Council Member Spotlight
My name is Lindsay Stephens and I’m from La Grande, Oregon where I was born and raised. I love to craft, listen to audiobooks, take my dog to the dog park and travel. The longest I have traveled was to Norway in 2015!
Why did you want to join the Council?
I have been on the Council for about 5 years. I joined because I wanted to share what I had learned about advocating for myself. I like to listen to other people and understand what their needs are so I can relate to what they are going through, and I can learn something that will maybe help myself too.
Every year, the Council does a campaign for Developmental Disability (DD) Awareness Month. Why did you decide to participate this year and what does it mean to you?
It gives me a chance to tell people about my disability and how they can understand people with disabilities. I participated in the photo rally so that people could see and hear me and understand me.
Who participated in your photo rally this year?
My family members, friends, providers and other members of my community.
What did you learn about your community when asking them to participate in the photo rally?
I am supported. I am not alone and that people care about me.
What does the term Better Together mean to you?
The more we get to know each other better then the more we can see that we are in it together.
It has been a hard year for everyone. What were the benefits of doing something like this after the last year?
Yes, it was a hard year because of COVID but it’s a good way to connect to let them know, hey, call me if you want to share or if you want to get together, even though we’re six feet apart. I’m just kind of getting to know that you are not alone in this situation and how nice it is to reach out to others.
Can you tell us about your community?
We live in the hub of our valley and then there are four or five outlying towns anywhere from 10 to 20 miles out. One girl lives in a town that’s almost 20 miles out that is my friend and is in a group with me called the Sisterhood. We started this group of girlfriends so that girls can come and talk about whatever they want, hang out and make crafts.
How did you support your friend during COVID and what did participating in the photo rally mean to her?
My friend lives in a really small town called Elgin and she’s been very isolated. She was also not certain about getting her COVID vaccine because she has Down syndrome and she wasn’t sure how that’s going to affect her. I reached out to her and her mom and talked to them about the vaccine. I also asked her to send me a photo of her during our virtual get togethers.
She said this was the best thing that had happened to her all year because there had been so many tragedies. Her mom said participating in the DD awareness campaign was a wonderful way to bring them out of their isolation. We were outside and everyone wore masks.