In a landmark decision, the Adams County Commissioners have set a new precedent in inclusivity and representation. Today, they appointed Naman Stapleton to the Adams County Board of Development Disabilities (CBDD), marking a significant moment in the county’s history. Naman is the first individual with a disability to serve as a fully engaged board member, a step forward in embracing diverse perspectives in leadership roles.
This momentous decision aligns with the requirements of HB 33, a law mandating that by July 1, 2025, every county board in Ohio must include a member who is eligible for and receiving services. The Adams County Commissioners, however, chose to act ahead of schedule, prompted by the departure of two long-serving board members at the end of 2023.
Liz Lafferty, the Superintendent of Adams County DD, expressed her pride and enthusiasm for this appointment. “The appointment of Naman Stapleton to the Adams County Board of DD speaks volumes to how our society has grown to fully accept people with disabilities into leadership roles and real-life experiences,” she stated. Naman, who has been a regular attendee at Venture Productions board meetings, is well-acquainted with the protocols and dynamics of board meetings. Lafferty added, “Naman is first to speak up and out on topics that are important to him. As Superintendent, I could not be more proud of Naman’s appointment and I am thrilled that our county commissioners were proactive in making this appointment happen a year and a half before it had to.” She emphasized the collective benefit of this decision, saying, “Everyone wins when people choose to work together.”
In addition to welcoming Naman, the Commissioners paid tribute to retiring board members, acknowledging their dedication and service to the community, particularly to individuals with disabilities and their families. Another significant appointment was that of Ty Pell, who will begin his four-year term on the Adams CBDD, representing family members of individuals eligible for and receiving services.
The day’s events concluded with a reception at The Precinct Cafe, celebrating Naman’s historic appointment. Community members, family, and friends gathered to support and recognize this significant milestone, heralding a new era of inclusivity and representation in Adams County.