Meet the ECAC Staff – Christy Moore
What brought you to ECAC and tell us about your current role?
I came to ECAC because I have a passion for supporting families who have kids with disabilities or developmental concerns in navigating systems, resources, and information. This has been a passion area of mine since my youngest daughter was born in 2010. I had concerns very early on about her development and unfortunately was given the “wait and see” advice by her pediatrician. I felt like I learned about resources once it was too late, like early intervention services, and the information I did receive was jargon-y and confusing. I become passionate about sharing information with other families so they could make timely, informed decisions about their child’s care and services, and ECAC is a great place to do this work!
I started at ECAC in October 2019 as a Parent Educator supporting families in navigating the special education system in NC. Then I transitioned to the role of Early Intervention Project Coordinator in April of 2021. In June 2022, I transitioned to my current role of Family to Family Health Information Center Program Lead where I support and train families and professionals on health-related information and resources in NC.
Why do you love being a part of ECAC?
There are many things I love. My top two are, first, the vast majority of ECAC employees are parents of children with disabilities, so we all understand each other’s experiences, feelings, and needs. It is a kind of compassionate support and understanding that you can’t get from people who do not have that experience. My colleagues are amazing on many levels. Second, we have the flexibility to act on creative ideas. If we have learned anything as parents, it is the need and ability to pivot in an instant, brainstorm ideas and bring those to fruition. We are encouraged to utilize our areas of interest and expertise to expand on our ideas and create materials and events to support the ever-changing needs of the families and professionals whom we support.
What is the most memorable event you have attended with ECAC?
I was hired at the very beginning of the pandemic, so it was a couple of years before we got to do in-person events again. The most memorable event I have attended would have to be the 2022 Family Leadership Summit we held in Raleigh. We had 150 families attend for a day of networking and learning with each other and from a bunch of dynamic presenters. The opening keynote was presented by Valerie Williams, Director of the Office of Special Education Programs, where she shared her inspirational personal story as a mom of a child with a disability and her inspiring words on how families can use their personal experience to be leaders, empower others, and effectively advocate for change. I had the pleasure of taking her to dinner that night and learning more about her and her journey, and sharing my own story with her. I won’t ever forget that!
What keeps you motivated and inspired?
Well, no one contacts us because things are going well. We hear a lot of tough things. When I can support a family by (really) listening, relating, and asking more questions, and then providing information, resources, and connections that help resolve their issue, that keeps me going. I love it when families follow up with me to tell me about the outcome of their situation. Whether they need more support or it’s resolved, I really enjoy hearing back from them. I also love it when professionals who serve children with disabilities reach out for support. I think that is one of the most effective ways to get accurate and timely information to families. It takes all of us. You can’t put out a fire with an eye dropper. You have to rally together and hold the fire hose!
What is one piece of advice you would like to give to the parents you work with?
Do not be afraid to ask questions! If you still don’t understand, or the person you are talking to doesn’t know the answer, ask them who else can help you. You deserve to have all of the information you need to make informed decisions about your child. I used to feel bad about asking a lot of questions in any situation. One day someone said “Don’t feel bad! How are you supposed to learn if you don’t ask questions?” That has stuck with me. I may or may not be known for asking a TON of questions . . . . 😊
Tell us more about your life outside of ECAC.
I have a husband, two kiddos, and a dog who keeps me busy! My youngest is 12 and she has autism and a genetic disorder. She loves the arts and is active with our local musical theatre program. She also takes piano and voice lessons. I love watching her perform. I am so happy that she finally found her “thing”. She definitely gets her singing ability from her dad. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket! My older daughter is 17 and has been playing volleyball since she was 7 years old. Volleyball has been a big part of our lives for the last 10 years and I love watching my girl play! My husband and I both love music and we like to go to concerts any chance we get. He has been the lead singer for a few bands over the years and we used to go on the road to perform at venues in North Carolina and occasionally out of state. Those were fun times and we even got to meet a couple of rock stars in our travels! Now I like to spend my time working in my yard, hanging out with friends, helping others (people and animals), and anything that involves sun, sand, music, and the ocean.
One thing people may not know about me…
One thing that people may not know about me is that one day I would like to live at the beach and open my own crystal shop. I am a total rock geek and have a pretty extensive rock and mineral collection at home. (I think I need more, but my husband thinks otherwise).