MERGE Diverse Abilities Inclusion Consulting understands and celebrates that people interact, learn and experience the world around them differently. We build stronger communities together, with you, providing expert guidance on inclusion of persons with diverse abilities. Our trainings give recreation, sport, camp and community organizations the tools and confidence to ensure community members with diverse abilities are welcomed, engaged and supported to be successful in participation into your general program offerings.
We offer workshops and webinars for human service agencies for direct support professionals and family members on how to support recreational inclusion within their communities.
Follow MERGE to continue your commitment to Inclusion!
About Our Founder
Lisa Drennan is an innovative leader with a demonstrated commitment to building inclusive communities. Lisa possesses a specialty with over 38 years’ experience in supporting individuals with diverse abilities.
First ever Association Director of Inclusion for the South Shore YMCA, Norwell MA. Raising up the inclusion initiative through innovative program development, implementation of staff training and effective education and awareness building throughout the YMCA community.
Former National chairperson of YMCA of the USA’s Diverse Abilities Working Group, providing a platform of education, resources and consultation for YMCA’s across the country.
Former Director of the Sollar Wellness Center, Pembroke MA, a first-of-its-kind wellness facility offering wellness and enrichment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Former Senior Leadership Team member, New England Village, Pembroke MA, leading the organizations strategic plan implementation, co-developer of Positive Support Techniques guidelines and Best Practices training series on effective fitness and enrichment class instruction.
Advisory Board Member for the DDS & ARC of Massachusetts joint Widening The Circle Project, primary author of the Pathways To Friendship toolkit for recreation and community professionals.
Dedicated member of her community with years of volunteer and community service.
Adjunct Professor, Adaptive Physical Activity at University of Massachusetts, Boston
Advisor, Inclusion Matters Board of Directors
Who We Serve
Our services are beneficial for organizations providing recreation or community programs
for the general population who are seeking to become more inclusive in their practices to ensure community members with diverse abilities are welcomed, engaged and successful in participation.
YMCA’s, Boys & Girls Clubs, JCC’s
Town Recreation Programs
Summer Camps, Afterschool Programs
Sports Teams or Leagues
Fitness, Enrichment and Art Instructional Classes
Churches, Libraries, Scouts, First Responders, Town or City DEI Committees
Additionally, MERGE works with human service providers and agencies supporting people with disabilities and their families, providing support on accessing inclusion within your community.
Available online or in person for National or local conferences, seminars, or panel discussions on topics relative to best practices and the benefits of community inclusion of persons with diverse abilities.
Organizations That Have Chosen MERGE
American Camp Association, National, NE & Tri-State
National Recreation and Parks Association
NEYCC & Northeast YMCA Outdoor Educators
ARC of Massachusetts Regional Offices
Mass Families, Federation of Children with Special Needs, Providers Council, Mass Down Syndrome Congress
YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne & Warsaw, EasterSeal Arc of Greater Fort Wayne, Great Kids Conference, Indiana
Wicked Cool For Kids
Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire & Michigan Recreation & Park Association Conferences
YMCA Associations in Massachusetts, Indiana, New Hampshire, Missouri
Massachusetts Library Systems
National Inclusion Project
Best Buddies Women in Leadership Conference
US Lacrosse Association and Adaptive Lacrosse Conferences
Current Trends In Autism Annual Conference
Work Without Limits – Raise The Bar Hire Conference
Inclusive Sports Design, Australia
Inclusive World Training, Cork, Ireland
Diverse Abilities Profile
MERGE is committed to helping recreation, camp, sport and community programs to be confident and equipped to be inclusive of our community members with diverse abilities.
The supports provided to these community programs are beneficial to, and targeted toward inclusion of children, teens, or adults with Autism, developmental, intellectual or physical disabilities, mental health or social-emotional issues. In other words, anyone looking to access community programs with their peer group.
Make the commitment to be inclusive FOR ALL and contact MERGE today!
MERGE has services to match your organizational needs. Our partnership starts with a comprehensive evaluation to determine the inclusion needs of your organization.
Services may include but not limited to:
Staff trainings giving a customized learning experience for your team ranging from 2 to 100 in size.
Individualized coaching and for program staff, coaches, instructors and leadership teams.
Guidance with program development and implementation of identified strategies and procedures.
Assisting with marketing and promotion, including review of descriptive language.
Delivering support to employers and HR personnel on engaging, supporting and supervising employees with diverse abilities.
Evaluation of physical space to include elements of universal design and meeting ADA compliance.
Customized coaching for program staff, coaches, instructors and leadership teams for implementing inclusion strategies and policies.
Individualized coaching for new or existing Inclusion Staff Members on leading your inclusion initiative.
What our friends are saying about us...
Lisa's transformative leaderships has helped to shape the Y movement around inclusion and equity for individuals and communities with diverse abilities. Her compassaionate, thoughtful, strategic, knowledgeable and methodical approach has resulted in an increase in the level of awareness, capacity and competencies of hundreds (maybe thousands) of Y staff and volunteers - and beyond - related to inclusion and equity for all.
- Chad Nico Hiu, Director, Diversity & Inclusion
YMCA OF THE USA