Disability Support & Advocacy

Living with a disability isn’t exactly simple

Serving Nine Counties in Northern New Mexico

There are hundreds of types of disabilities, and countless resources, programs, institutions, groups and services that could help. But for many individuals with disabilities, this can be very difficult and confusing to navigate. The specific needs dictated by a disability are often personal and relatively unique, and some disabilities make negotiating with other people, organizing applications, getting where you need to go or even understanding what is being said a very frustrating challenge.

Our expert staff understands the “big picture” of what it is like to live with a disability. Every day we take calls, meet directly with, and quickly respond to consumer’s questions and needs. We have a wealth of information to help you get what you need.

  • Advocacy
  • Independent Living Skills Training
  • Peer Support
  • Information & Referral
  • Transition
  • Benefits Advisement
  • Free Classes

Our expert staff understands the “big picture” of what it is like to live with a disability. Every day we take calls, meet directly with, and quickly respond to consumer’s questions and needs. We have a wealth of information to help you get what you need.

This is why New Vistas offers Disability Support and Advocacy

We are a group of advocates who are fluent in the wide and complex network of disability support. We understand the area we live in inside and out and can help find the answer to many questions concerned with living with disabilities in northern New Mexico. We have our ear to the ground for new opportunities, changes in legal systems, and important resources inside the world of disability.

Some common requests include:

  • Where can I find a support group, get orthotics, mental health services, affordable & accessible housing?
  • Questions about Medicaid, transportation, legislation, doctors, realtors and counselors.
  • I’m looking to find training or classes, a caregiver or an assistance animal.
  • I need help talking to my landlord, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, my boss, my employer.
  • I’m from another part of the country and am interested in visiting or moving to New Mexico.
  • Could you help me fill out my applications, or accompany me at an upcoming meeting?

We do a lot.

There is no “one thing” that we do. Our consumers don’t fall neatly into categories. Every challenge is unique. We’re here to provide guidance and support, to help individuals, families and friends understand and cope with disabilities, increasing well being, self-reliance, and independence.

We Offer 5 Core Services


On local, state, and federal levels: Legislation and policy changes can have a profound effect on services for the disabled. Our Legislative Action Team members are motivated, organized watch-dogs of political issues affecting people with disabilities.

On an individual level: Advocacy may involve helping consumers speak up to get what they need and deserve.These could involve negotiations with an agency, financial institution, landlord, employer or any person or group affecting the person with a disability.

1) Independent Living Skills Training: Often having a disability means that many fundamental, day-to-day activities can be quite difficult, requiring patience and training to master.

2) Peer Support: A peer can relate to others who are now in a similar situation. People who themselves have endured the difficulty and stigma that can be part of living with a disability can meet with and reinforce each other with confidence and practical strategy.

3) Information & Referral: Our team of high skilled and widely networked advocates are able to connect people with disabilities with valuable community resources.

4) Transition: Transition services are intended to assist people with disabilities to move into independent lifestyles of their choice. New Vistas offers two different types of services in this area.

  • Nursing Home/Institutional Setting Transition Services – New Vistas can assist people with disabilities to move out of nursing homes or institutional settings into housing situations of their choice in their preferred communities. Additionally, services in this area can be focused on helping individuals to avoid entering institutions or nursing homes.
  • Youth Transition Services – New Vistas can assist youth 14-24 in transitioning from high school to adult life including taking the next steps such as going to college, obtaining employment, or moving into an independent living situation.

5) Additional Services: Our non-attorney representative provides support and advocacy for people with disabilities seeking benefits advisement.

Groups, Classes & Presentations

All classes are free and are held in safe & supportive environments. Check the website calendar on the home page menu or contact New Vistas for information on upcoming classes.

Chronic Pain Self-Management Program

This 6-week workshop is for adults of all ages who live with one or more chronic health condition that requires daily self-management such as arthritis, chronic pain, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.

Diabetes Self-Management Program

This 6-week workshop is for individuals diagnosed with either Type I or Type II Diabetes and provides skills to help attendees gain confidence and skills they need to better manage their condition. Cancer: Surviving and Thriving Program – Offered through a partnership between New Vistas and the NM DOH’s Paths to Health Program, this class is for individuals diagnosed with any type of cancer. The class provides information and activities designed to help individuals navigate treatment, gain skills to manage their condition, and to balance their daily life with treatment requirements.

From Grief To Laughter

This class for adults with disabilities and/or chronic illness (or their caregivers) and meets weekly for 6 sessions. Classes cover feelings of loss related to disability or chronic illness, attitude awareness, positive coping strategies and how to deal with difficult emotions.

Living Well with a Disability

This 8 week course helps adults with disabilities or chronic illness set and accomplish goals, improve communication skills, learn problem solving skills, advocate for themselves, seek information, and improve overall physical and mental health.

Working Well with a Disability

Working Well with a Disability builds on the concepts of the Living Well with a Disability class but emphasizes maintaining a balanced lifestyle to support employment.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop

This 6 week workshop is for people living with chronic health plain and/or disabilities where you will learn new skills to better manage diabetes, arthritis, pain, cancer, high cholesterol, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure and other conditions that require ongoing care. The emphasis is on health improvement and staying active in your life and relationships.

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Balance - CURRENTLY ON HOLD DUE TO COVID

This ongoing class, meets weekly, and targeted towards people with mild, moderate and severe joint and back pain, and is especially appropriate for individuals who have a higher risk of falling. However, these classes are open to all regardless of age or ability level. The gentle movements of tai chi assist with increasing balance and mobility and decreasing both pain and falls. Movements can be adapted for individuals of all skill and ability levels, and can be adapted for use in standing, seated and supine positions.

Transition Group(s) for students with disabilities

This peer-driven group is designed for high school students of any age. The focus is facilitating student exploration of opportunities after high school including entering college, joining the workforce, living on their own, developing social and/or romantic relationships, managing finances, and navigating public transit systems. Courses are offered in partnership with local school districts and can be ongoing throughout the school year.


Community Living Skills

This 10-week workshop is for people who want to build their independent living skills. Participants will learn to build a support network within their community, explore options for setting personal goals, get information and resources for living and participating in their chosen community and build confidence and comfort in decision making and problem solving.

Presentation on New Vistas and IL Services

These are available upon request. 

Sarah Michaud

Executive Director