50 Making a Difference Profile: Jan A. Moss, Center for Interdisciplinary Learning and Leadership, OUHSC

Article excerpt

Jan Moss, a mother of two children with significant disabilities, offers an excellent perspective in her job as director of Community Leadership and Advocacy for the Center for Learning and Leadership, Oklahoma's Center for Excellence on Development Disabilities at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

As part of her job, Moss is the Core faculty member representing the family perspective for the Oklahoma Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program. She is a frequent speaker at conferences across the country and has been a key participant in the development of national curriculum on the family perspective for LEND programs nationwide. In addition, she was instrumental in developing the Family Supportive Health Care Network helping service programs to understand family needs and in developing Family Partners, which actually places family representatives on teams of interdisciplinary health professionals to help support the families and enhance their voices.

"Learning to listen, observe, communicate, share and advocate for my children first then other children and their families and to assist in those voices being heard and acted upon is very significant to me," Moss said. "Meeting families across the nation, sharing information and resources is a mission I began with my daughter's diagnosis almost 40 years ago. There were no organized family support groups and many children were being placed in institutions. Being part of changing the system is a real privilege for me."

Moss also is a technical adviser for the Family Perspective Committee Policy Advisory Board for Oklahoma, a member of the Council on Consumer Advocacy of the Association of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (AUCD) and past president and current family representative for the Oklahoma State Department of Health's Oklahoma Family Resource Coalition. …