LEFT TO RIGHT: Michael Holton and Joe Marchese
(SAVANNAH, GA) Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is pleased to announce the 2016 Board of Directors will include its first self-advocate, Michael Holton, Jr. The Effingham County native is a graduate of South Effingham High School, where he was crowned 2013 Homecoming King.
Holton currently works as an Environmental Services Technician at Effingham County Hospital in the Environmental Service Department. Born with Down syndrome, Holton is a former recipient of the LDSS Night of Champions award and has also won numerous gold medals for horseback riding in the Special Olympics.
Self-advocacy is an important term in the disability rights movement, referring to people with disabilities taking control of their own lives, including being in charge of their own care in the medical system. In the most basic terms, the self-advocacy movement is about people with different abilities speaking up for themselves. It means that although a person with different abilities may call upon the support of others, the individual is entitled to be in control of his own resources and how they are directed. It is about having the right to make life decisions without undue influence or control by others.
In addition to Holton’s appointment, LDSS is pleased to welcome new members Jason Ambrose and Tom Kenkel to the 2016 Board.
Candy Bogardus will serve as president of the 2016 Board. She is a founding member of LDSS and has been a member of the Board since its inception in 2006, most recently serving in an executive role as president in 2014. Dr. Ben Spitalnick has been appointed as vice president, Traci Shreck will serve as secretary, and Brian Hussey was reappointed as the organization’s treasurer. Immediate past president Joe Marchese will continue to serve the Board in that position.
ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a support group to benefit people with Down Syndrome and their families through local leadership in support, outreach, education and advocacy. Meetings are held every 4th Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourage people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/