Mosaic Allied Voices
Become a Volunteer Advocate with MosaicHelping people learn to connect with government decision-makers and advocate for public policy that supports equality and dignity for people with developmental disabilities is Diana McCalment's goal as the chairperson of the national Mosaic Allied Voices (MAV) Committee.
"There are a great many people who care about our work," McCalment said. "I think there are not many people who understand how to support us as we advocate for policy issues. MAV provides that framework for people to become involved in the support of our mission."
MAV has already organized a state committee in Texas and plans to expand into every state where Mosaic offers services. The state organizations will be volunteer-led by a five- or seven-person committee who will annually decide on legislative priorities for that state and work on developing relationships with legislators, educating them on the needs of people with developmental disabilities. The committees will also recruit grassroots volunteers across the state to help make phone calls, write letters and send e-mail messages to the legislators showing support for the disability community.
"We want thousands of them," McCalment said. "That's where the community becomes involved -- anybody who is willing to pick up the phone and make a call."
McCalment brings a passion to her work with Mosaic. She has served as the Chairperson of Mosaic's Board of Directors, and more importantly, is the parent of a son with a disability, David, who is now deceased. Mosaic Allied Voices began in 2008. By the end of 2011, Mosaic will have committees in place in all states with Mosaic service locations.
"There are never going to be enough parents or family members who are willing to advocate or even be involved in any way with family members who have developmental disabilities," McCalment said. "As long as it is just a family issue we will never have a big enough voice to ensure the safety, dignity, and security of the people who we care about. I see MAV as a way of involving community members, as well as family members, in becoming a larger voice for the people to whom we provide services."
Applications to become a MAV volunteer are available online.