The Administration on Developmental Disabilities defines "formal and informal community supports" as those goals and activities that assist individuals in accessing services and supports that are available or offered in the community.
Please contact Council staff at 800-500-7878 for more information about our Community Support initiatives.
Current Council Community Support Initiatives:
The Council recently invested in a series of SEEDS projects. SEEDs projects are designed to plant a "SEED" and produce innovative methods of building community capacity in the areas of self-determination, youth empowerment, and self-advocacy. The purpose of SEEDS projects is to develop local groups to work on identified changes in their communities through grassroots community organizing. Grassroots community organizing means groups working together for positive community change for individuals with developmental disabilities on issues that are important to them. The innovative methods SEEDs projects cultivate lead to systems change that improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities. SEEDS projects are provided to people with developmental disabilities and their families or allies in Missouri.
- Abilities First, Springfield, MO (Art Inspired Academy): The mission of the Art Inspired Academy is to provide an opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities to participate in arts programming in an inclusive setting. The goal is to provide an inclusive experience for individuals with and without disabilities to participte in creative arts programming including theater, dance and art. This will be accomplished by holding inclusive classes, collaborating with existing programs and providing support for individuals with disabilities to attend classes in the community.
- Arc of MO (Cultivating the Grassroots Community): The Arc proposes to develop an extensive network of families, individuals and other stakeholders that will become the voice of families and individuals with DD who are under represented by current systems. This will be a two-way communication system that will be used to provide inceased input to the Division of Developmental Disabilities, other state agencies and provider systems. The input from families will be collected through this extensive communication network, participation of Arc leaders at a wide variety of existing forums, and a biannual survey. This communication system will also provide a means to share information about existing resources and opportunties such as DD services, Waivers, Partners in Policymaking, housing options, community employment options, etc., with families and individuals across the state. It is anticipated that this communication network will be helpful in supporting or creating a cultural shift toward community services and naturally existing, often upaid, resources. It will also inform families, individuals and their allies about critical advocacy needs and offer suggestions about effective means of communicating their concerns. The intent is not to replace any of the existing programs or resources, but to focus this effort on becoming a conduit of information between the system and families and indivdiuals.
- Learning Opportunities/Quality Works, Monroe City, MO (The Benefits of Work): This project will equip individuals with disabilities with the awareness and knowledge of programs designed to encourage employment, and how employment will affect their financial status, including benefits. By gaining access to a Certified Benefit Specialist, individuals with disabilities will be empowered to make informed choices about obtaining employment and will now have the opportunity to improve their overall quality of life by increasing their income and becoming a member of the competitive labor market.
- MU College of Education/Broadway Christian Church (Pathways to Inclusion - Supporting Children and Families in the Faith Community): Broadway Christian Church (BCC) will host a regional conference that will help other churches develop community-based programming to support children/youth with a disability and their families more successfully. By increasing inclusion for both children and families, opportunities for community support can be developed, as well as opportunities for socialization and leadership for children and youth, which often extend beyond the church walls.
- Northeast Missouri Disability Community Group, Kirksville, MO (Swing Together): This project is intended to improve attitudes toward and acceptance of students with disabilities among their peers at Kirksville Primary School and Ray Miller Elementary School. A primary goal of the project is also to kick-off a community effort to build an accessible playground in Kirksville.