May 2016 The Provider – Advocate is more than a job title to Andrew Forman; it’s a mission and a responsibility.
Forman, a senior disability advocate, has been with the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) since 2001. He assists people in obtaining and maintaining benefits, including from Social Security, MassHealth, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Pro gram (SNAP} and the Department of Transitional Assistance.
He conducts a twice-monthly housing workshop informing consumers how to obtain subsidized housing and also hosts a cable TV show on disability issues. He is also active in the Employment Advocacy Group, promoting gainful employment for people with disabilities.
“I believe that people with disabilities should be treated with the fairness and dignity that they deserve,” says Forman, who is legally blind. “And that discrimination, in all its forms, needs to end.”
It is a message he has delivered be fore. Several years ago, Forman was an individual plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit against the MBTA, in which BCIL also was an organizational plain tiff, to seek compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The 2006 settlement with the T has produced hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements that have made public transportation more accessible to individuals with disabilities.
“Andy is a tireless and consistent advocate,” said BCIL Director of Services Sally English, Forman’s supervisor. “He brings knowledge, passion and organization to his work. One of the things that I appreciate about Andy is that not only is he willing to support his consumers, he is also willing to assist other staff in expanding their knowledge of benefits and services.”
Forman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Curry College.