Highlights of our 2016 Annual Accomplishments.
- Helpline calls up 25%: MAC’s Helpline staff & volunteers responded to 1,235 calls from concerned parents and caregivers, empowering families to advocate for their children — an increase of 25% over 2015.
- 61 Cases: MAC represented low income children in 2016 to help them get access to special education supports and services they are entitled to in order to succeed in school.
- MAC’s Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI) has had a major impact on education reform:
- Locally, TLPI is providing technical assistance five schools around the state that are piloting the inquiry-based process to create safe and supportive trauma-sensitive schools. Preliminary results from an evaluation by an independent research team have been positive.
- Statewide, TLPI is co-chairing with the state education department the Safe and Supportive Schools Commission to create the framework and conditions for schools around the state to go through the process to become safe and supportive.
- Nationally and internationally, TLPI was invited to present about the impact of trauma on learning at a White House conference on girls of color and at a UNESCO conference in Bangkok on designing schools for children who do not have access to education.
- Proyecto Acceso a la Educación Especial entered its second year of helping Spanish-speaking and immigrant parents of children with disabilities in greater Boston through training and case advocacy. We are organizing a coordinated effort with other legal aid programs that are similarly advocating with Latino families around the state.
- MAC’s Autism Center led a campaign to assure the implementation of the new law requiring state Medicaid coverage of non-dedicated assistive technology devices and software, including tablets such as iPads (part of the Autism Omnibus Act).
- The Autism Center also led advocacy efforts with our partner organizations to assure that the state Office of Medicaid fully implement coverage of ABA services, with 900 children receiving ABA services in the first nine months.
- Our Boston School Reform project successfully advocated for the School Committee to appoint an Opportunity and Achievement Gap Task force, was appointed to serve on it, and contributed to the recommendations.
- Boston School Reform partnered with other civil rights organizations to support the #BlackAtBLS campaign that spotlighted racial discrimination and harassment at Boston Latin School, called for an investigation by the US Attorney’s Office, organized community meetings, and served on a BPS committee to address the lack of diversity in the exam schools.
- Our school discipline coalition joined with TLPI to advocate under the new federal education law (ESSA) that the additional state indicator of school quality focus on school climate and culture. The coalition also identified a loophole in the new school discipline law and advocated with DESE that “emergency removals” are included in out-of-school suspension statistics.
- MAC’s B-SET project reorganized into a “collective impact” model of systems change to begin implementation of the action plan to improve post-secondary career and employment pathways for Boston youth with disabilities. Nearly 60 organizations including major city, state and community stakeholders are working together.
- The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (ICEI) continued to increase access to higher education for over 250 older youth with autism and intellectual disabilities through 16 public colleges and universities and 59 school districts.
- MAC’s Young Adult Fellow developed a series of online videos focused on self-advocacy for youth, families, and professionals
These accomplishments are made possible with the help and support of our partners, service-providers, volunteers, funders and donors.
We thank you.
For a summary of 2015 accomplishments, click here.