Becoming a DREAM Chapter or Affiliate: FAQs and an Application Form
What's the Difference Between a Chapter and Affiliate?
There is no difference. DREAM chapters have the word "DREAM" in their title. Affiliates create their own name or are existing groups that want to be part of DREAM.
Which Groups Can Be a DREAM Chapter or Affiliate?
- Any student group that believes in the mission and goals of DREAM.
- Your group cannot be focused on curing disability. Some student groups are focused on charity (nondisabled people raising money for people with disabilities), curing disability (like preventing blindness or curing autism), or other medical aspects of disability (like therapy groups). DREAM is more focused on community, pride, activism, and education.
- A group of three or more college students. You may be any age, auditing or registered, represent many types of disabilities or one type of disability, Deaf culture, or ASL. The students may be undergraduates or graduate level (or both).
- You must be college or university students. High school groups cannot become DREAM chapters or affiliates at this time, but we are starting to work on DREAM at the high school level.
- You must have an advisor or other non-student contact for the group. We just need someone to contact if students leave the group or graduate.
- Your group must go through any approval process required for student groups on your campus. Some schools don't have any approval process and some have lengthy applications and approvals. You can use the DREAM name while you apply for approval, but we can't give you full DREAM chapter or affiliate recognition until your campus says you're an official student group.
- Your group must have at least one student with a disability in a leadership position. If your group is all nondisabled students or only nondisabled students are leading the group, how will you know what students with disabilities want and need?
- Your group may be based in Student Affairs, under disability services, or anywhere else on campus. We do suggest student groups related to disability are not under counseling, health services, or disability services offices, because advocacy work often involves offering suggestions for improved services from these offices. Critiquing a group where your advisor works may end up being a conflict of interest for everyone involved. If that's right for you and your group, though, that's fine with us. Another model is to have a co-advising model (for example, one advisor is from disability services and one is a faculty member). This decision is up to you.
Why Join DREAM?
There are a number of benefits to being a DREAM chapter or affiliate:
- Recognition and promotion of your online events
- A monthly Digital Care Package of resources and publications on topics like accessible event planning, fundraising, peer mentoring, and other topics to support your group's activities and growth
- Technical assistance and support for any issues that happen with your group
- Networking with the DREAM Board, NCCSD staff, and other student groups
- Participation in national educational and activism activities, in coordination with other campuses across the country
- Reduced registration fees and other support to attend any DREAM national Disabled & Proud conferences we may have in the future
- Use of the DREAM logo on your publications and promotional materials
- Access to member-only trainings and opportunities on a variety of topics for student leaders
- Help setting up a website, if you need it