Through it all, the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD) worked to develop new ways to connect; to prioritize people with disabilities on its multi-year initiatives; and to continue educating and informing our community on things that matter to them.
We held our meetings and events by video conference, allowing us to build relationships and expand our reach.
We “zoomed” our way to completing a new Five-Year State Plan for Fiscal Years 2022 to 2026. We had robust listening sessions and feedback throughout the process and are excited about all the things that are to come.
NCCDD expanded its reach through popular statewide virtual forums on vaccines, employment, waiting lists and raising children with disabilities for the Hispanic/Latinx community.
We created an Ad Hoc Public Policy Committee and worked with state leaders and advocates on an Olmstead Plan. We educated on Medicaid Transformation and the Tailored Plan. And we took steps to increase diversity and equity.
The Council developed new initiatives to overcome obstacles to supported living and to develop strategies to impact the unmet needs of those on the registry. We pioneered a Peer Mentor curriculum with national and local partners for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) to mentor others with I/DD.
Similarly, we worked with our partners on a new initiative to support individuals with I/DD to return to the community from jails and prisons. We also worked on issues of race and criminal justice through representation on the Governor’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice.
With our partners, we finalized a new I/DD leadership curriculum. We continued to find ways to develop and empower the voices of self-advocates across the state. And we worked with self-advocates to train others on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Through our Financial Asset Development initiatives, we addressed the unprecedented instability of the pandemic to increase training on benefits counseling; expand the impact of the NC Employment Collaborative; and expand opportunities for people with I/DD to obtain meaningful work.
The pandemic had a profound impact on the North Carolina I/DD community. Yet, it also created new ways for the community to connect and support one another. It renewed the commitment of NCCDD to work so that every individual with I/DD across North Carolina can live full and meaningful lives in their communities.
Kerri Eaker, NCCDD Chair
Talley Wells, NCCDD Executive Director