Becoming a DREAM Chapter
DREAM chapters are guided by our mission and goals. DREAM aims to provide support and mentoring for individual students
and campus groups like yours,
while informing students about their rights and
advocating for increased accessibility and social change
through programs and activities.
Through chapters and affiliates, DREAM also helps
connect students across the U.S.
What's the difference between DREAM chapters and affiliates?
If you are setting up a new group or would like to change an existing group, then you would be a DREAM chapter. If you already have a student group with a name, identity, etc., then you can keep your existing group but become a DREAM affiliate. If you need help organizing a group of students or setting up an organization, we can help.
Who can become a DREAM chapter?
Any group of three or more college students. You may be any age, auditing or registered, many types of disabilities or one type of disability, and undergraduate or graduate level (or both). We do have a few requirements:
- You must be college or university students. High school groups cannot become DREAM chapters or affiliates at this time.
- 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 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.
- 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?
What are benefits of being a DREAM chapter?
There are a number of benefits to being a DREAM chapter, and we hope to expand these benefits over the next few years. Here are some of the things chapters will receive:
- Recognition and promotion of events in our publications and on our website
- 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
- 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 for college students with disabilities
- Use of the DREAM logo on your publications, including editable templates for letters and business cards
- Access to member-only trainings and opportunities on a variety of topics for student leaders
- Help setting up a website, if your campus does not offer that option
- Access to the DREAM student board for questions, needs, and concerns, including assistance getting started
Do we need to use the DREAM name for our group?
If you are a DREAM chapter, then yes, you'd take the DREAM name. So if your campus is named Northern University, you would become DREAM - Northern University. If you'd like to make the purpose of the group clearer, you may adjust the title of your group as long as "DREAM" is part of it. "DREAM for Students with Disabilities," "DREAM Autistic Group at NU," or "Deaf DREAMers" would all be fine. Contact us if you have questions. If you want to use a different non-DREAM name, then we recommend setting up the group and becoming an affiliate instead of a chapter.
How do we sign up?
Just fill out an application! Beginning in the fall of 2023, your group will also have to pay a $50 annual membership fee, this fee is currently being waived. The fee helps cover a number of benefits, and you can contact DREAM if you are concerned about having the money to pay the fee - we do offer discounts or waivers.