Ardena Bartlett, MPA Parent Advocate, Founder, Executive Director Access Nonprofit Center Ms. Bartlett is the founder and director of her initiative Parenting Black Children the mission is to decrease disparities and increase access for parents/caregivers of children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She is a proud parent of a Beautiful Black Boy on the Autism Spectrum served by the Regional Center and is well aware of the needs of raising a child with Autism and developmental differences.
She soon realized, that other Black parents experience the struggle of gaining equitable access for their children to receive services from community and public education. She began attending Special Education, Autism, and Developmental Disability trainings so that she would be equipped to empower her community of parents to gain access to this hidden information. As a result the PBC initiative was awarded the State of California DDS Service Access and Equity grant to focus on decreasing the disparity of Black/African American families gaining access to services.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from University of California at Irvine(UCI), and a Master’s of Public Administration from University of Southern California (USC). Additionally, she has served the local school district’s special education department, volunteers at church, sits on a board Committee of the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center, participates in California Department of Developmental Services workgroups, and is a member of the Pomona Valley NAACP. She resides in the San Gabriel Valley with her family and enjoys discovering new opportunities for her son to help him and other children Live & Thrive in Home Community & School.
Parenting Black Children (PBC), a project of Access Nonprofit Center, is a team of parents, special education teachers, social work interns, disability advocates, church ministers, foster-care advocates and others who have dedicated time to help to increase awareness, outreach and education of developmental disabilities, mental health and special education resources.
We provide support and resources to parents and caregivers of African Americans with developmental disabilities and those who are interested in understanding the signs and how to support the people they love. Our aim to as address disparities in communities of color and support families and caregivers to gain access to information and resources. We are not alone in caring for their loved ones!
We work in partnership with the Regional Center providing a support group and network for parents/caregivers
Ardena Bartlett, founder of Access Nonprofit Center is a parent/caregiver of a child with Autism served by San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center and is well-aware of the challenges of raising a child with developmental, educational and behavioral challenges. In that same passion of those mighty mothers who were instrumental in the establishment of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act in 1969, so is Ms. Bartlett who built the mission of ACCESS Nonprofit Center around her personal struggle to obtain access to relevant early intervention information and resources to help her son.
Access Nonprofit Center is a TEAM of passionate professionals who are parents, disability advocates, teachers, church ministers, culture experts, college students, film-makers, early education professionals - who are all ready to expand their passionate project. ‘Parenting Black Children’ is just one of the many projects that will become a great resource to African American children and their families.
Ms. Bartlett believes it is essential to the well-being of the community to create community-based support groups for parents/caregiver of African-American children with developmental disabilities. Additionally, she believes that reaching out to the emerging generations (Millennials- Gen Y & Z) as they begin family planning will increase the probability of early detection in babies.
There is a coined phrase in the African American culture “the struggle continues” which means that although in the midst of victory there is still more battles to overcome. The African American community has seen many struggles and many victories. The struggle is not failure, but a reason to “fight” and work together to solve our collective issues for the well-being of our families. Surely, “the struggle continues” as it relates to Awareness, Early Intervention, Authorization and Utilization of services within the Regional Centers across our great state. However, in the SG/PRC caption area, African American clients make up only a small percentage of the total client population. Parenting Black Children is just one of the many projects of Access Nonprofit Center that was created to cater to these underserved communities.
"To always do as much as we can, in the way we can,
in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it."
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