About the Award

Each year the board of Green Mountain Self-Advocates selects a person or organization to receive our annual Ally Award. This award is for outstanding contributions to promoting Green Mountain Self-Advocates across the state.

Our allies support us in talking about their dreams, identifying how they can achieve their dreams, securing the resources needed, celebrating along the way. They’re like a mentor even though they don’t make decisions for you. They encourage somebody with a disability to make the best decisions with the right supports.  That’s what it takes to believe in somebody.

Allies give you the space to go for your dreams. They find information, connect you to the right resources and people so you can do what you want with your life.


Award Winners


Vermont Family Network

The 2017 Ally of the Year Award will be presented to the Vermont Family Network (VFN) for their outstanding support of Green Mountain Self-Advocates and our mission for Vermonters with developmental disabilities to educate peers to take control over their own lives, make decisions, solve problems, and speak for themselves. VFN has been a great partner to GMSA on Health Care training projects and the Vermont Leadership Series! They are wonderful collaborators who bring great enthusiasm to working with self-advocates. They are respectful and open to new ideas and as one self-advocate put it, “they really accept the mission of GMSA.” We thank them for their excellence and for their willingness to always help us see things through the eyes of a parent or family member!


The Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council

The 2016 Ally of the Year Award was presented to the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council for their outstanding support of Green Mountain Self-Advocates and our mission for Vermonters with developmental disabilities to educate peers to take control over their own lives, make decisions, solve problems, and speak for themselves. From their tireless support to their partnership on many of the projects that Green Mountain Self Advocates has worked on over the years, we thank them for the great work they do! Their collaboration on projects such as the Inclusive Healthcare  Partnership Project and the SIM Healthcare Training Project demonstrates their commitment to improving the lives of Vermonters with disabilities and to creating and supporting positions of leadership for Self-Advocates. These projects are utterly vital to improving the quality of life and services we seek for all  Vermonters and we are  extremely grateful for their support and want to celebrate all that the DD Council brings
into our communities.


The Directors of Agencies that provide Developmental Disabilities Services

DS Directors

It is our pleasure to award the 2015 Ally of the Year Award to the Vermont Developmental Services Directors. All of their dedication and efforts to support people in the State of Vermont to better their lives must be recognized. Their commitment to true inclusion is utterly vital to sustain quality of life for all involved. Thank you for partnering with Green Mountain Self Advocates and putting great thought into the development of the Peer Mentoring Project. This initiative truly speaks volumes of belief in Presumption of Competence and capabilities. And thank you for supporting the Direct Support Professionals Appreciation Day, recognizing our support systems that stand strong for our positive growth.

Developmental Services Directors

  • Elizabeth Sightler from Champlain Community Services
  • Greg Mairs from Community Associates
  • Julie Cunningham from Families First
  • Bill Metcalf from Health Care & Rehabilitation Services
  • Marie Zura from Howard Center
  • Jennifer Stratton from Lamoille County Mental Health Services
  • Sherry Thrall from Lincoln Street Inc.
  • Dixie McFarland from Northeast Kingdom Human Services
  • Kathleen Brown from Northwestern Counseling & Support Services
  • Ellen Malone from Community Access Program
  • David Yacovone from Sterling Area Services
  • Kathy Hamilton from United Counseling Service
  • William Ashe from Upper Valley Services
  • Julie Martin from Developmental Services


Senator Anthony Pollina

> GMSA talks on Equal Time Radio about the 2014 Ally of the Year award presented to Senator Anthony Pollina for his outstanding support of GMSA and the self-advocacy movement.

kris and anthony officers all officers

IMG_3892 Spring 2014 162




The Vermont Workers Center

VT Workers Center Receives Ally of the Year AwardAlly of the Year is Presented to VT Workers CenterMax and Nicole Present Ally of the Year Award

Ally of the Year Award, designed by Day Breaks Glass of Montpelier, VT


Click to listen highlighted text!