2024 Massachusetts West Region Self Advocacy Conference Reminders

What is Self Advocacy


Self advocates learn skills and information to help us stand up for ourselves, such as communication skills, human rights and legal rights, how laws get made, and strategies for creating change.


Self advocates create relationships that are respectful and meaningful to everyone involved. Self advocates build lifelong friendships and learn the benefits of being part of a group.


Self advocates are role models for others. Self advocates are leaders in our communities who create the changes we wish to see in the world.

Meet our team

We love Self Advocacy!

Amber Pettell

Peer Coordinator

Amber joined the Self Advocacy team in 2015 though she has been involved in self advocacy in one way or another since she was a young teenager. She comes to the job with her own lived experience of having a disability and is deeply passionate about creating a society that validates and celebrates differences instead of creating harmful stigmas. Outside of work Amber's favorite hobby is watching movies.

Ris Houde

Regional Coordinator

Prior to joining the Self Advocacy team in December 2023, Ris worked in early childhood education and support work for adults with disabilities. She comes to this job with a longstanding commitment to social justice and mutual aid. Originally from the Boston area, Ris holds a B.A. in Sociology from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Outside of work, you can find her doing yoga, gardening, or spending time with her cats.

James Miller

James Miller

Regional Facillitator

James is a veteran self advocate who has been working with the Self Advocacy team for more than a decade. He brings a unique voice to the team. His skills, knowledge, and leadership abilities have made him very respected among his peers. Outside of work James is very close with his family and enjoys sports.

West Region News

Stay informed

Conference Reminders

Arrival and Parking The event is located at the Sheraton Monarch Place Hotel in downtown Springfield. We’ll be on the third floor.  The registration/check-in window starts at 9am and ends at 10am. Please plan to Read more…

Rainbow Group Relaunch

The West Region Rainbow Support Group will be meeting virtually Thursday March 21st from 5:30pm-7:30pm. The Rainbow Support Group provides support and information to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities who identify as gay, lesbian, Read more…

Get in Touch

Massachusetts West Region Self Advocacy

187 High Street Suite 303

Holyoke, MA 01040

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