Island Disability Coalition Seeks Input from Vineyard Community

OAK BLUFFS – The Island Disability Coalition has developed a needs assessment survey as a way to better understand and identify the needs of individuals with disabilities on Martha’s Vineyard.

The coalition seeks to gather the perspectives and experiences of all community members to develop a vision of what the lives of people with disabilities could and should look like.

The survey focuses on all aspects of life, including employment, housing, education, recreation and leisure, transportation and access to community engagement.

“We look at all of those life domains because those are all of the life domains that impact the quality of life for people with or without disabilities,” said Beth Wike, the coordinator of the coalition.

Survey takers are asked to identify themselves in one of five respondent categories, including family member of a person with a disability, and individual with a disability, school personnel, service provider for adults with disabilities, or general member of the community.

“Many individuals are impacted by disability either directly or indirectly at one point in their life,” Wike said.

“In order to take a community approach to moving forward we wanted to gather the perspective and experiences of all community members.”

The survey launched this week and will be open through 5 p.m. on December 10.

Paper copies are available at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. To complete the survey online, visit

The data collected will allow the IDC to consider immediate changes in services and programs, while also serving as a lens to project future needs.

The IDC is a newly formed coalition whose mission is to bring together community members dedicated to promoting the full and equal participation of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of life.

The coalition will work to advocate and ensure that opportunities for self-determination, independence, empowerment and inclusion exist in areas that include education, housing, employment, civic engagement, socialization and health care.

To learn more about the organization or to become a member, visit

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