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Institute for Disability Studies Advisory Council Wins National Award

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 09:54am | By: Alma Ellis

IDS staff and advisory council members accepting the Council on Community Advocacy Award presented at the AUCD annual meeting are from left, Cindy Singletary, CPAC member; Dr. Beth Bryant-Claxton, executive director of the Institute for Disability Studies; Bobbie Singletary, CPAC member; Antonio Norwood, CPAC member and STEP UP Council co-secretary; Dr. Jerry R. Alliston, IDS community education director; and Johnny McGinn, CPAC co-chair. (Submitted photo)

The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies' advisory council, the Community Partnership Advisory Council (CPAC), was recognized at the 2015 Association for University Centers on Disability (AUCD) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on November 23.

The CPAC received the Council on Community Advocacy Award which is presented to a council that has exhibited the strongest commitment to support the full and active participation of self-advocates and family members on its consumer advisory council. Johnny McGinn, CPAC co-chair, and Antonio Norwood, STEP UP Council co-secretary, attended this year's annual meeting and received the award on behalf of the Institute for Disability Studies (IDS). 

The CPAC is composed of self-advocates, family members, advocates and various disability agency and organizational representatives. The CPAC has a strong youth and young adult focus through the involvement of STEP UP to Leadership Council.

The STEP UP (Starting Today Empowering Peers through Uniting and Participating Advisory) Council, a subcommittee of the CPAC, is composed of youth and young adults with and without disabilities who are leaders within their schools, colleges, universities and communities. This youth council provides input to IDS programs and focuses on issues facing all young people including leadership, self-advocacy, transition, health care, education, employment, and recreation.

“We are so honored to have the work of IDS' dedicated CPAC and the STEP UP Council recognized with this prestigious award. We thank AUCD for acknowledging our commitment to drawing input and ideas from our advisory councils,” said Dr. Beth Bryant-Claxton, IDS' executive director. “This keeps us on the right track as we endeavor to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families in Mississippi.”

For more information about the CPAC or STEP UP, please contact Dr. Jerry R. Alliston, Community Education Director, at jerry.allistonFREEMississippi or 601.266.5979.