Group photo of Mayfield office, Shane and Susan McGrath.


Here at BAC, we believe in empowering people. Maya Angelou said it best:

“I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.”

Being a part of Team BAC is filled with many powerful moments, as each of us play our own unique roles that drive forward the mission of this incredible organization. In these roles, we might be a job coach or a receptionist, a floor tech or a project manager, a cook, a custodian, a day training participant, a CSR or a CEO – each of us is using the skills, the training, the drive we each possess to reach for our goals.

It is one of my greatest privileges that part of my role is to support my co-workers and our participants who decide they want to use their voices and their own personal stories to advocate for others with disabilities. They fight for greater access to direct care services, ever-growing and evolving job opportunities and the right to pursue all life has to offer with equal and inclusive access. This role of self-advocate is truly a wonderful thing to witness in action.


Shane at the old capital building in Miami.Recently, one of our Adult Day Training program participants, Shane, stepped into the self-advocate role with full support from his caregivers. In doing so, Shane had a lofty goal to meet: convincing our local delegation that supporting our currently underfunded training programs should be a top priority for this year’s session.

After making the long drive (the “very, very, very long drive,” according to Shane) to Tallahassee with his aunt and uncle, Shane and I brainstormed strategies for how best to convey the daily needs of our participants and why funding services, beyond what is currently provided, for these very vulnerable members of our community is so critical.




In the end, Shane decided our best course of action. “Susan,” he said:Shane with Susan McGrath.

“I’ll just tell them. I’ll tell them me and my friends like learning things. We like our art class. We like knowing how to ride the bus and cook. And we really like going out to places like bowling and the park and Sam’s Club and seeing what to do. I’ll just tell them they need to help.”

And tell them he did.




After 12 delegation meetings, lunch in the basement of the Capitol, 22,000 steps, a coffee break on the 22nd floor of the Capitol, more photo ops than he could count, another long drive back to Brevard and a few months of waiting with fingers crossed for the budget to pass the Governor’s final review, just this week I was able to tell Shane that he did it. BAC will receive additional program funding, with a $25,000 increase over last year!


We are grateful for the leadership of Senator Tom Wright and Representative Thad Altman, who sponsored our bill, and to the entire Brevard delegation who supported its passage. These funds will make it possible for our participants to continue to access the tools and resources they need to keep learning, growing and participating in the community. Special thanks to Shane and his family for their part in growing the impact BAC has on so many lives; well done, Shane, well done!

Senator Wright with Susan McGrath.
Susan McGrath, Shane, and Representative Thad Altman.
Senator Tom Wright and Shane at the House of Representatives.