Chioma Mary Oruh is the mother of two children with autism and has a wealth or personal and professional experience in navigating DC’s education and health systems. In her current role as Parent Support Specialist with Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE), Chioma utilizing her experience and knowledge, provides direct services and peer-to-peer emotional support to families of children with special needs and special health care needs. She is a certified instructor in Mental Health First Aid and provides training to help parents build their capacity to advocate.
Dr. Oruh significantly engaged with the community and is an appointed member of the School Based Mental Health Coordinating Council. 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. She is also part of several nongovernmental organizations, including 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.
In addition, Dr. Oruh is a graduate of DC Public Schools, attending Takoma Education Campus and Benjamin Banneker Academic High School. 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. Dr. Oruh 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.
As a Wayfinder Fellow, Dr. Oruh 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.