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Nonotuck to Host Disability Activist Cheryl Ryan Chan

Nonotuck Resource Associates, Inc. is proud to announce we are celebrating Women’s History Month with mother and disability activist Cheryl Ryan Chan. The event, which will take place through Teams, will be held March 28 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Cheryl is, first and foremost, Mom to Nicky – a 31-year-old man who lives with profound autism. She has spent 25 years in Massachusetts, spearheading community building initiatives and becoming a well-known leader in community organization, legislative activism, mentoring and public speaking. 

Cheryl's enduring dedication to the autism and intellectual disability community in New England has earned her national recognition as a leading advocate and voice in the field. She has presented at regional, state, national and international conferences; she is best known for tackling the "tough topics" of caregiving and living in a system-centered world.

Her advocacy efforts were instrumental in the creation of "Nicky's Law" in Massachusetts, a pivotal legislation that established an abuser registry to safeguard vulnerable citizens from potential abusers in caregiving roles.

Describing herself as a "Change Agent and Positive Agitator," Cheryl embodies these roles through her dedication to building supportive communities for individuals and caregivers. She champions inclusive practices throughout all stages of life, always prioritizing the humanity of the person first.

Looking ahead, Cheryl is focused on establishing a federal abuser registry to extend protections to all vulnerable populations who depend on caregivers for their health and life's dignity.

Cheryl invites engagement and connection through social media or her website, CherylRyanChan.com, welcoming anyone interested in her work or seeking collaboration.

Cheryl’s presentation will focus on her life journey as a woman, particularly highlighting the obstacles she has encountered and overcome. We will hear about the challenges she has faced in a world that often presents barriers to women, as well as the strategies and resilience that have propelled her forward.

"Cheryl Ryan Chan's tireless dedication to advocating for individuals with disabilities, particularly through her work with autism and intellectual disability communities, is nothing short of inspiring. As someone who has had the privilege of knowing Cheryl for many years, I've always admired her passion, resilience, and unwavering commitment to creating a more inclusive society,” says Nonotuck CEO/President George H. Fleischner. “Cheryl is not just a colleague; she's a comrade in our shared fight for human acceptance and understanding. Her upcoming presentation promises to be an enlightening and empowering experience for all, and I am honored to have her as a part of our celebration of Women's History Month."


Attend Cheryl’s Event Via Teams

“(Through shared living) people with a disability experience a real transformation and discover confidence in themselves; they discover their capacity to make choices, and also find a certain liberty and above all their dignity as human beings.”

Caregiving with Love:
Guide for Shared Living Providers

Learn how Nonotuck developed a love-based ideology of care. We started our shared living program as an alternative to group homes for people with disabilities. Instead, Shared Living creates genuine life transformation for people with disabilities, as well as families and communities. The true power of caregiving is found through hospitality, authenticity, and love.

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