Posted by Sue Stellick

The Services for People with Disabilities (SPD) division has changed our name to CHAI Services!

The SPD division began with our residential CHAI program in 1989 focusing on Community Housing for Adult Independence. As our division has expanded, "Services for People with Disabilities" didn't seem to fit—not all the demographic we serve identifies with the term "disability." As we do in practice, we also wanted our division's name to focus more on abilities and support needs, rather than disability and deficits. When brainstorming new division names, we revisited our CHAI acronym, revamping it again to include the breadth of services we provide.

The division is now CHAI Services, promoting Community, Housing, Access, and Independence for people of all abilities. This change is reflected on our website and in our marketing materials. CHAI Services provide support, strategies, and solutions that strengthen individuals and families, build community connections, and enhance independence. We offer special expertise in addressing the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and autism spectrum disorder, while providing services that are inclusive of people with a wide range of strengths and needs.

CHAI Services currently has 14 programs in the Greater Boston and south of Boston areas, serving nearly 1,300 individuals, employing approximately 160 staff, and operating with a budget of over $9 million.

Sue Stellick is Associate Division Director - Day & Employment Services and has been with the program since 2006. She has worked in the disability field since 2000 with people who have intellectual, physical, neurological, and mental health support needs. Sue's expertise is in vocational support, day program development, service coordination, and community inclusion. She also has experience in the direct service and coordination of in-home communication and behavioral therapies. Sue received a BS and MS in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin. She is also a certified rehabilitation counselor, nonviolent crisis intervention instructor, and has a certification in job development.