News  DDS May 2023 Newsletter

  • Department of Developmental Services
Graphic reading DDS News and Updates: May 2023

Celebrating Successes Across DDS

A Message from Commissioner Jane F. Ryder

Dear DDS Community,

This month has been exciting for DDS -- and as Commissioner, that means it's been an exciting month for me, as well! It is always a good day on the job when I'm able to congratulate our staff, providers, and the individuals and families we support on a job well done. Luckily, May presented quite a few opportunities to do just that.            

Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong (MASS) celebrated 25 years of empowering self-advocates at their annual conference in Marlborough last weekend. The folks DDS serves must be involved in the conversations about the care and services they're receiving, and the work of MASS ensures that self-advocates have those important seats at the table.  

I had the opportunity to answer thoughtful questions from this group at the MASS conference, and it was wonderful to meet so many passionate self-advocates. As MASS celebrates 25 years of empowering self-advocates, I encourage you to explore the events and resources MASS has to offer, and sign up for the MASS newsletter!                          

Last week, I was excited to take the trip out to North Hatfield, MA to join the grand opening celebration of ServiceNet’s Prospect Meadow Farm Vocational Training & Production Center. This innovative center will continue the excellent work of ServiceNet, empowering individuals to reach their specific goals of strengthened skills and employment.

It was wonderful to be joined by some of our legislators – Congressman McGovern, Senator Comerford, and Representative Sabadosa – and it was inspiring to hear directly from folks how ServiceNet has helped them achieve their employment goals, from working on the farm to even authoring a children's book!

Finally, I had the honor this month of congratulating the graduating cohort of DDS Urban Youth Collaborative Program Interns in Fall River, alongside our partner provider People, Inc, Mayor Paul Coogan, and Representatives Fiola and Silvia. These high school students spent 7 weeks learning about the human services field by working with DDS individuals and provider staff and making a real impact.

Meeting this accomplished group, I was inspired to think that they may represent the next generation of human services professionals.

Another congratulations to these providers and DDS partners for their accomplishments, and thank you to all who through their work, bring the DDS mission to life – empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to become fully engaged members of their communities.


Commissioner Jane F. Ryder

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