Job Opening: Development & Special Events Internship

Partners for Youth with Disabilities was founded in 1985 in order to bring critical mentoring programs to an under-served population and to encourage inclusivity in other youth programs. PYD has grown from one program serving nine youth to five award-winning programs directly serving hundreds of youth with disabilities. The organization has developed and sustained innovative programs that promote inclusive practices, self-esteem, creativity, healthy lifestyles, and career development for youth and young adults age 6 to 24 who face daily challenges. Youth with disabilities are empowered to reach their full potential through transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. We motivate youth to reach their personal, educational, and career goals, and guide organizations in becoming more inclusive.

As we are set to begin our exciting 30th Anniversary Year in 2015, there will be numerous development projects and celebrations. The Development/Special Events/Outreach Intern will help coordinate efforts and play an integral role in the following:

  • Development Initiatives such as the Annual Appeal
  • Acknowledgment correspondence
  • Social Media Outreach
  • Gala Event organization

Qualifications include:

  • Organizational and communication skills
  • Interest in special events and working with committee members, donors, staff, and diverse partners in the community
  • Editing documents
  • Attending and helping run events
  • Data entry experience
  • Familiarity with social media outlets such as facebook and twitter
  • Ability to devote a minimum of 15 hours/week

PYD envisions an inclusive global society in which youth with disabilities have the access, support, and confidence to achieve their full potential, and believe that youth with disabilities who are educated, mentored, and empowered have a profoundly positive impact on their communities and the world. Please apply if you are interested in supporting this mission and feel that you would make a positive contribution to our organization. This internship is non-remunerated.

Please email your cover letter and resume to Nicole L. Malo, Development Manager, at

The Coffee Trike & Coolidge Corner Theatre present in YEP classes

PYD’s Young Entrepreneurs Project (YEP) teaches job and career readiness skills to high school students with and without disabilities in the Boston Public Schools. One of the main components of the YEP curriculum is reaching out to community members to provide Guest Lectures and Job shadows for our students. This November, two local businesses stepped up to the challenge and provided guest lectures for over 20 YEP participants in the Boston Public Schools.

San BellinoThe Coffee Trike

BrianAt WorkSan Bellino’s business, The Coffee Trike, is gaining momentum and was named early this year by Business Insider as one of the 21 Coolest Small Businesses in Boston. San started his business in 2012 and continues to serve specialty coffee to local Bostonians with his friendly smile and charismatic nature.

November 4 we had the pleasure of hosting San in our YEP classroom at McKinley South End Academy where he provided a guest lecture to our YEP direct service and replication classes. San graciously shared everything from his personal background working in the hospitality industry, to  how he decided to start his own business, and then covered many logistical questions that the students had about running their own businesses. He helped our students gain a better understanding of how the skills they are learning in YEP are relevant in real world job situations. We are so grateful that he volunteered to come speak to our participants and even more so that he was able to engage with our students on a personal level that we don’t often see. Thank you San for the wonderful guest lecture!

And to everyone who hasn’t yet visited The Coffee Trike, we highly recommend that you stop by for a specialty coffee!

The Coolidge Corner Theatreimgres

The Coolidge Corner Theatre  “is one of the nation’s most prominent independently operated movie theatres” and also one of the most accessible theaters in Boston. They provide accommodations for assisted listening as well as ensuring that all four screens are accessible.

We had the pleasure of hearing from Bianca & Maria who generously provided two of our Charlestown YEP classes with guest lectures. They focused on the history and function of the Coolidge Corner Theatre and the theater business in general. Our students benefited from hearing their passion for their careers and the opportunities in the field. We are incredibly grateful that they took the time and effort to come volunteer and support our program.


Guest Post: The Solution, Not the Problem


Rhianon Elan Gutierrez is a Boston-based storyteller working at the intersection of media, education, and cultural inclusion. She infuses film, multimedia design, disability culture, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to create active, inclusive, and flexible learning spaces that support the needs and interests of variable learners. We were lucky to have her as one of our volunteers earlier this year! Follow her on Twitter @rhianonelan.

“She belongs in a school for people like her,” he said.
She inquired: “What do you mean, people like her? A person with brown hair? A female? What?”
“You know what I mean.” He persisted.
“No, I don’t. Tell me.” My mother was insistent.

The teacher motioned to his ears.

As a special education teacher and mother of two children with disabilities, my mother has been my strongest advocate. When people and places said that her children (biological and in the classroom) could not do something, she wouldn’t take no for an answer. She actively resisted the labels that the system and other individuals imposed on us.

It is partly because of her and my grandmother’s resilience that I, in my adulthood, am a strong advocate for myself and others. My mother and grandmother provided a supportive base for me to succeed as a learner in the classroom and elsewhere by making sure that I had access to a quality education and resources that supported me in processing, expressing, and comprehending content. My strong foundation has enabled me to move forward on my own and build my own knowledge, interests, and strategies. I am a person who loves to learn.

Continue reading “Guest Post: The Solution, Not the Problem”

Youth & Family Disability Resources: November 2014

Now that Halloween’s over, not quite sure what to do with yourself? C’mon, November can be just as much fun as October! Be sure to check out our recommendations below.

