At Advocacy Network, we:

  • Assist parents, siblings, and guardians to develop and monitor Individual Service Plans (ISPs) which assure that their loved ones receive proper care and services through the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and its privately contracted agencies.

  • Help family members and guardians navigate DDS regulations and bureaucracy.

  • Maintain contact with DDS through the Commissioner and Area Directors.

  • Serve on Human Rights Committees to protect the human and civil rights of individuals receiving DDS services.

  • Communicate with the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) regarding instances of abuse or neglect.

  • Conduct unannounced visits to homes, work sites, and day programs to monitor conditions and foster improvements.

  • Maintain a 24-hour telephone hotline for family members and guardians seeking support.

  • Publish Advocacy Network News, our member newsletter.

  • Serve on the Carousel Trust Fund committee which awards grants in the DDS Central West Region.

  • Support scholarships for students in social service programs.

  • Participate in events honoring the developmentally disabled, including an annual Memorial Day service at the Warner Pine Grove Cemetery on the grounds of the former Belchertown State School.

  • Act on legal advice through the assistance of Attorney Beryl Cohen, who filed the original lawsuit in 1972 on behalf of the Ricci Class.

  • Maintain contact with Massachusetts legislators to lobby for regulations and budgetary support for the developmentally disabled.

  • Serve on the Board of Directors of COFAR, the Massachusetts Coalition of Families and Advocates.

  • Lobby members of U.S. Congress to support services and rights of the developmentally disabled and their families at annual VOR conference in Washington, D.C.

Advocacy Network
P.O. Box 2071
Amherst MA 01004


Let Advocacy Network 
Help You

Advocacy Network maintains a telephone help line, U.S. Post Office Box, e-mail address and Internet website. If you need assistance with care problems, help with an ISP (Individual Service Plan), navigating DMR regulations or any other needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We’re here to help you!

Advocacy Network, Inc.- website designed by Kathy Lamanca, Public Image Consultant