The 2021-22 Allen C. Crocker Family Fellowship

Cosponsored by the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Network:

  • Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston Children’s Hospital (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities)
  • E.K. Shriver Center, UMass Medical School (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities)
  • Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council
  • Disability Law Center

Overview of the Allen C. Crocker Family Fellowship

To celebrate the work of Dr. Allen C. Crocker and his devotion to families of children with disabilities, the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Network created the Allen C. Crocker Family Fellowship. It allows a family member of an individual with a developmental disabilityto work on a project of their choosing while developing leadership skills under the guidance of Institute for Community Inclusion staff. Through this experience, the Crocker Fellow will gain valuable knowledge about disability policy, services, and supports.

The Crocker Fellow will design and implement a project of their choice that embraces the values and work of Dr. Crocker. Activities will be based on the Crocker Fellow’s interest, and may include grassroots advocacy, public policy analysis, research, and other initiatives to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Concurrent with designing and working on an original project, the Crocker Fellow will learn about public policy and disabilities, the legislative process, and the role of disability agencies in Massachusetts. The Crocker Fellow will attend local and national public policy forums to broaden their knowledge on current disability topics.

The fellowship offers an educational environment designed for an individual who is developing personal advocacy skills and experience. As the Crocker Fellow chooses a project design, develops a work plan, and researches and creates a final product, they are guided by Institute for Community Inclusion faculty and other members of the Massachusetts DD Network to develop the skills they need, understand how the disability system works, and learn how they can create change.

The Crocker Fellow works 20 hours per week. The one-year award includes a stipend of $20,000.


The Allen C. Crocker Family Fellowship was established in 2012 to honor the lifelong work of Dr. Allen C. Crocker. He was a physician who listened to families, advocated on their behalf, and supported their dreams for their children. Dr. Crocker was a developmental pediatrician who worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for over 60 years. He was the founder and first director of the Developmental Evaluation Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital that grew into the Institute for Community Inclusion. Dr. Crocker was not only a world-renowned physician but also an advocate for children with special health care needs and their families. His leadership was influential in Boston, throughout Massachusetts, and across the country as he helped to pioneer the field of developmental-behavioral pediatrics. His dedication to exceptional children and their families was legendary.


The Allen C. Crocker Fellowship is open to Massachusetts residents who have a family member with a developmental disability. The fellowship is designed for individuals who seek to increase their knowledge and skills in the field of developmental disabilities. Although the Fellowship is designed for one person, two family members (related or unrelated) can propose a joint project as co-applicants and share the wages and other Fellowship resources.

Basic Requirements

  • Work a minimum of 20 hours per week for a one year period. Most of this time will be spent designing and implementing an original project.
  • Work remotely and onsite at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) in Dorchester
  • Attend Friday morning LEND Fellowship classes in Boston (no summer session).
  • Participate in training and other leadership activities at the ICI and the other Massachusetts DD Network programs.
  • Attend conferences, trainings, and other events on disability advocacy and public policy.
  • Present the accomplishments of the fellowship at Massachusetts DD Network meetings.
  • If applicable, give a presentation at a regional or national meeting in conjunction with other individuals or colleagues (paper, poster, or verbal presentation).


The Crocker Fellowship will begin in July 2021 and will run for a 12-month time period.

  • Thursday, April 29, 2021 - Applications due
  • Late May - Finalist interviews
  • Early June - Crocker Fellow announced
  • July 2021 - Fellowship begins
  • June 30, 2022 - Fellowship ends

Application Instructions – Crocker Fellowship

If you are interested in applying, send an email by Thursday April 15th to David Helm at with a brief description of the project you want to work on for the Fellowship. This is not mandatory; it will allow us to send any updates directly to potential candidates.

The application consists of:

  1. A brief written proposal (2–5 pages) that includes:

    • The applicant’s background and disability experience
    • The proposed project or study activity, including the reason for addressing the chosen topic, project goal, activities, and expected outcomes and impact
    • The applicant’s vision for a post-fellowship role in the disability field
  2. The applicant’s resume
  3. Three letters of reference

Applicants will be judged on their proposed project’s originality, the need for the project, project impact and the likelihood they will successfully complete the project within the one-year timeframe. The potential of the applicant to benefit from the fellowship experience will also be considered.

Send applications by email to: with “Crocker Fellowship - (applicant’s last name)” in the subject line. Contact David Helm by phone at 857.218.4327 or if you have questions. Applications must be received by Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.