The History image
Voices of Change 2018 ("VOC18") was founded by Nicole Moehring and her daughter Maci. The passion and drive behind starting this organization came after Maci and her brother Evan, who was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome, Autism, and two heart conditions were both unfortunate victims of sexual abuse and assault.

VOC18 is unique because it is not disability specific such as Autism Speaks, The Upside of Downs or United Cerebral Palsy. VOC18 helps individuals with cognitive, intellectual and physical disabilities, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or gender identity. Services also extend to the child's families and/or guardians.

Nicole never realized how vulnerable her son was to abuse because no one talks about the statistics and there is very little preventive education for individuals with disabilities. Nicole believes with proper education; she and her family would have been better prepared and able to help her son.

Nicole felt that, because her son has a disability, his rights were taken away, he was discriminated against by the individuals who should have been protecting him, and therefore his voice unfortunately was NEVER heard. She felt very alone in her quest for justice, finding supports and resources for his road to recovery, along with their families.

Individuals with disabilities, who have been victims of abuse/assault, need a voice, advocates, preventive education, along with education of next steps, access to support systems and recovery.
The vision, THE MISSION image
THE VISION
By sharing lived experiences and through collaboration with law enforcement, mental health and medical professionals and other similar organizations, Voices of Change 2018 is building a foundation for advocacy, awareness, education, and resources for individuals with disabilities and their families.

THE MISSION

To reduce the risk of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with disabilities.

WE ARE ACCOMPLISHING THE MISSION THROUGH:

AWARENESS • ADVOCACY • COLLABORATION • EDUCATION • EMPOWERMENT • JUSTICE • RESPECT • RESOURCES

AWARENESS: To create awareness of the global epidemic about abuse of individuals with disabilities.

ADVOCACY: To be advocates for individuals with disabilities.

COLLABORATION: Through collaboration of local, state, national and international organizations, Voices of Chage 2018 seeks to form partnerships to strengthen its vision and mission.

EDUCATION: Voices of Chage 2018 believes education for parents, guardians, school districts, the community, law enforcement, mental health and medical professionals is imperative to reduce the risk of abuse for individuals with disabilities.

EMPOWERMENT: Voices of Chage 2018 position is that through appropriate education, individuals with disabilities will develop self-awareness of their bodies and be able to identify unsafe situations and how to tell people in their "Caring Friends" circle if they feel unsafe or if they have been abused.

JUSTICE: Voices of Chage 2018 feels the path to justice, in whatever form, should be equal and accessible to all.

RESPECT: Voices of Chage 2018 philosophy is that everyone should be treated with dignity, equality, and respect. Everyone’s voice has a right to be heard.

RESOURCES: Voices of Chage 2018 believes families, caregivers and professionals should have access to resources to provide preventative measures to reduce the risk of abuse. Voices of Change 2018 also believes in having immediate access to resources for individuals with disabilities and their families, in the event the individual has been abused. 
Statistics image
According to the U.S. Department of Justice report in 2021, although persons with disabilities accounted for 12% of the population, they were victims in 26% of violent crime incidents. Their report also indicated that persons with disabilities:

  • Persons with cognitive disabilities had the highest rate of violent victimization among the disability types measured
  • Persons with disabilities were victims of 26% of all nonfatal violent crimes
  •  The rate of violent victimization against persons with disabilities was almost four (4) times the rate for persons without disabilities 
  • One in three robbery victims (33%) had at least one disability
  • Only nineteen percent (19%) of rapes or sexual assaults against persons with disabilities were reported to police, compared to 36% of those against persons without disabilities
https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/capd0919st.pdf


Often, individuals with disabilities do not realize they are being abused.

Many times, the perpetrator is the child’s primary caregiver, a family member or someone the family or child knows. 

Perpetrators often threaten children, so they are afraid to tell anyone. Allowing the abuse to continue and as a result, the individual more than likely will suffer from extensive trauma.

Lack of preventative education, resources, supports for providers, along with the stigma of not talking about body safety, abuse, body autonomy, etc., put individuals with disabilities at an increased risk of being abused.
A Message From THE Founders image
Most people think it will never happen to their child, or loved one, but abuse does not discriminate. Raising a child with a disability is already challenging, and abuse makes things so much harder.

Our family went through this. We should have had access to support and services. We didn’t. We should have been supported. We weren't. We felt the devastation. We never want anyone else to feel that way.

We have built a foundation from our lived experience by providing:

1. Preventative education for individuals with disabilities, their parents, guardians, medical, mental health professionals and law enforcement

2. Guidance, resources, and support for victims and their families 

Nicole Moehring, Founder           Maci Lynch, Co - founder

Nicole Moehring

Founder, Executive Director

Maci Lynch

Community Liaison

Chris Moehring

Chief Financial Officer

Jacob O'Connor

Intern

Erin Groves

Writer, Illustrator, Photographer, and Artist

Lori Stringer

Artist and Illustrator

Voices of Change 2018 is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors.

Clare Quartaraco

President, Treasurer

Owner, LaVida Massage

David Dohnal

Board Member

Probate Judge Appointment The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Assistant General Counsel (Retired)

Joseph Storad

Board Member

Summit County Sheriff's Office Detective (Retired)

Kathy Morris-McCandless

Secretary

American Greetings (Retired)

Open Position

Board Member