Lynette graduated from Basile High School and LSU-Eunice. As part of her advocacy work she serves on several committees, such as the Lafayette's Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities, La Can, LSU Human Development Constituency Advisory Council, and The Louisiana State Improvement Grant Advisory Team. During her eight year term on the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, she served two years as Secretary and four years as Chairperson. She speaks to all types of audiences in an effort to help parents, professionals and others understand that anything is possible. She also meets with legislators on both a state and federal level, advocating for the needs of individuals with disabilities. Inclusion has been the key to her success and her goal is for all individuals with disabilities to have the opportunity to live a quality life.
Mark Guillory is from Oakdale, Louisiana. He is a graduate of McNeese State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Studies. Mark is the Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialist for the Louisiana Workforce Commission at the Lafayette Business & Career Solution Center and was recently appointed to serve on the City-Parish President's Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities as a nominee from the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Mark is an avid photographer whose photographs have been published in a number of local and regional magazines. He has lived and worked in the Lafayette area for the past 11 years. He is a life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the American Hiking Society, and the International Freelance Photographers Organization.
Chad Romero- Bio forthcoming.
Donielle Watkins is a local Certified Public Accountant and the director of the DREAMS Foundation of Acadiana, which provides activities and sports to children with special needs in the Lafayette area. She has been married to Brian Watkins for 16 years. She has two sons, Logan and Lucas, and a sister Monique who has lived with her since she was five. Her son Logan has spina bifida and has been a great impact on her being an advocate for individuals with special needs.
To contact the Committee:
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.