The New Hampshire Challenge, Inc.
The New Hampshire Challenge, Inc. is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization serving the state of New Hampshire. Our mission is to “provide information to and advocate for families with persons who have disabilities.” The goal of the organization is to “create a vision for change so families will see themselves as integral parts of the community at large.”
To accomplish this mission, we provide accurate, timely and relevant information to families who have members with disabilities by publishing a statewide quarterly newspaper. The publication, The New Hampshire Challenge, has been in existence since 1988. In that time, we have built a reputation for accuracy and dependability, as well as for faithfully reporting from the families’ perspective. The Challenge has been heralded by families and professionals alike.
Topics we have covered have included:
- existing service systems and how to access them;
- new, existing, and pending legislation pertinent to people with disabilities and special health care needs
- an explanation of state and federal benefits
- an explanation of genetics
- available genetics technology - its use and application
- best practices in the field of disability
- health care reform
- the history of the disability community
- inclusion of people with disabilities into their communities
- employment supports
- family support services
In each issue is at least one story about a family’s experience relating to the topic covered.
The Challenge, as an independent publication, is the only newspaper of its kind in New Hampshire. Created in 1988, it started out as a publication of Special Families United with a mailing list of 250. The Challenge self-incorporated in 1990 and now reaches nearly 5,000 families, most of whom are in New Hampshire, with the second largest group in New England. In addition, The Challenge has a few subscribers in nearly every state and in three countries.
The Challenge focuses on New Hampshire in its reporting, but the issues it addresses are universal to the disability experience. It is considered a force in the state and a voice for families. By its reporting, The Challenge has affected public policy in an indirect way, by giving parents and advocates reliable information upon which to base their advocacy.
The Editor of The Challenge has received two awards for her work with the newspaper, one from the Northeast Regional Conference on Autism in October, 1993 and the second, The King-Lepore Award. Mrs. Krumm is the first recipient of this prestigious award presented by The Community Support Network, Inc, and the UNH Institute on Disability in May, 2000.
In addition, two Arc organizations have recognized the important work of The Challenge by each disbursing $5,000 of their organization's funds upon their dissolution, stating their belief that The Challenge continues their work of advocacy for families and people with developmental disabilities.
The Challenge has reported on candidates’ positions on disability issues in numerous elections: the presidential primaries, gubernatorial elections, congressional elections and state office elections.
Families have a continuing need for good information. Services in New Hampshire are provided by local area agencies and can differ from region to region. School districts operate independently. In order for families to be effective advocates for their sons and daughters, they need information - about what is actually happening in different regions and school districts, about best practices, about policy issues, about opportunities other families have created or problems they have encountered. The newspaper has provided a reliable source of that kind of information for them.
Because of the many pressing needs that compete for families’ limited resources when they have a son or daughter with a disability, The New Hampshire Challenge, Inc. decided at its inception that the newspaper would be distributed to families at no cost to them, and we have been faithful to that resolve.