Get On Board and Make a Difference

December 18th, 2010

In the spirit of “Nothing about us, without us!” GMSA members often serve on local and state boards and committees. We put together a manual calledGet On Board and Make a Difference!” This tool talks about the best ways to include people with developmental disabilities on boards and committees. It gives tips about inclusion, accommodations, and the roles of support staff and mentors. The manual also includes an adapted version of Robert’s Rules of Order written by self-advocates and a great list of words to know. To empower self-advocates further, we do a workshop on how to encourage and support new members and people with developmental disabilities to be effective decision-makers.



Get on Board and Make a Difference

December 4th, 2010

In the spirit of “Nothing about us, without us!” GMSA members often serve on local and state boards and committees. We put together a manual calledGet On Board and Make a Difference!” This tool talks about the best ways to include people with developmental disabilities on boards and committees. It gives tips about inclusion, accommodations, and the roles of support staff and mentors. The manual also includes an adapted version of Robert’s Rules of Order written by self-advocates and a great list of words to know. To empower self-advocates further, we do a workshop on how to encourage and support new members and people with developmental disabilities to be effective decision-makers.



Resources

January 5th, 2014

Resources and Tools

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GMSA is a strong organization because it is run by and for self-advocates. We have created tools and training materials that should only be presented by people with developmental disabilities. We encourage staff, teachers, parents, and allies to support self-advocates in teaching this material. However, our tools cannot be presented or used without self-advocates leading the way. If you have questions, contact us! We are happy to help you learn how to support people with developmental disabilities to use these tools.

 

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Trainings

January 5th, 2014

Trainings

Class 3

GMSA is a strong organization because it is run by and for self-advocates. We have created training materials that should only be presented by people with developmental disabilities. We encourage staff, teachers, parents, and allies to support self-advocates in teaching this material. However, our trainings cannot be presented or used without self-advocates leading the way. If you have questions, contact us! We are happy to help you learn how to support people with developmental disabilities to use these training materials.

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2005 Successes

February 6th, 2011

2005

 

  • Created The Get on Board and Make a Difference manual on best ways to include people with developmental disabilities on boards and committees.

  • Presented The Get on Board and Make a Difference manual to six agency boards and standing committees. Approximately 65 people participated.

  • Trained seven local teams of people (with and without developmental disabilities) to teach our six self-advocacy workshops. We had over 830 people participate in 49 introductory self-advocacy workshops.

  • GMSA staff became certified to teach Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

  • Held five different leadership retreats to teach the 7 Habits to a total of 165 people. One of the retreats was designed just for high school students with disabilities.

  • Presented three workshops about self-advocacy to parents of high school students with disabilities. The parent participants loved hearing our stories about how we moved out and got our own places.

  • Held our annual statewide Voices and Choices Conference. The theme was GMSA on the Rise. 420 people attended the conference and 300 stayed overnight for a dinner and dancing (which included a conversation with Governor Jim Douglas).

  • Presented half-day training to Service Coordinators about self-advocacy and how to support people to make their own decisions.

  • Organized two mini-conferences about healthy and unhealthy relations (one in northern VT and one in southern VT) with Katherine McLaughlin from Planned Parenthood.

  • Sponsored a statewide employment focus forum on why people with developmental disabilities have a hard time finding and keeping jobs

  • Presented a training of trainers for 40 special educators and providers on Stay Safe and Know Your Legal Rights.

  • Sent four GMSA members to participate in the Alliance for Full Participation Summit in Washington DC. This historic event brought together family and self-advocates, providers, government and university officials to agree on a common agenda for the future.

  • Local self-advocacy groups from Rutland and Burlington were supported to teach Disability Awareness workshops to students at elementary and high schools as part of diversity and anti-harassment programs.

  • Two self-advocates were hired to serve as legislative advocates one day a week at the State House during the legislative session. They support and encourage self-advocates when visiting their elected representatives in Montpelier.

  • Created a toolkit on how to speak up at the State House.

  • Collaborated with the Vermont Center for Independent Living and Vermont Domestic Violence Network to make programs for survivors of abuse more accessible to women with disabilities.



Training

May 22nd, 2010


Use of GMSA Training Materials:

GMSA is a strong organization because it is run by and for self-advocates. We have created training materials that should only be presented by people with developmental disabilities. We encourage staff, teachers, parents, and allies to support self-advocates in teaching this material. However, our trainings cannot be presented or used without self-advocates leading the way. If you have questions, contact us! We are happy to help you learn how to support people with developmental disabilities to use these training materials.

Available Training:



Tools

January 28th, 2010


Use of GMSA Tools

GMSA is a strong organization because it is run by and for self-advocates. We have created tools and training materials that should only be presented by people with developmental disabilities. We encourage staff, teachers, parents, and allies to support self-advocates in teaching this material. However, our tools cannot be presented or used without self-advocates leading the way. If you have questions, contact us! We are happy to help you learn how to support people with developmental disabilities to use these tools.

 

Available Tools:

Bill of Rights

Creating Partnerships: Including Self-Advocates as Trainers

Dating Game

Fighting Fair

Get On Board and Make A Difference

Get The Life You Want: A Transition Toolbox

Getting Your Message Across: Communicating with People with Intellectual Disabilities

GMSA Handbook

Policy and Procedures for Recognizing and Responding To Domestic and Sexual Violence

Reflections on Sterilization

Rules To Run A Meeting

Self-Advocacy Workshops

Sexual Self-Advocacy Pamphlet

State House Toolkit

The Ring of Safety

Tips For Trainers

United Nations Rights of People with Disabilities

Check out these videos explaining Developmental Services, Self or Family Managed Care, Needs Assessments, Medicaid for Working People with Disabilities, Funding Priorities, and Eligibility for Services!

