- Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council
Boston, MA (November 2022) – Governor Charles D. Baker has appointed Priscilla Bessa as a citizen member of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.
Priscilla is a mother of three amazing, unique children, two of whom are neurodivergent. The family is originally from Brazil and now live in Northborough. Priscilla has a degree in Education/Linguistics and was a bilingual (English/Portuguese) teacher for 8 years. Their lives changed after her second daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorder. Her multiple disabilities and medical complexities were the main reason the family moved to the US in 2016. Being an immigrant and living far from their support network in a new country, added to the many needs of a newly diagnosed child. Priscilla started her journey as a parent advocate, learning to navigate the health and education systems, and seeking services and supports to provide a good quality of life for her daughter.
“We are fortunate to have Priscilla continue her advocacy as a member of the Council”, said Daniel Shannon, MDDC Executive Director. Her unique perspective and experiences will be invaluable to our efforts.”
Priscilla has attended many leadership trainings and disability related courses to improve her skills. In 2017, she graduated from Mass Families metro region Family Leadership Series and completed the PCTI training for parent advocates at the Federation for Children with Special Needs. In 2020, her youngest child was diagnosed with Autism by the age of 2.
The following year she joined Mass Families as a volunteer Portuguese Outreach Coordinator and became a Charting the Life Course Ambassador. Priscilla recently received a certificate as a Community Interpreter and started the LEND fellowship at UMass/Shriver Center. This year she had the opportunity to offer the first Family Leadership Series in Portuguese.” Priscilla looks forward to working with the Council and is very excited for this opportunity.
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.
For more information contact Adelia DelTrecco at email@example.com