Indiana Senator Ron Grooms of Jeffersonville was honored as Legislator of the Year by the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF), a membership organization whose purpose is to provide a unified voice for the disability service provider community and build its members’ capabilities to deliver quality services and support for individuals with developmental disabilities.
The award was presented in Indianapolis on August 22nd. Bettye Dunham of Rauch, Inc. (New Albany) and Bonnie Long of New Hope Services (Jeffersonville), organizations that provide services for people with disabilities, introduced Sen. Grooms and recounted his many accomplishments as a legislator and a leader in the local community. In particular, Ms. Dunham noted that he is “quick to contact Rauch and listen to us regarding legislation that impacts those with disabilities and their families.”
His past service as President of the New Hope Services Board of Directors demonstrates his life-long commitment to citizens with disabilities. In reflecting on the honor, Jim Bosley of New Hope Services said “Ron was a Board member from 1976 to 1984. He stayed in contact with me and remained an advocate for our services and clientele. We still meet regularly because Ron wants to know what obstacles we are facing and how he can help. He is most worthy of this award.”
Senator Ron Grooms was selected to receive this year’s award in honor of his contributions to supporting Hoosiers with disabilities. Most notably, he served as chair of last year’s Indiana Commission on Developmental Disabilities. Under his leadership, the Commission understood the issues and focused on actionable ideas – like a recent study to improve the coordination of support for individuals who are dually diagnosed.
Previous winners of the award are Senators Robert Meeks, Luke Kenley, and Connie Lawson and Representatives Sheila Klinker, Peggy Welch, and Ed Clere.