GMSA in the Media



  • 9/14/17: The week of September 10-16, 2017 is national Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week and is being celebrated in Vermont! This week recognizes the dedication and contributions of Vermont’s direct support professionals in supporting individuals with disabilities and their families. Green Mountain Self-Advocates, Vermont Care Partners, and the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Services Division will co-sponsor a state-wide celebration on Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 11am-1pm on the Vermont State House Lawn in Montpelier to honor Direct Support Professionals’ commitment to promoting community inclusion for individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities. Read the Press Release here: Press Release – Direct Support Professionals Week – Celebration 9.14.17



Stirling Peebles and VT Governor Elect Phil Scott at award ceremony


  • 9/18/15 – On July 18th, GMSA in collaboration with VT Care Partners and Designated Agencies that provide developmental services held a Direct Support Professional Celebration day at the VT State House in Montpelier, VT. This was to recognize the amazing work that direct support providers do for people with developmental disabilities and their families. We invited Monica Hutt who is the new DAIL Commissioner and Hal Cohen the Secretary of Human Services and they shared some inspiring words. Musicians from NCSS provided everyone with some musical treats including a sing-a-long and accordion performance. Several people made speeches about what their support staff mean to them. We also provided everyone who came with a variety of snacks like watermelon and apple cider. GMSA videotaped self-advocates telling their stories about how direct support providers make a difference in their lives. Lastly, to make this celebration festive we hung flags through the statehouse lawn gardens. People from all over the state created the flags. The flags each share people’s amazing stories of how their staff help them to live a fulfilling life in the community.

DSP times argus

  • 7/29/15 – On July 29th, Max Barrows joined David Goodman on Vermont Conversations to talk about Champions of Change and GMSA on WDEV Radio. Nicole LeBlanc and Stirling Peebles also joined in David’s hour long show to talk about GMSA and all of our great news. The show was recorded. Click here to listen.
  • 7/27/15 – On July 27th, Max Barrows, Outreach Director of Green Mountain Self-Advocates (GMSA) was one of nine disability advocates honored as “Champions of Change.” The event celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and honored disability rights activists across several generations. According to the White House, “The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.” The links below are some examples of media coverage of the event:


  • 6/20/15 – Program empowers adults with disabilities. Way to go Molly White, Rachel Colby and Max Barrows for being quoted in a Times Argus newspaper article about graduating from the Vermont Leadership Series. Leadership lesson of the day – when you see a newspaper reporter – step right up and asked to be interviewed! Click here to read what they had to say.
  • 4/7/15 – Nicole LeBlanc who works for Green Mountain Self-Advocates was quoted in a VT Digger article Advocates-call-for-more-revenue-as-budget-bill-hits-senate. Click here for more details.
  • 3/19/15 – Vermont Public Radio did an excellent story on how Green Mountain Self-Advocates are speaking up at the Vermont State House. Vermonters with disabilities push for increased funding. Click here to listen to and read the story.
  • 2/24/15 – VT Digger article on the public forum GMSA co-organized: Kicked Out Forum – Unfair and Unequal Student Discipline in Vermont’s Public Schools. Click here to read the article Forum looks at disparity in student discipline.
  • 1/15/15 – Reading for Inclusion. Max Barrows is interviewed in The Riot, a national on-line newsletter written for and by Self-Advocates. Click here and read Max’s article about adults with disabilities reading stories to elementary school students to promote inclusion.



  • 12/5/14 – VT Digger published our press release describing Green Mountain Self-Advocates Holding First Annual Speak Up! Gala. Click here to read the article. 
  • November 2014 – David Frye (GMSA Board Vice President and LGBTQ Groups leader) was interviewed on The Riot! Blog.  He’s Twice an Advocate!
  • 8/25/14 – 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.

On August 11, 2014, the Governor proposed a budget cut of 6 million dollars for Developmental and Mental Health Services. Legislators held a public hearing the next day giving GMSA less than 24 hours to prepare to speak up and find rides to the state house. Here are links to media coverage of self-advocates testifying at the August 12th public hearing.

  • 8/12/14 – The Vermont Associated Press story called, Vermont Lawmakers plan hearing on budget cuts referenced Green Mountain Self-Advocates and included statements made by GMSA members. This article was published in The Kansas City Star, The Washington Times and posted on the WCAX website.

The following stories include information, videos and photos of  GMSA members speaking up about what it is important to use Respectful Language when sharing information about people with disabilities.

  • 3/21/14 –  Newscast: 12:04 p.m.on Vermont Public Radio – Governor Peter Shumlin has signed an act requiring respectful language for referring to people with disabilities in all Vermont laws.




  • 3/4/12 – An obituary in the Burlington Free Press for Robert Kay, former GMSA President. Robert Kay 3-4-12



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