Supporting Statewide Self Advocacy
The goal of this project is to build a strong self-advocacy organization in Massachusetts for individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities. The project will develop the organizational structure and resources needed to sustain and support the mission of MA Advocates Standing Strong. M.A.S.S. will provide support to the 50 existing local and regional self-advocacy groups and work to develop new groups. M.A.S.S will expand board development and training to build and strengthen the organization, and will expand its capacity by diversifying its financial base. M.A.S.S. will continue to address issues important to its members including leadership development, self-determination and self-advocacy, housing, safety and exploitation, health, and accessibility.
Special Education Collaboration Project --
Collaborative Systems Change --
The goal of the project is to build self-directed community-based supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and family members. In collaboration with MA21 members (Massachusetts Alliance for 21st Century Disability Policy), the grantee will work to advance public policy through promoting legislation, engaging grassroots constituents, obtaining the support of policymakers and educating the public through various media. A primary focus of the grant will be to promote the "Real Lives" bill and other policy foundations outlined in MA21's "Implementing a 21 st Century Disability Policy." The project will also provide education and training, organize for bill passage and policy initiatives and participate in budget advocacy. Concurrently, The Arc will address insufficient funding for programs and services for people with disabilities. Ultimately, the project will impact the everyday lives of people with disabilities lives through policies that will provide people with greater flexibility, transparency, independence and integration.
The Annual Barbara Wilensky Gopen fellowship offers a unique opportunity for a person with a disability or a family member to gain valuable knowledge and experience by working with members of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Network Programs. The Gopen fellow works 20 hours per week, in consultation with staff at the Institute of Community Inclusion and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council. Activities are based on the fellow's interest and may include but are not limited to grassroots advocacy, public policy analysis, research and leadership development. The fellow also attends local and national public policy forums to broaden his knowledge on current disability topics. The 2011 Gopen Fellow, Kevin Barrett, will develop a project which addresses reasonable accommodations in housing and employment for people on the autism spectrum.
The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council provides funds for individuals with developmental disabilities and/or a family member or guardian to attend conferences or other events in Massachusetts or another state. The goal of this program is to promote the empowerment of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by assisting them in their efforts to achieve independence, productivity, integration and inclusion.
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.