In January, the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) welcomed five individuals to its Community Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC represents the voice of the community of individuals with disabilities, advising and supporting MCDD in carrying out its mission in accordance with the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (known as the DD Act).
The CAC’s newest members are five individuals with family members with disabilities, Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) provider organizations and a nonprofit organization. New members include Justine Cerruto, Felix Atangcho, Bill Webster, Theresa O’Brien and Christina Spangler.
“We are so pleased to welcome our five newest members to the CAC,” MCDD Director Maureen van Stone said. “Each one brings a unique perspective. We are particularly glad to add some geographic diversity to the CAC.”
Justine Cerruto works for The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region and has experience advocating for her brother, who has Down syndrome and autism.
Felix Atangcho is a delegating nurse who has worked with individuals with disabilities since coming to the U.S. in 2000. He believes in helping individuals with disabilities find balance in their lives, so they may direct their lives as much as possible.
Bill Webster has two brothers with Down syndrome, one of whom passed away after early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Bill notes that providers working with individuals with disabilities do not seem to be prepared for the aging process.
Theresa O’Brien has worked in Carroll County for a DDA provider for the past 30 years. She supervises 18 direct support professionals and enjoys staff development.
Christina Spangler is a regional supervisor for the Maryland Coalition of Families in St. Mary’s County. She is the parent of a child with a disability, and became interested in serving on the CAC after her family’s positive experience with Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Neurobehavioral Unit.