Human Rights Forums!!! This is the 25th anniversary of the annual DMR/DDS Human Rights Conference and it was at the first such conference that establishment of the Office for Human Rights was announced. While economics require us to re-focus our approach to the conference, this year we will celebrate 25 years of human rights safeguards with five free regional forum events!
“Dare to Dream” John Anton giving the keynote speech at the 2006 Human Rights Conference The Department also is celebrating the success of so many self-advocates and other advocates, in their fight to see the name of the Department changed. As of June 30, 2009 the Department will become the Department of Developmental Services.
We will take the occasion of the regional forums to take stock in how the political successes of the self-advocacy movement have mirrored success in the lives of all individuals in their ability to exercise real control in the main parts of their daily lives, choice of work types and jobs, and choice of where to live and type of living environments, for instance. We will explore the goals of the human rights system and how it works for providers and individuals.
At each forum we will celebrate our victories, recognize some of the people who have made a difference in promoting human rights and reflect on our history. We then will explore the existing human rights system, and how it works for providers. We will have a response from individuals supported by the system. This will set up the agenda for a human rights town meeting with Commissioner Howe. We hope not to just lay out the current challenges, but to help forge some solutions, together. Please refer to the Department’s home page on the web for details on how to register for and get to the forums. The days all start at 9 AM and go to Noon. The dates and locations are as follows:
June 3, 2009 at Holyoke Community College
June 15, 2009 at the National Guard Museum in Worcester