Mary Beth O'Neill
Mary Beth O’Neill,
President and CEO,
Key Human Services

March 23, 2016

Many of you may know that our very own Joyce Lewis, Vice President, was appointed by Governor Malloy to the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Council is an important force for people with disabilities in our state, working to address the needs of many interested parties. One of the major initiatives of the Council is to solicit public comments on the five year plan goals, which will be enacted for 2017-2021. The goals include the following:

  1. Goal #1 – Self Determined Lives
    • The CT Council on Developmental Disabilities will defend and promote the civil rights of individuals with disabilities through activities that result in access to services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities that enable them to participate in community life as they choose
    • Close Southbury Training School and the five Regional centers
    • Increase self-determination through self-direction
    • Promote Supported Decision Making
    • Hold a second Building a Great Life Conference
  2. Goal #2 – Self Advocacy
    • Self-advocates and families will have increased access to leadership training and leadership opportunities 
    • Offer Partners in Policymaking Leadership Training 
    • Support the Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance, candidates’ forums, and policy initiatives
    • Offer financial support through the Consumer Involvement Fund to support attendance at conferences and other leadership opportunities
    • Provide training and support to parents who have intellectual disabilities
  3. Goal #3 – Community Inclusion and Participation
    • People with disabilities will have access to increased information and opportunities for meaningful participation as citizens of their communities
    • Develop customized employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities
    • Influence communities to become livable communities that include people with disabilities as members of those communities
    • Identify post-secondary education opportunities for so that people with disabilities can access higher education
    • Increase on-demand transportation options
    • Support CT KASA (Kids As Self Advocates) to promote transition of youth into adult health care
    • Address policies that are barriers to housing, so that people with developmental disabilities can live in the community of their choice 

Key is requesting feedback about the plan for the next five years and would like to know your thoughts.

  1. Will these goals and activities help the Council achieve the mission of promoting the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our community?
  2. Do these goals and activities address the major issues and challenges facing people with disabilities in our state?
  3. Is there something missing from the goals that you think the Council should be doing?

As the Council represents self-advocates, family members and agencies, it is important that feedback is obtained from all interested parties. Please send your comments to Joyce Lewis at jlewis @ She will convey your comments to Molly Cole, the Director of the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities.

We are thrilled to participate in the development of this five year plan and look forward to your input.  Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Mary Beth

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