On June 3 The Arc of New Mexico, brought together over 20 self-advocate leaders, supporters and funders to discuss ideas on how to create a comprehensive and sustainable statewide self-advocacy movement in New Mexico. Attendees represented the following groups and organizations: People First (PF) of Gallup, PF of Albuquerque, PF of Roswell, PF Anthony, PF of Las Cruces, Allies in Advocacy, The Arc, Parents Reaching Out, the New Mexico Department of Health – Developmental Disabilities Supports Division (DOH/DDSD), and the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council/Center for Self-Advocacy. Funding for the meeting was provided DOH/DDSD.
On July 20 a second meeting was held to develop a collaboration plan with specific goals, strategies, assignments and timelines to achieve the goals. Attendees created a Two-Year Vision that included the following elements:
*NM Allies is the central non-government organization at the core of the self-advocacy movement in New Mexico with a strong infrastructure with financial resources and paid staff
*People’s First chapters are active in every region.
*Our impact has grown through the effective, coordinated use of an outreach strategy that includes webinars and social media.
*The voices of self-advocates are heard and making a difference in the New Mexico legislature.
*A disability history curriculum is a funded reality in the public schools.
*We have developed the financial and expanded training and mentoring programs that are creating leaders and engaging youth.
*There is a significant increase in available transportation statewide with rural options.