In the early summer of 2000 , several state agencies began talking together about their various roles in serving persons with disabilities and their families. The first goal of these discussions was to find out what services were currently available throughout the state to help persons with disabilities to live as idependently as they wished, given the limitations of their disabilities. Once they had started gathering that information, the groupís next goal was to find out what services are needed (but currently lacking) in order for persons with disabilities to achieve the greatest independence that is possible and that they desire. At that point, it became clear that persons with disabilities, as well as persons in the communities where they live (or would like to live), needed to have a strong voice in these discussions. And so, by the fall of 2000, Mississippi Access to Care (MAC) was formed.

MAC is a statewide work group that includes persons with disabilities and their family members, service providers, associations, advocates, state agencies, local agencies, and any other persons or organizations interested in making the greatest possible independence available to those with disabilities.

The Goal which MAC has set for itself is to develop a comprehensive written plan to present to the state legislature by 2002. The intent of this plan is to address the needs of persons with disabilities and their families and identify possibilities for bringing the goal of greater independence within closer reach.