History - The Stavros Timeline

1974

Stavros founded as an Independent Living Center by a group of individuals with spinal cord injuries who moved from parents’ homes, nursing homes, and state hospitals to an old farmhouse at 691 South East Street, Amherst.

Assisted in the development of accessible apartments (John F. Nutting in Amherst).

1977

Received a grant from Tufts/New England Medical Center to develop peer counseling programs and initiate advisory boards to the six area and regional offices of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (Western Region).

Received first of three annual $10,000 grants through MRC Expansion and Innovation grants. The purpose was to develop a model of IL services in the region, provide Peer Advocacy Services, and to develop community resources, including housing and architectural accessibility.

1978

Town of Amherst makes special allocation in Community Development Block Grant to make town center accessible.

The original group leaves the house on South East Street to pursue their own lives and to allow the use of the house as the base for Stavros services.

1979

Stavros among first five Massachusetts Independent Living Centers to receive Title VII funds. Basic services are expanded to include Information and Referral, Skills Training, Education, and Advocacy, as well as Peer Advocacy.

1982

Stavros receives funds from Hampshire County United Way for off-hour transportation service for persons with disabilities.

1983

Stavros receives Independent Living Program funds appropriated by Massachusetts legislature.

1984

Stavros begins administration of Personal Care Attendant services in the four western counties of Massachusetts.

1986

Stavros opens office in Springfield with assistance of MRC. Stavros receives funds from Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to establish an Independent Living program for deaf people.

Stavros purchases accessible vans with the help of U.S. Department of Transportation funding.

1990

Stavros advocacy and support lead to accessibility at Franklin County Court House. 

Stavros gains Community Development Block Grant funds from Amherst to build addition to its original building on South East Street. 

Stavros receives planning grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to improve services to persons with disabilities. 

Stavros begins its Peer Assistive Technology Program, providing information about independence-promoting technology to thousands of people.

1991

Stavros receives three-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

1992

Access Plus, a business to provide designs and related services to businesses, organizations, and communities, begins.

1993

Mayor Robert Markel of Springfield swears in the first Mayor’s Council on Disability as a direct result of Stavros advocacy.

Stavros begins the first Volunteer Surrogate Program in the United States, helping dozens of persons with disabilities to manage their own personal care programs.

1996

Stavros advocacy leads to the Massachusetts Lemon Law for Wheelchairs, providing basic consumer protection to wheelchair users.

1997

As a result of Stavros advocacy, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts reaches a settlement with MCI Relay Services. The settlement provides for the establishment of a model telecommunications relay service for Deaf people.

Stavros begins distributing free telecommunications equipment to persons with disabilities and deaf people, first in partnership with Bell Atlantic, then with Verizon.

1999

Stavros begins its Fiscal Intermediary Program, providing payroll services to thousands of persons employing personal care attendants, including consumers from the Northeast Independent Living Program (Lawrence).

Stavros begins the Access Awards, honoring individuals, businesses, and communities for their efforts to improve access.

2001

As a plaintiff in Rolland v. Cellucci, Stavros helps thousands of clients of the Department of Mental Retardation to leave nursing homes and live in the community.

As a plaintiff in Hermanson v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Stavros helps ensure that persons 65 and over will have essentially the same access to personal care attendant services as younger people.

2002

Stavros designs comprehensive management information system software for independent living centers. IDMS, as the system is known, is adopted by all other Massachusetts independent living centers.

2003

Stavros advocacy leads to the provision of personal care attendant services for persons with terminal illnesses.

Stavros receives Community Development Block Grant funds to provide outreach and other independent living services in Greenfield.

Stavros begins the Home Sweet Home program, coordinating resources, time, and talent to provide ramps for homebound persons with disabilities.

2004

Stavros complaint against the City of Springfield leads to a U.S. Department of Justice settlement requiring the city to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

2005

Stavros begins work as the Fiscal Intermediary for the Real Choice Project, supporting new ways for persons with disabilities to control their lives.

2006

Stavros consolidates Fiscal Intermediary (409 Main Street) and Program (691 South East Street) offices into new site at 210 Old Farm Road, Amherst.

Stavros Fiscal Intermediary welcomes consumers from AdLib (Pittsfield), Center for Living and Working (Worcester), and Independence Associates (Brockton).

Stavros begins the Transition to Adulthood program, for youths with disabilities ages 14-22.

2007

Stavros advocacy leads to search for new provider of paratransit services for the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority.

Stavros advocacy helps establish the Personal Care Attendant Quality Home Care Workforce Council, a statewide, consumer-directed body that will negotiate agreements with the union representing PCAs in Massachusetts, and take other actions to improve the quality of the PCA workforce.

2008

Stavros is a plaintiff in the Hutchinson complaint, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts agrees in federal court to provide community services for persons with head injuries in nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.

2009

Stavros advocacy leads to breakthrough changes in state regulations governing Personal Care Attendant and Hospice services--persons receiving Hospice services could now receive PCA services, while PCA consumers receiving Hospice care could increase their PCA hours.

Stavros advocacy helps bring change to Massachusetts laws governing guardianship, giving greater protections to persons with disabilities and elders to maintain control of their own lives.

Stavros begins to provide fiscal intermediary services to the state’s Veterans Independence Plus (VIP) programs at Aging Service Access Points across the state.

Stavros offices go fragrance-free!

Stavros advocacy helps lead to a new provider for paratransit services in Hampden and Hampshire counties after the provider selected by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority leaves hundreds of consumers stranded or without any rides.

2010

Stavros gets a Facebook page.

Stavros advocacy leads to the development of the statewide PCA Improvement Work Group, leading to many consumer-friendly changes in the Massachusetts PCA program.

2012

Stavros completes development of new database for independent living and personal care attendant program for the 11 Massachusetts Independent Living Centers.