To recognize more than two decades of outstanding service by Holly Riddle as executive director of the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Council has created a major award for professional service bearing her name.
The Helen C. "Holly" Riddle Award will be given annually to a professional in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities for distinguished service.
The award named for Holly Riddle recognizes her many accomplishments during her just completed 23 years as executive director of the Council.
She led the organization to promote, across North Carolina, the adoption of policies and practices that emphasize self-determination, full participation in the community and a service delivery system directed towards the achievement of outcomes valued by those it serves.
She has a national reputation for bold leadership and a commitment to improving the quality of life of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Ms. Riddle has played a leadership role in the development, in partnership with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and families, policies to create paths for post-secondary education, employment, access to primary health care, and full inclusion in community life. She regularly serves as an adviser on national panels on disability concerns and is a highly respected speaker on innovations in the delivery of services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
An attorney and an educator, Riddle currently serves as a policy adviser in the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services of the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
Update: J. Iverson Riddle First Recipient of Helen C. Riddle Award as Outstanding Professional
A man known as a visionary who set a new standard for innovation and achievement in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities in his career has been selected to receive the first Helen C. "Holly" Riddle Award from the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities. Dr. J. Iverson Riddle began his lengthy North Carolina career at Western Carolina Center in Morganton, an institution for people with intellectual disabilities that he headed from 1962 until his retirement in 2006.
Dr. Riddle made the Western Carolina Center a birthplace for original policy development, with a record of more than 40 innovations in the field of developmental disabilities. Among these creative new practices was the establishment of the first advocacy program in an institution, creative arts programs and the first human rights committee within a state institution. Above all, he took a family-and person-centered approach to services and made quality of life the touchstone for the field of developmental disabilities.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical School, he went on to a residency in child psychiatry. He joined the Western Carolina Center after serving as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. The Morganton institution was renamed the J. Iverson Riddle Center in his honor.
The award itself is named for Holly Riddle, Dr. Riddle's daughter, who served as executive director of the Council for more than two decades. She recently left the Council to join the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services as a policy adviser.
The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities seeks to support effective and innovative initiatives that promote community inclusion, independence, productivity, self-determination and integration for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.