Service Enhancements

bridgewell client cheering

Bridgewell proudly works with Special Olympics Massachusetts, Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong and other organizations to enhance the lives of people in our care by focusing on advocacy, human rights as well as health and wellness.

Special Olympics

Bridgewell has had hundreds of athletes participate in Special Olympics Massachusetts for over 40 years. Team Bridgewell athletes have played in a variety of events including track and field, basketball, swimming and softball and as many as 75 athletes have competed in a given season.

Athletes must maintain optimal health, which includes year round healthy diet and exercise as well as physician’s approval. During the sport season, athletes are required to attend multiple practice sessions per week and play in a regional qualifying event for their specific sport/event in order to move on to the State Games. To afford the costs of practice space, athletic equipment, registration fees and competition housing, Bridgewell athletes, employees, family members and friends engage in year round fundraising.

Every sporting team has a team of coaches to guide them. Bridgewell employees, family and friends volunteer countless hours of time to coach, train, educate and cheer on the athletes. Coaches are required to undergo a national CORI and comprehensive training in protective behaviors, concussion awareness, SOMA orientation, sport specific training and unified sports training. Coaches help athletes discover their physical skills, self-worth, courage and capacity to grow.

Self Advocates

Bridgewell Advocates educates and energizes people about self-advocacy. The group meets monthly to discuss current topics influencing the lives of their peers with disabilities.

Bridgewell Advocates have participated in many formal trainings including an abuse prevention course as part of the state-wide Awareness and Action program; the Explore, Prepare, Act program for community based employment; the Self-Advocacy Leadership Series; and lastly Impact: Ability physical self-defense course which focuses on abuse intolerance.

Annually, Bridgewell self-advocates attend the national Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) Conference. SABE is a national self-advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure that people with disabilities are treated as equals and that they are given the same choices, rights, responsibilities, and chances to speak up to empower themselves, opportunities to make new friends and to learn from their mistakes.

Human Rights Committee

Bridgewell’s three Human Rights Committees were established to promote, safeguard and protect the human dignity and legal rights of persons served by reviewing, monitoring, and investigating the activities of Bridgewell programs. The Human Rights Committee acts as an:

  • Agent for change by assisting the program in identifying areas in which improvement can be made;
  • Advisory board by reviewing and monitoring program practices and procedures and making recommendations to programs on methods to further promote the rights of people served by the program;
  • Advocate by encouraging the development of services that foster the expression and exercise the rights of people served by the program;
  • Investigative body by conducting informal inquiries as needed or by monitoring the quality of investigations conducted by the program.

Human Rights Committee Membership consists of:

  • Persons served
  • Advocates for persons served
  • Professionals

For more information or become involved with Bridgewell’s Human Rights Committees, contact Kelli Hyland, Bridgewell’s Assistant Director of Quality Assurance at 339-883-2125.

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