- Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council
Media Contact for MDDC Welcomes New Council Member: Sandra Heller
Dan Shannon, Executive Director
Boston, MA — Boston, MA (August 2021) – Governor Charles D. Baker. Has appointed Sandra Heller as a citizen member of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.
Ms. Heller has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for over 29 years. She currently serves as Associate Executive Director for The Nemasket Group Inc. and directs the Southeastern Medically Complex Program, providing information/referrals, advocacy, and funding management for families with children and adults with developmental disabilities that are medically complex. She also serves as Chairperson for Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change and supports the planning and development for the Southeastern Family Leadership Series.
“Sandra is a passionate advocate committed to true inclusion”, said Daniel Shannon, MDDC Executive Director. “We are thrilled that she is bringing her wealth of knowledge and experience to the Council”.
Sandra has a tremendous passion and experience, facilitating classes and workshops on such topics as Supported Decision Making, Estate Planning, Legislative Advocacy and Person-Centered Planning. Ms. Heller is also an Ambassador for Charting the LifeCourse. Ms. Heller has provided extensive testimony at legislative hearings on important disability issues for many years and will continue to offer and advocate for rights to live, love, and belong in our society and have the “good things in life” that all deserve.
Her most rewarding role is as a parent. As the mother of a 34-year-old man born with Down Syndrome and complex medical needs, Sandra has always focused on Craig enjoying and being fully included in life, from school to working since age 16, to moving to his own home over 8 years ago. Person centered planning and Supported Decision Making have been invaluable tools that help Craig’s family and friends on his journey. Sandra is also the proud mother of two adult daughters and grandmother to two beautiful young boys.
About the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council – The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) is an independent agency funded by the federal government to work with the state of Massachusetts to better support people with developmental disabilities and their families. MDDC’s mission is to help people with developmental disabilities have opportunities to lead successful lives in their communities; by supporting inclusive education, greater employment opportunities, and the right to make choices about where, with whom, and how they live.