People First Highlights  July 1, 2011 – December 31, 2011

  • A new chapter officially opened in Mesquite, NV in September of 2011. The chapter currently has 16 active members. (Note – The Mesquite chapter is currently looking for leadership to help get it up and going again. If you are interested please contact Santa Perez, Statewide President at: sperez9501@aol.com.
  •  Two VISTA’s with IDD have participated in one inclusive college class each and one other VISTA with IDD is scheduled to start in January.
  • People First members assisted in helping to teach youth with IDD about self-advocacy and self-determination in 17 schools and community centers across the state.
  • 170 individuals with disabilities have received training in  leadership, finances and sustainability of the People First chapters and 120 individuals with disabilities are currently active in systems advocacy.
  • We are beginning our collaboration with the Nevada Arc for leadership training, Santa Perez – former Partner’s in Policy Making graduate has held video and phone conference calls with the Carson, Fallon, Elko and Reno chapters where she discussed officer and leadership roles and responsibilities with chapter members. Six People First chapters have received financial training, all People First chapters have set up their own bank accounts and are beginning to collect their own dues and a sustainability model/binder has been created and distributed to all chapters.
  • People First also held a statewide board meeting on December 13th, 2012 where the current by-laws were reviewed and many additions/clarifications were added to help ensure a cohesive guide for People First as they move forward with their goal of independence and sustainability.
  • To date, chapter fundraisers have been held in Mesquite, Reno and Las Vegas and two inclusive social events have been held  in Reno and Las Vegas bringing together eight other community agencies and 72 individuals to promote inclusion. All other chapters are currently working on their own fundraising and inclusive events as well as getting advisor/mentors to help guide chapters in their pursuit of self-advocacy and self-sustainability.

People First Highlights for July 1, 2010 through June 30th, 2011

  • 92 People First self-advocacy meetings were held in 8 chapters across the state with over 300 individuals in attendance.
  • People First members assisted in helping to teach over 460 kids with IDD about self-advocacy and self-determination in 35 schools and community centers across the state.
  • Three newsletters were published and distributed across the state.
  • A panel was appointed to approve materials and maintain the content of the People First website and the People First Face Book page.
  • People First members from several chapters marched with their peers in the Nevada Day Parade on October 30th. 
  • Six chapters participated in focus groups to obtain information on higher education goals and opportunities. This information was collected and used to support a grant proposal to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to attend college.
  • Involved in the “Talk the Talk” program with three youth with disabilities. Program teaches individuals with disabilities how to give speeches and create digital visual aids. Resulted in two of the youth giving their speech at our statewide People First conference.
  • People First held their bi-annual Self-Advocacy conference, “Advocacy in Action” March 6th – 8th.
  • People First members in Las Vegas held fundraisers and were able to contribute over $1, 500 toward scholarships and speaker fee’s for the conference where over 160 individuals with IDD from all over the state were able to attend and actively participate. The conference offered many opportunities for education and discussions on advocacy with four keynote speeches, twenty-one breakout sessions, a talent show and a dance.
  • Reno, Vegas and Elko members testified on several key pieces of legislature and attended three state transportation commission meetings; one Elko member was very active in the fight not to shut down the NEAT bus.
  • Members of 6 chapters participated in Kathy Snow’s Self Determination for All webinar
  • Reno member worked with the board of a secluded camp to help them adopt more inclusive procedures for their staff and campers.
  • Two statewide board meetings were held on March 8th and June 9th. At the June 9th meeting it was unanimously voted by People First members for the organization to remain with the NCED for two more years with the goal of becoming self-sustainable at the end of those two years.
  • People First members attended the Family Ties Youth Transition Jamboree in Las Vegas, the APSE (Association for Persons in Supported Employment) conference in Seattle and were part of a state team that represented Nevada in the first ever Envisioning the Future: Allies in Self-Advocacy Summit in Los Angeles. Members were crucial in helping to develop Nevada’s state plan to move forward in strengthening our self-advocacy movement and presented this plan to ADD commissioner Sharon Lewis.
  • Members participated in a national teleconference as a follow up to the Self Advocacy summit. Topics of discussion included what gets in the way of self-advocates being in charge of their own movement and what supports are helpful.
  •  Plans are moving forward to begin the 9th People First chapter in Mesquite by the end of the summer. A VISTA has been hired, a meeting site located and member recruitment is beginning.

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