MAPVI Disability Event at the New England Aquarium. Massachusetts Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired (MAPVI) welcomes families with all disabilities to come to the New England Aquarium on Saturday, November 8th! Visually impaired children and adults receive free admission. If interested, call 978-339-3789, email or check out the MAPVI Aquarium Flier.

Veteran’s Day Parades. The two Veteran’s Day Parades will both be held on Tuesday, November 11th. It will begin on the corner of Charles & Boylston St. and end at Boston City Hall at 1pm. There’ll be speeches, marching bands, and more!

Friday Night Club. On Friday, November 14th and Friday, December 12th, MIT Best Buddies is co-hosting the Friday Night Club with students from Harvard and Boston University. Themes include Sports Day, Science Day, and Gingerbread Holiday Party. If interested, RSVP to, email, or visit the MIT Best Buddies Facebook page.

Spartan Kids Special Needs Obstacle Course Race. Come to Fenway Park at 3 pm on Saturday, November 15th to check out this awesome race! It involves obstacle courses designed for participants with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to test resilience, strength, stamina, and ability to overcome adversity. The fee is $35. For more information, visit the Spartan Kids website.

4th Annual South Boston Benefit for Children’s Hospital. Don’t miss this benefit at the Liberty Hotel in Boston on November 22nd from 7:30-11:00pm. Admission is FREE. You’ll get to enjoy live music, eat free food, participate in a silent auction, and help improve the quality of life for patients at Children’s Hospital. Call 617-869-4464 or go to the Boston Children’s Hospital website for more details.

“Morningstar Access” at Boston Children’s Museum. Boston Children’s Museum is hosting a special program for children with special and medical needs on Sunday, November 23rd, 6 -8pm. Pre-registration is required and is limited to 100 people, so guests can enjoy the Museum with less concern about catching infections and being overwhelmed by large crowds. Museum members attend for free, and non-members pay a $7.00 fee. To pre-register, call 617-986-3697, email, or visit the Morningstar Access Page.

Access to Art Tours. The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston offers a series of visitor-centered, interactive tours designed for groups with disabilities, or depending on the visitor’s preference, an individual tour with a companion or care partner. These tours are free, but most require pre‐registration. For a sighted guide, ASL interpreter, or other access accommodation, contact Hannah Goodwin at 617-369-3189 (voice), Valarie Burrows at 617-369-3302 (voice), 617-369-3395 (TTY), or email

Assistive Technology Resource Center (ARTC) Open House. The ATRC, which helps people with disabilities make informed decisions about assistive technology to increase their independence at home, in school, or the workplace, hosts a FREE monthly open house in Boston. These open houses are held on the first Wednesday of every month from 8:30am‐4:30pm, and they provide a valuable opportunity to try out different kinds of assistive technology products. Visit the Easter Seals website, call 617-226-2634, or email for more details.

Visit the MIT Museum for free. Museum admission is FREE on the second Friday of every month from 5-8pm. Meet Kismet the Robot or explore the world in 3‐D! The Museum is located in Building N51 at 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. Visit the MIT Museum website or call 617-253-5927 to learn more.

Art is Life Itself. In this FREE program, youth of all ages can participate in workshops and performances embracing many forms of art. The program meets from 7-10pm on Thursdays at The Haley House Bakery Cafe, 12 Dade St., Roxbury. For  more information, visit go to the Art is Life Itself Facebook page, call 617-445-0900, or email

FREE Film Fridays. Mattapan Public Library is hosting FREE films every Friday for teens aged 13-18! The first Film Friday will be on November 7th at 2:30-4:30pm.

Join the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) Advisory Board. Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking two people interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) Advisory Board. All interested Cambridge residents are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact Kate Thurman, Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities at 617‐349‐4692 or If interested, please submit a letter by Friday, December 5th describing your relevant experience and the kinds of disability‐related issues or projects that interest you (along with a resume, if possible) to:

Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Fax: 617‐349‐4307

 We hope you have a great month!

Let’s Talk about Disability Etiquette

A little man wearing a bow tie and a top hat holding a cane under the word etiquetteDisability etiquette is the common phrase used to discuss socially appropriate ways of interacting and engaging with someone that has a disability. Just as the phrase implies, people that practice good etiquette treat everyone they meet with respect while avoiding faux pas and embarrassing situations.

When people do not practice good disability etiquette, they can inadvertently perform microaggressions. Microaggressions are the everyday verbal and nonverbal behaviors that insult, intimidate, or exclude people who belong to minority groups (people of different abilities, races, genders, you name it). These behaviors are generally not intentional, but can still be quite hurtful to others.

Consider these examples of disability etiquette and microaggressions:

  • A waiter takes orders from two friends. One of them has a visual impairment. He raises his voice every time he talks to her, but talks to her friend normally.
  • A boy tells his friend he can’t stop feeling depressed and anxious. His friend tells him, “You’re not trying hard enough.”
  • A girl tells her friends she gets extended time on tests because of a learning disability. Her friends tell her it’s not fair she gets to have extra time when most students don’t.
  • A woman with a hearing loss gives the barista at Starbucks her order. He asks a question and she asks him to repeat several times. He gets impatient and says, “What, are you deaf?”
  • A man and woman are out on a date at a restaurant. The man is in a wheelchair. The waitress asks the woman what the man would like to eat.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of bad etiquette? Have you ever made an unintentional gaffe? We’re collecting stories to help raise awareness and educate others, so please tell us!