 



GMSA in the Media

March 12th, 2014

GMSA in the Media

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2017

  • 9/14/17: The week of September 10-16, 2017 is national Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week and is being celebrated in Vermont! This week recognizes the dedication and contributions of Vermont’s direct support professionals in supporting individuals with disabilities and their familiesGreen Mountain Self-Advocates, Vermont Care Partners, and the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Services Division will co-sponsor a state-wide celebration on Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 11am-1pm on the Vermont State House Lawn in Montpelier to honor Direct Support Professionals’ commitment to promoting community inclusion for individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities. Read the Press Release here: Press Release – Direct Support Professionals Week – Celebration 9.14.17

2016

NEW

Stirling Peebles and VT Governor Elect Phil Scott at award ceremony

2015

  • 9/18/15On July 18th, GMSA in collaboration with VT Care Partners and Designated Agencies that provide developmental services held a Direct Support Professional Celebration day at the VT State House in Montpelier, VT. This was to recognize the amazing work that direct support providers do for people with developmental disabilities and their families. We invited Monica Hutt who is the new DAIL Commissioner and Hal Cohen the Secretary of Human Services and they shared some inspiring words. Musicians from NCSS provided everyone with some musical treats including a sing-a-long and accordion performance. Several people made speeches about what their support staff mean to them. We also provided everyone who came with a variety of snacks like watermelon and apple cider. GMSA videotaped self-advocates telling their stories about how direct support providers make a difference in their lives. Lastly, to make this celebration festive we hung flags through the statehouse lawn gardens. People from all over the state created the flags. The flags each share people’s amazing stories of how their staff help them to live a fulfilling life in the community.

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  • 7/29/15On July 29th, Max Barrows joined David Goodman on Vermont Conversations to talk about Champions of Change and GMSA on WDEV Radio. Nicole LeBlanc and Stirling Peebles also joined in David’s hour long show to talk about GMSA and all of our great news. The show was recorded. Click here to listen.
  • 7/27/15On July 27th, Max Barrows, Outreach Director of Green Mountain Self-Advocates (GMSA) was one of nine disability advocates honored asChampions of Change.” The event celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and honored disability rights activists across several generations. According to the White House, “The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.” The links below are some examples of media coverage of the event:

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  • 6/20/15 – Program empowers adults with disabilities. Way to go Molly White, Rachel Colby and Max Barrows for being quoted in a Times Argus newspaper article about graduating from the Vermont Leadership Series. Leadership lesson of the day – when you see a newspaper reporter – step right up and asked to be interviewed! Click here to read what they had to say.
  • 4/7/15 – Nicole LeBlanc who works for Green Mountain Self-Advocates was quoted in a VT Digger article Advocates-call-for-more-revenue-as-budget-bill-hits-senate. Click here for more details.
  • 3/19/15 – Vermont Public Radio did an excellent story on how Green Mountain Self-Advocates are speaking up at the Vermont State House. Vermonters with disabilities push for increased funding. Click here to listen to and read the story.
  • 2/24/15 – VT Digger article on the public forum GMSA co-organized: Kicked Out Forum – Unfair and Unequal Student Discipline in Vermont’s Public Schools. Click here to read the article Forum looks at disparity in student discipline.
  • 1/15/15 – Reading for Inclusion. Max Barrows is interviewed in The Riot, a national on-line newsletter written for and by Self-Advocates. Click here and read Max’s article about adults with disabilities reading stories to elementary school students to promote inclusion.

 

2014

  • 12/5/14 – VT Digger published our press release describing Green Mountain Self-Advocates Holding First Annual Speak Up! Gala. Click here to read the article
  • November 2014 – David Frye (GMSA Board Vice President and LGBTQ Groups leader) was interviewed on The Riot! Blog.  He’s Twice an Advocate!
  • 8/25/14 – GMSA talks on Equal Time Radio about the 2014 Ally of the Year award presented to Senator Anthony Pollina for his outstanding support of GMSA and the self-advocacy movement.

On August 11, 2014, the Governor proposed a budget cut of 6 million dollars for Developmental and Mental Health Services. Legislators held a public hearing the next day giving GMSA less than 24 hours to prepare to speak up and find rides to the state house. Here are links to media coverage of self-advocates testifying at the August 12th public hearing.

  • 8/12/14 – The Vermont Associated Press story called, Vermont Lawmakers plan hearing on budget cuts referenced Green Mountain Self-Advocates and included statements made by GMSA members. This article was published in The Kansas City Star, The Washington Times and posted on the WCAX website.

The following stories include information, videos and photos of  GMSA members speaking up about what it is important to use Respectful Language when sharing information about people with disabilities.

  • 3/21/14 –  Newscast: 12:04 p.m.on Vermont Public Radio – Governor Peter Shumlin has signed an act requiring respectful language for referring to people with disabilities in all Vermont laws.

 

2013

2012

  • 3/4/12 – An obituary in the Burlington Free Press for Robert Kay, former GMSA President. Robert Kay 3-4-12

2011

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