Dec 16, 2011 5:01 PM by Release

Lafayette winner receives state award

Lafayette, LA --- The City-Parish President's Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities held its fourth annual awards ceremony in October to recognize individuals and organizations which have improved the community for all those with disabilities.

All of the local winners were nominated for the statewide awards, called Gold Awards. The Gold Awards ceremony was held in Baton Rouge earlier this week, and Lafayette Educator of the Year Tammy Richard received the gold award for the state.

Richard was nominated locally by Debbie Aymond and Sherry Moore of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services who attended the awards ceremony with her.

Debbie Aymond stated "Tammy has inspired us all by her genuine enthusiasm and interest in her students. She has affected many students' lives over the course of her career."

Richard is the Community Skills Program Training Coordinator for the Lafayette Parish School System. Tammy earned two Bachelor's Degrees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, one in Special Education and one in Behavioral Science. She began as a Special Education Teacher in 1984, and she has had extensive additional training through the years on Community Based Instruction.

Tammy developed the Life Skills Training Program in individual schools in Lafayette Parish, and in 2004 she expanded the program to the entire Lafayette School District. The program provides opportunities for Special Needs students to take classroom lessons and put them into practice in the community. Tammy and her staff teach functional life skills so that students are able to aim for more independence. This program focuses on helping students who need support to "transition" from school to their adult life by teaching life skills via functional academics and incorporating vocational training that emphasizes soft skills. The Program targets students who have mild to moderate developmental disabilities.

"I congratulate Tammy on this award, and thank her for doing such important work and for representing Lafayette so well. I continue to be inspired by our award winners and all they do to make Lafayette a better community for those living with a disability, for their families, and for our entire community," said City-Parish President Joey Durel in a statement.



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