MCBDDS Advocacy Groups

The Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services offers a variety of opportunities for advocacy within its program structure for individuals served and their families.

Board-sponsored advocacy groups


Voices Matter
 is a community-based self-advocacy group sponsored by the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services. Its goal is to empower people with developmental disabilities, and is open to adults 18 and older that are served by the Board.

The group is made up of people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities who empower and support each other. Participants can choose to be as involved as their comfort level allows. The goals of the group include:

  • Teaching people with developmental disabilities to speak up and advocate for themselves, and help others do the same
  • Promoting equal rights for everyone
  • Providing disability awareness training to people and organizations in the community
  • Raising public consciousness of issues that matter to people with disabilities
Voices Matter collaborates with other organizations on projects, and organizes a yearly Self-Advocacy Conference for people with developmental disabilities. Its members also speak to community groups, service providers, peers and members of the media on disability-related issues. The group has also created a blog called Voices Matter where they share their thoughts on a variety of issues. 

The group currently meets weekly at 4 p.m. via Zoom. For information about the group or its meetings, contact Tammy Brooks at 937-918-2131. You can also email Voices Matter. For additional background about the group, check out our Self-Advocacy Brochure.

Community-based advocacy and service
Greenemont Optimists:
Representatives of local Optimist International Clubs met with members of MCBDDS's self-advocacy group in 2018 to form the nation's first fully inclusive Optimist Club: the Greenemont Optimists. Optimist Clubs are made up of volunteers whose members undertake community service projects to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, their communities, and themselves.

Members of the Greenemont Club, which is part of the Optimist International organization, include people with and without developmental disabilities. Many Voices Matter members are also Optimists.

The Greenemont Optimist Club currently meets twice a month at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. If you'd like more information about this group, please contact Tammy Brooks at 937-918-2131.

Parents & Advocates Advisory Council (PAAC) 


MCBDDS sponsors a group known as the Parents & Advocates Advisory Council (PAAC), which offers family members, guardians, advocates of people with developmental disabilities, and providers of services the opportunity to meet and discuss issues of interest with MCBDDS leadership.

Meetings are currently held via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month and require registration (see links below). For more information on these meetings, visit the listings in the Calendar of Events on the MCBDDS website homepage.

2022 Parents & Advocates Advisory Council Meeting Dates
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