Chioma Mary Oruh is the mother of two brilliant sons with autism and is committed to improving the systems of care for children with disabilities. She serves as a Parent Support Specialist with Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE), which is the Parent Training and Information Center for Washington, DC. Chioma utilizes her experience and knowledge of the education, recreation and healthcare systems to provide direct services and peer-to-peer support to families of children with disabilities and special health care needs.
Chioma is a certified instructor in Mental Health First Aid and provides training to help parents as well as education and healthcare professionals to raise awareness of neurodiversity and how to support persons with mental health conditions. She is also civically engaged in the community and is an appointed member of the School Based Mental Health Coordinating Council for the DC Department of Behavioral Health. She also is Ward 4 representative of the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) to My School DC and is a member of the Family Support Council for the DC Department on Disability Services. Additionally, Chioma is a part of several nongovernmental organizations, including Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE), the School Mental Health Stakeholder Community of Practice with the Bainum Family Foundation, the Consumer Advisory Council for the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and the National Advisory Council for the Georgetown University's National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Competency.
Chioma is a first generation Nigerian-American and graduate of DC Public Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (Human Services) from The George Washington University, a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Political Science from Howard University. Chioma is also a part of Cohort 4 for the Georgetown University's Leadership Academy for Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Networks Supporting Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She is currently a Diversity Fellow with the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development and is the process of earning a Certificate in Early Intervention from Georgetown.
Lastly, Chioma is a Community Activist Fellow with the Wayfinder Foundation and will be writing a book documenting her experiences and those of other mothers of children with one of the fourteen disability categories recognized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004.