As a member of the organization’s Board of Directors since 2005, Ann sees Parent to Parent of NYS as an organization that actively seeks to support the parents and caregivers of people with disabilities. Because of the organization, she believes that parents learn that they are not alone or unique and can find comfort and emotional support from other parents.
Ann thinks that potential board members should have a basic knowledge of services and service systems for families and people with disabilities. They should be familiar with Parent to Parent of NYS and they should be a parent or have a family member with disabilities. Having a willingness to be a team member and collaborate with other board members in working with the Executive Director is crucial. Board members must be supportive of Parent to Parent of NYS within their community and value it as a resource for parents and family members in NYS.
Ann has resides in Western NY and has five children and three grandsons. Her three sons have developmental disabilities, and additionally, she is legal guardian for another relative who has a disability.
Ann is a lifelong learner and seeks to support positive changes and inclusive opportunities for people of all ability levels. She considers herself a “bridge builder” and works to be collaborative in her relationships across systems and within systems in an effort to support positive changes for people with disabilities. She works to keep her focus on the "whole system" knowing it is not about just her and or her family, but, about all the sons, daughters and families who are seeking a quality of life for their family members with disabilities and/or special health care needs.
Ann contacted Parent to Parent for support when it was first started under Easter Seals. She became a volunteer Support Parent and then added Board Member as a part of that process. Each step of her journey with Parent to Parent has been a supportive and positive experience. Ann recognizes it is important for families to have an opportunity to learn experts in various fields, but also from other parents. From Ann: “I think it is important for families to have different sources of information as they make decisions for their sons and daughters. Their lives may be "richer" in the long run!”