Announcements: Grass Roots Organizing Workshops (GROW)
What is GROW?
GROW is a project of the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition’s Assistive Technology Project. GROW is a multiple step process which includes:
1. Planning retreat:
You group can apply for one of two planning retreats. The first will be held at the Leaven Center which is located in between Grand Rapids and Lansing from noon on December 10th till 4 p.m. on December 12th. The second retreat will be held in Northern Lower Michigan the week of January 5th. (The exact dates and location will be announced later.)
Up to three groups will be selected for each retreat session. (A total of six disability groups will be selected to participate in GROW.) Each group will be able to send 3–5 members to the retreat. Double occupancy room and meals will be included.
At the retreat, the groups will be supported in developing a plan to increase access to assistive technology in their communities. The retreats will be held in casual settings with opportunities for informal socialization time with other groups. Topics covered will include project planning from vision to action, building relationships in your community to increase support for your project, finding and keeping enthusiasm within your group, developing a flexible work plan, planning your budget and fundraising, and other topics in response to your group’s needs.
2. Apply for GROW Funding:
Following the retreat, groups who participate will have the opportunity to apply for up to $20,000 to carry out their planned project. MDRC staff support will continue to be available to groups as they prepare their applications.
3. On–going support:
On’going support will be provided through MDRC’s AT project staff to the selected groups.
4. GROW Gatherings and Workshops:
Two follow–up one day gatherings will be scheduled for each group of GROW participants. Groups will have the opportunity to share successes and struggles, and give and receive advice. As part of the gathering, training will be offered on a topic selected by the groups which will help in some aspect of their project.
5. Statewide Gathering:
Groups will send representatives to a final gathering with other GROW participants from around Michigan to share success and network with others.
How does my group apply for GROW?
Groups can be informal groups of people with disabilities and allies who have made an arrangement with a non–profit 501(c) 3 who is willing to act as fiscal agent for the group or a group who has 501(c) 3 non–profit status. If you have any questions about whether your group meets this requirement, just call us!
Groups should have an idea of a project or area in which they would like to improve access to Assistive Technology*. For example, the group might be interested in having more accessible housing available in their area, or accessible transportation options, or access to Assistive Technology through the school systems or public libraries, or access to recreation and parks. It depends on what your group members feel strongly about.
Not sure if your idea would work? Just call and we’ll talk it over with you!
*Need more information about Assistive Technology? Please visit http://www.copower.org/At/index.htm.
Click here for the application. First, talk within your group about answers to the questions and recruit members who want to come to the planning retreat, then call or e–mail Kathryn Wyeth at MDRC to talk over your idea before completing the application!
How to contact Kathryn Wyeth:
(800) 760–4600 ext 35
Let Kathryn know a phone number and time to reach your group’s representative.
Michigan Disability Rights Coalition
–Robert L. Woodson