(Madison) — The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD), in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), has announced 5 awards statewide to community-based organizations to expand their efforts to support families of color who have school-aged children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Families Supporting Families grants began in recognition that community-based organizations run by people of color know best how to support the families they serve. By providing grants to support these organizations to expand their services, BPDD and DPI believe more families of color and their children with disabilities will get connected to the people, activities, and community resources they need to live the lives they want.

Congratulations to Parent University located in Milwaukee! Parent University will bring families together at monthly meetings to share information related to special education, busing, housing, advocacy, school relationships, and many other topics. Parent University also provides individual problem solving and support to families. By working with Parent University families build connections and have support to advocate for what their child needs.

Congratulations to Mommy’s Beautiful Sunrise located in Milwaukee! Mommy’s Beautiful Sunrise supports families to learn about resources, to connect with each other and with the community, and to practice self-care. The children that participate in the activities feel uplifted, have fun, and grow more independent. The families feel more connected and are empowered to advocate for themselves and for their children.

Congratulations to Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones (ALAS) based in Milwaukee! ALAS serves low-income limited English proficient Latino/a parents who have children and youth with disabilities, and who experience significant isolation from available sources of information and support in the Greater Milwaukee area and surrounding counties. ALAS provides parents, self-advocates, siblings, and service organizations with information, individual assistance, and training to enable them to advocate for their children’s access to appropriate services and help their children meet developmental and academic goals.

Congratulations to Ho-Chunk Nation of Black Rivers Falls and their non-profit partner Living Our Visions, Inc. based in Madison! Ho-Chunk Nation is partnering with LOV Inc. to host weekend retreats for tribal families with a child with a disability. During the gatherings, families will have the chance to connect with each other and learn together about resources they can access. Families will also use the retreats to create a supportive network of families that will be sustainable beyond the grant activities.

Congratulations to Padres E Hijos En Accion based in Madison! This organization aims to increase the education, resources, independence, and well-being of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in the community. Families who work with Padres E Hijos En Accion learn more about their child’s rights and needs, and they build skills to be an effective parent advocate.

“We are excited to invest in these five groups that are trusted community resources and already are making important impacts on families’ lives through both group activities and education, and individualized supports. We know that when families have the information and support they need, they and their children succeed,” explains Beth Swedeen, Executive Director for the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.

“We are proud to partner with BPDD and these five remarkable organizations to support families in their communities,” said Wisconsin State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly. “We know that investing in families and communities to support access to services is integral to student success.”

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