A local disability advocate has been named to a statewide rehabilitation board that works to aid the disabled, including helping them find jobs.
Deanna Graziano of Atascadero was appointed, as a disability advocate, to the California State Rehabilitation Council by Gov. Jerry Brown.
I am a true believer that employment is an extremely important role for each member of society, Graziano said in accepting the appointment.
I have a passion for helping others and strongly believe in educating and empowering people with information for making choices that lead to their success and satisfaction, she said.
Graziano has been the supported-employment program manager for the Transitions-Mental Health Association since 2006.
Before that, she served in various positions at the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County from 2005 to 2006, including stints as grants manager and executive assistant.
She was a clinic manager at Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics from 2000 to 2005, a program coordinator at the Mental Health Association of Orange County from 1995 to 2000 and a mental health counselor at Olive Vista Center for Problems of Living from 1994 to 1995.
Council members are appointed by the governor and serve three-year, staggered terms. This position does not require Senate confirmation. There is no compensation.
Transitions-Mental Health Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community, and family support services.
Transitions operates 27 programs at more than 35 locations, and reaches more than 2,000 people and 1,500 families in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. It has been active for more than 30 years.
Its emphasis is on teaching vital independent living skills, as well as building a framework for community re-entry through personal empowerment and hands-on experience.
For more information, visit www.t-mha.org.