2017, we are ready.
I think we can all agree that 2016 was quite a year. Through it all, the Special Hope Foundation has remained focused on our vision and mission, and we look forward to continuing to do so enthusiastically in 2017.
A look back at some of our highlights from 2016:
- Research: The Special Hope Foundation and the Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry awarded grants to six organizations that serve the healthcare needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These grants will support a variety of programs researching questions of cost and quality of healthcare to this population. Read more here.
- Education: The JVS-Tri-County Dental Program in Southfield Michigan gives dental students general and clinical experience with people who have special needs, and empowers patients with disabilities to guide student dentists as “co-teachers.” Read more here.
- Healthcare access: How can healthcare access be improved for people with disabilities? How can we help supported decision making work? The Special Hope Foundation produced a video white paper that examines these questions. Read more and view here.
- Digital Health: The USC Center for Body Computing and the Special Hope Foundation are joining forces to encourage companies to design digital health tools for people with disabilities. Read more here.
- Self-Advocacy Advisory Board: We believe that individuals with disabilities are disability experts. So we have expanded our Self-Advocacy Advisory Board.
- Organ Transplantation Rights: According to a 2013 report by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in need an organ transplant to treat a life-threatening condition frequently face barriers to receiving this lifesaving care. ASAN responded to this discriminatory practice, and with support from The Special Hope Foundation, prepared a comprehensive toolkit to empower people with disabilities, their families, and other disability advocates to help combat disability-based discrimination in organ transplantation. Learn more here.
- Awards and Appointments:
- The Special Hope Foundation’s Founder and Executive Director, Lynne O’Hara was awarded the Katie Beckett Advocacy Award at AADMD’s annual conference in Chicago. The award is given in memory of the advocacy of Katie Becket, the first community-based waiver participant to support self-determination. Learn more about Katie Beckett.
- President Barack Obama announced his intention appoint Ryan Easterly, a member of the Special Hope Foundation’s Board of Directors, to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID). The mission of PCPID is to provide advice and assistance to the president and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on a broad range of topics that impact people with intellectual disabilities and the field of intellectual disabilities. Undergirding the committee’s mission is the goal to improve the quality of life that is experienced by people with intellectual disabilities by upholding their full citizenship rights, independence, self-determination and life-long participation in their respective communities.
We look forward to 2017. There is more work to be done, and we are fortunate that you share our enthusiasm and passion.
Coming up next on the Special Hope Blog: an interview with the Chairman of Special Hope’s Self-Advocacy Advisory Board Melissa Crisp-Cooper.