Consumer Advisory Council
The Mission of the Consumer Advisory Council (CAC)
People with disabilities and their families are central to how the Institute on Disability (IOD) plans, carries out, and evaluates its activities. The Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) is a primary way the IOD involves consumers to guide the activities and priorities of the Institute. CAC members meet 4 times a year and support the IOD's work in the following ways:
- Serves as a link to consumers and consumer-based organizations.
- Encourages others to become involved with the IOD.
- Makes suggestions about critical areas of need to be addressed through future activities.
- Supports the vision, mission, and values of the IOD by providing information and advice on issues affecting individuals with disabilities living in New Hampshire and their families.
- Consults with the leadership of the IOD regarding the development and implementation of the Institute's five-year plan.
- Provides the leadership of the IOD feedback on proposals and initiatives such as grant applications and other actions planned or considered by the Institute.
- Points out to the leadership of the IOD matters that, in the Council's opinion, require attention on the part of the Institute.
- Presents the unique perspectives and views of people with disabilities living in New Hampshire and their families.
What are the responsibilities of CAC members?
- Serve at least a three-year term.
- Attend the quarterly meetings and as many of the CAC functions and special events as possible.
- Become informed and stay informed about the mission, services, policies, and programs of the IOD.
- Represent their own interests related to disability issues as well as the interests of the communities they represent.
- Take an active role in the development of the IOD's five-year strategic plan.
- Inform others about the organization and act as a communication link between the IOD and the people, agencies, and organizations in their community.
- Identify people who can make significant contributions to the work of the IOD and draw them into the network of people committed to community-wide change for people with disabilities.
Who belongs to the CAC?
- There are anywhere between 12 and 20 CAC members at any given time.
- The CAC is representative of different age groups, disabilities, and regions of New Hampshire and reflects the state's racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity.
- The CAC includes representatives from a number of organizations including the Developmental Disabilities Council, the Disabilities Rights Center, and People First. In addition, members may include representatives of the Parent Information Center, graduates of New Hampshire Leadership, and other relevant state agencies.
- All members of the CAC are consumers. At least one-third of the members are individuals with disabilities and at least two-thirds are parents, other immediate relatives, or legal guardians.
CAC members include:
Steve Alexander, Marblehead, MA
Jennifer Bertrand, Mont Vernon, NH
Gina Colantuoni, Bow, NH
Jeff Dickenson, Concord, NH
Jackie Driscoll, Derry, NH
Penny Duffy, Concord, NH
Bonnie Dunham, Merrimack, NH
Nathan Gams, Hampton, NH
Sandy Hicks, Manchester, NH
Amy Howe, Hopkinton, NH
Richard Johnson, Laconia, NH
Cabrinni Kulish, Loudon, NH
Chrissy Shaffer, Litchfield, NH
Julie Smith, Durham, NH
Jim Tobin, Effingham, NH
Linda Wadensten, Newport, NH
Kathryn Wallenstein, Concord, NH
Marian West, Concord, NH
Who can I contact to learn more about the CAC?
If you have any questions or are interested in becoming a member, please contact:
Mary Schuh , Ph.D. Institute on Disability / UCED - Associate Director
56 Old Suncook Road, Suite 2
Concord, NH 03301
Fax: 603.228.3270 firstname.lastname@example.org