For Immediate Release - April 11, 2011

Department of Developmental Services Celebrates 'Contributions to Our Communities' at Annual State House Event

Commonwealth honors consumers, advocates and organizations

BOSTON - Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby and Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) Commissioner Elin Howe gathered with consumers, family members, and advocates today at the State House to honor the many ways that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and advocates enrich our Commonwealth. The Department honored individuals and organizations from across Massachusetts for their diverse contributions to our communities as part of its 15th annual State House recognition event.

"People with disabilities, family members, advocates and volunteers are vital partners in our efforts to ensure that people with disabilities have opportunities to make meaningful contributions to our communities," said Commissioner Howe. "Today we honor the many unique individuals and organizations that create genuine opportunities for people with disabilities."

Gary Blumenthal of Sudbury, Executive Director of the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers, received this year's Gunnar Dybwad Leadership Award, presented to an individual who has made a significant impact on enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities in the Commonwealth. Mr. Blumenthal has used his extensive experience, advocacy skills, and grasp of complex issues to build an effective coalition of self-advocates, families, providers, and lawmakers to promote policies and programs that safeguard and enhance quality of life for people with developmental disabilities.

Special recognition was also given to former State Representative Barbara L'Italien of Andover, who was honored for her work on behalf of people with autism, and former Assistant Secretary for Disability Policies and Programs Dr. Jean McGuire of Cambridge for her leadership in promoting "Community First" and self-determination initiatives. The awards were presented by Christine Shane of Brookline, Chair of the Statewide Advisory Council; and Maria Freccero of Andover, Vice Chair of the Statewide Advisory Council.

The Department also honored the following individuals and organizations for their unique contributions to the disability community:

Northeast Region

Kay Anderson, Danvers
Dances with Wheels, Billerica

  • Alison Hill, Lisa Roy, Heather March, Dennis Fryar, Alan Chevitz, Paul Cheuchi, Heather Damell, Liana Measmer
DDS Northeast Region Diversity Committee, Danvers ("Hope for Haiti")
  • Richard Camara, Richard Santucci, Kristin Silverstein, Lois Tobin, Stephen Kasirye, Michael Weir, Male Kamya, Enock Charles, McGustus Carter, Diane Hinckley, Jean Trezil, Franck Grah, Fiston Makuwa, Miguelina Santana, Terri Morris, Kowith Kret, Diomarah Isaac, Joselyn Ortiz, Elizabeth Kolios, Daysiree Perez, Natacha Clerger, Jean Claude Sanon, Tania Louis, Katia Jocelyn, and Marie Bijoux.
Glenn Hawrylciw, Newburyport
Merrimac Special Education Collaborative, Billerica
  • Susan Sullivan, Kristin Connolly, Steven Carey, Kathleen O'Neil, Kelley Shea, Tiffany Cole, Michael Goodman, Dawn Baillargeon, L. Tim Kelly, Derek Porcaro, Patti DeMeuse, and Perry Caramanis.

Central West Region

Jane Morrissey, Easthampton
Center of Hope, Southbridge
  • Jim Howard, Cindy Howard, Rachel Reyes, Jennifer Williams, Ken Lahue, Nancy Moore
Douglas Russell, Jr., Worcester
Janice Feldman, Shrewsbury

Metro Region

Paul and Aliceteen Burns, Mattapan
Lifeworks Employment Committee, Norwood

  • Psyche Boodhan, Skip Norton, William Herrera, John O'Connell, Katherine Buckley, Ed Davis, Christopher Renfranz, Karen Powell, Russell Tillson, Jeanne Sera, Ann Hughes-Smith, and Mike Trenn.
Partners in Service, Hopkinton
  • Sharon Lisnow and Mary McQueeney

Southeast Region

Norberto Alvarez, M.D., Wrentham
The Arc of Greater Plymouth, Plymouth
  • Roger Monry, Executive Director
Charles Pond, Taunton

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