Governor Pat McCrory Appoints New Members to North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities
Raleigh, NC (May 29, 2015) – Governor Pat McCrory has appointed two more members to the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD). Wendy Boyd of Jacksonville, NC and Jason Faircloth, Clinton, NC begin their service in 2015 to promote equal opportunities for the statewide disability community.
Boyd is the Director of Special Education Alliance 4 Eastern North Carolina where she advocates and provides resources for parents, professionals and students with disabilities in the community. She is a graduate of NCCDD's initiative, Partners in Policymaking, which gave her the training and knowledge needed to advocate for the disability community with North Carolina legislators.
"I noticed a need in our community that was not being met. As a mother of a child with Down syndrome, I wanted to expand my knowledge and become aware of community supports in North Carolina," said Boyd, on her motivation to join the Council. "I believe our children are lifelong learners, but there is a gap that needs to be filled between the school system and communities so our children can still skillfully interact in their environments even after they have completed school."
Through her work on the Council, Boyd wants to increase the opportunities for people with disabilities and their families. "We need to spread the wealth in communities across the state to assure equal access in education, housing, employment and recreation," she added. "With the partnerships and resources on the Council, I am certain our communities will become stronger and more educated on advocacy and disability laws and regulations."
When their son was born with cerebral palsy, Jason Faircloth's parents were told their son would never walk or talk. Faircloth has been beating those odds since then. He is walking, talking, attending school, got his driver's license and found a passion for golf – a sport in which he excels.
During his time on the Council, Faircloth hopes to work on employment for those with disabilities. "Finding jobs and obtaining the right job for the individual is key. I also think lack of knowledge is keeping people with disabilities from getting a lot of jobs. I think people with disabilities need to do their part in applying for positions they can do, and I also think employers need to do their part in learning about different individuals with disabilities and their capabilities," explains Faircloth.
Additionally, he is launching the United States Disabled Golf Association. "The whole goal is to develop a championship or tournament for golfers who happen to have disabilities. Disabled golf is huge in Europe and in South Africa," said Faircloth. "I saw what Disabled Golf can do for a person and I want to bring what I learned from competing to organizing the same type of event here in the states," said Faircloth.
He played in The Disabled British Open in 2011 and 2012 in England where he finished 28 overall and was runner-up in the flight.
"We welcome these two Council members with their extensive knowledge of the needs and abilities of those with disabilities," said NCCDD Chairperson Ron Reeve. "Their experience is invaluable as the Council continues to foster full community inclusion of those with intellectual and other developmental disabilities."
Based in Raleigh, the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities is made up of 40 members where 60 percent of the Council are people with developmental disabilities or family members of people with disabilities. The Council awards grants for effective and innovative initiatives that promote community inclusion, independence, productivity, self-determination and integration for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Grants are awarded to grass roots advocacy groups, government agencies, disability nonprofits and other community organizations.