OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gay Ballard was honored at the annual Governor's Conference on Developmental Disabilities held April 25 and 26 in Norman. Ballard is an Employment Training Specialist at A New Leaf, Inc. in Broken Arrow.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD) sponsors the awards to honor outstanding direct care professionals around the state.
Division Director Jim Nicholson says the purpose of the awards is to honor those who support people with developmental disabilities as they strive to become as independent as possible.
"Oklahoma is committed to assisting people with developmental disabilities find competitive jobs and become working taxpayers," said Nicholson. "In fact, we are one of the top two states in integrated employment in the country." Nicholson explained that success for people with developmental disabilities is directly related to care, skills and attention provided by these professionals.
Ballard is known for going the extra mile for the individual she serves. Her supervisor at New Leaf, Roxie Metz, nominated Ballard for the award. "Gay truly listens to the needs and wants of the people she supports," says Metz. "She's been able to build strong relationships with them and their families. Her positive and uplifting personality have given her an extra advantage in overcoming on-the-job challenges."