Beginning in 2023 SAM will be working to start local chapters throughout Michigan.
Meaningful self-advocacy happens in the communities where people with developmental disabilities live, work, and play. Advocacy on this level is important to impact systems change.
Local chapters will engage in their communities with allies, organizations, and politicians to advocate for the things that are important to them. This work will help to facilitate self-sufficiency, self-determination, inclusion, and acceptance for people with developmental disabilities.
Every local chapter is different and unique with their own passions, style, and focus issues. Self-advocates in Michigan come from all backgrounds. The diversity of the people who live in Michigan reflects the diversity of people in SAM at all levels.
All of the local chapters have in common the mission, vision, and values of SAM and the core idea of “Nothing About Us Without Us”. Each Local chapter has its own Board and sets its own meeting schedule and agenda, regularly reporting back to the main SAM Board.
• Are grassroot local groups that help give chances to lead, be an active part of your community, and have fun.
• Are different from one chapter to the next. There is not one way to run a chapter. Communities may be different in geographic areas. Some chapters may be city specific, others may include a county, counties, or even prosperity region. As SAM membership grows chapters may grow and change as well.
• Share the mission, vision and values of the SAM.
• Elect at least 3 chapter officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary) and send their names, offices held, and contact information to the state SAM Board. (additional officers may be elected should the chapter choose)
• Agree to keep minutes of chapter meetings and send copies to the state SAM Board.
We understand that allies will play an important role in the work SAM chapters do in their community. SAM chapters can be made up of Self-Advocates, family members, allies or anyone else the chapter decides to include in their work. Leadership positions and voting privileges, however, are reserved for Michigan residents18 and older who identify as a person with a developmental disability. No person shall be denied participation because of race, religious belief, color, gender, sexual orientation, or economic status.
Funding assistance may be available through the SAM Board of directors. If you require funding please fill out a request form which can be found on the SAM website under the local chapter tab. (coming soon)
If you are interested in having a local chapter in your area please contact SAM Advisor, Renee Hall at [email protected].