Eastern Montana Self-Help Law Project
Tara Ford 1993 fellow
People with disabilities are part of our communities and developing better ways to support people with disabilities to actively be involved in our communities, instead of segregating people, benefits us all.
In 1993, New Mexico still had two institutions that housed persons with developmental disabilities. Through the New Mexico Protection and Advocacy System, Ms. Ford worked to ensure that individuals moving from institutions to homes had the services they needed. Community supports for individuals whose disabilities included challenging behaviors were often lacking. During the last two years of her project, Ms. Ford wanted to address this problem at the front end and focused on advocating for children with challenging behaviors, working to ensure that they had the support they needed to stay in the school setting. The project relied on individual representation to positively impact the lives of individuals with disabilities, as well as building community support for policy changes that would maximize services available for persons with disabilities, especially students with challenging behaviors.