Leigh Ann Barry, self advocate and Victoria Pattinson, Advocacy Facilitator were honored at the 2014 Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong Conference “in recognition of leadership and dedication to self advocacy in the Southeast region.” Leigh Ann received the Nancy Maynard Leadership award for her involvement in many different aspects of advocacy. In 2014, Leigh-Ann was hired as trainer for Explore-Prepare-Act, a training series to teach individuals with disabilities about job skills. She also recently joined the Awareness and Action Team, which provides training for peers and staff about how to recognize, report, and respond to abuse. In addition, Leigh-Ann attends monthly visits to the State House to educate the legislators about important issues.
Victoria, who facilitates both transition-age and adult self advocacy groups for the Arc as well as for the Plymouth Area DDS, was given the Gunner Dybward Support Award for her outstanding mentoring of self advocates and facilitating their advocacy efforts both at the community and at the state level. Victoria has been able to arrange monthly trips for the self advocates to the State House to meet with legislators or their aides to advocate for key issues affecting the lives of people with disabilities in Massachusetts. Congratulations Leigh Ann and Victoria!