FCSN > VOC > Private: 2018 Community Partnership Awards > 2017 CPA Awardees > Lisa Jennings: Parent Advocacy

Lisa Jennings: Parent Advocacy

Lisa-Jennings-CPA-winnerLisa Jennings is a parent and special needs advocate whose child, Monica, requires complex medical care. Although Lisa has a professional background in data processing and compliance, her work on behalf of individuals with special needs began in 2004. She has utilized many of the Federation’s programs, to increase he knowledge about special needs law and process, including Family TIES of MA, Mass Family Voices, and the Parent Consultant Training Institute. Lisa is also an active, longtime member of the Weymouth Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). She also enjoys consulting on boards and committees and lending her perspective to community programs and policies.

While Lisa’s work supports all types of disabilities, her most passionate advocacy is to strengthen supports and treatment options for individuals with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome. 22q, a genetic disorder with signs and symptoms that vary widely from person to person, is not well-known to a large population of educators or support organizations. This lack of general awareness about the disorder makes it difficult for families to find the help they need. It is Lisa’s hope that her work in education, health care, and community building connects people with valuable information about this diagnosis. She lovingly describes her daughter as her “most important client” and reports that Monica is currently looking at colleges, applying for the summer Youth Leadership Forum, and preparing to manage her health and learning needs as a college student.