‘I’m on the Commission to Make a Difference’

HB 144 Commission: Faces of Advocacy

Member Andrew Venetianer: Self-Advocate

Andrew Venetianer 2I am 32 years old, and I live in Louisville with my Family Home Providers, the Smith family.

I have been diagnosed as having PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorders), ADHD and mild intellectual disability.

I attended the Binet School in Louisville and was recognized as one of 44 outstanding high school graduates.

I currently receive SCL (Supports for Community Living) services through REACH of Louisville, Kaleidoscope, SCL other agencies and Jewish Family and Career Services.

I have been on the ARC of Kentucky Board and enjoy being involved in all of the activities.

I won the Suzy Riffe Memorial Award for being an outstanding advocate for the IDD community.

I have been involved in political advocacy at different levels over the past seven years.

I was involved with Kentucky Youth United (no longer in existence), a foster care advocacy program for nearly a year.

During my time with KYU, I helped work on creating bylaws and working on a Foster Youth Bill of Rights in addition to attending a rally at the capital.

I have participated in 874K Rallies and ADA Rallies at the Capitol. I have met with my state Senator and Representative as well as others, including former state Rep. Jimmy Lee.

I was appointed to the HB 144 Commission by the Governor  starting September 2015.

Why I want to be on the Commission

I want to be on the Commission because I believe I can make a difference to the state of Kentucky by putting the issues on the table that need to be addressed.

Why I feel the Commission is important

The purpose of HB 144 Commission is to bring the issues of individuals with IDD with different waivers to be discussed at the state level. These issues need to be discussed more thoroughly.

What it means to me to be on the Commission

It means a lot. When I was appointed I was excited that I was on the Commission that can make a difference, not just for me but the state of Kentucky.

That’s why it means a lot to me and others with IDD including those I attended the Binet School with and those I spend time with daily at home and my ADT (Adult Day Training) programs.

What I want from the Commission

I want to see individuals with IDD get the services they so desperately require. I want to see services provided around the state, not just in urban areas but in all areas.

I want to see services based on what individuals need and want.

Photo: Andrew Venetianer of Louisville is determined to advocate for others while on the Commission.