Beth Wike has a mission: to make Martha’s Vineyard a place where people with disabilities can have the same experiences as anyone else on the Island — from school and jobs to social life and fun.

“Our community needs to open up and include all people with disabilities,” said Ms. Wike, who has just entered her third year at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

Hired in the fall of 2017, Ms. Wike divides her work time between two jobs. For Community Services, she heads the nonprofit’s disability services, which include job training and placement, family services and the Daybreak Clubhouse social program.

The other half of her job is to coordinate the Island Disability Coalition, a Vineyard-wide grass roots group representing people with disabilities, their families and allies and the agencies that work with them.

The coalition’s goal is to open up Island culture to all abilities, Ms. Wike said.

“We’re trying to shift our Island to where we all own a piece of the inclusion process, because really we all do,” she said.

Action plan is in the works for the young coalition. — Jeanna Shepard

When Ms. Wike started, the coalition didn’t even have a name. Two years on, with the help of a Tower Foundation grant, the coalition is establishing itself as the Vineyard’s hub for information that has been available only on a scattered, program-by-program basis.

“As an Island, we’re not doing a very good job connecting people to resources,” Ms. Wike said in her office on the Community Services campus this week.

“There are a lot (of resources) here,” but many eligible people miss out on opportunities they’re not aware of, she said.

The Tower grant will help fund a comprehensive website of services and other information, and is already paying the salary of the coalition’s first employee, resource specialist Julie Lively.

“A website is great, but a human is way better,” Ms. Wike said. “You can do a lot more in terms of the conversations.”

Ms. Lively, who was on the coalition’s steering committee before starting her job in late summer, is the mother of a child with Down syndrome and co-chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Island Parents Advisory Council on Special Education, known as IPAC, Ms. Wike said.

As resource specialist, Ms. Lively is developing both the website and the coalition’s institutional membership, recruiting Island libraries, the YMCA and other agencies to join.

Leaders from these agencies are preparing to take an online leadership course from Kids Included Together, a national inclusiveness nonprofit, to learn how their institutions can become more inclusive, Ms. Wike said.

Other goals of the Tower grant include creating a community action plan for access to recreation, employment, training and education.

At the coalition’s request, the latest team of rural scholars from the University of Massachusetts medical school who came to the Vineyard last month took the Island’s access to recreation for young people with disabilities as their study topic.

While she’s always believed in inclusion — even in elementary school, “I always remember being keenly aware of how difficult it was” for her classmates with disabilities to do “regular fun kid things,” she said.

Then in college, she took a job at a winter camp for adults with disabilities and almost immediately realized she wanted to continue the work.

Pursuing a master’s degree in recreational therapy at the State University of New York, Cortland, she found her passion.

Pointing the way to her current position, Ms. Wike created a master’s project plan of how to make a community more inclusive.

Yet when she moved to the Vineyard six years ago, it was as a young wife whose husband had taken a job at South Mountain.

Raising the couple’s two children — Annalee, eight and Hudson, six — made Ms. Wike a regular on the Community Services campus, where she spotted the posting for what is now her job there.

Her vision for a truly inclusive Vineyard could be described as Jabberwocky for everybody, with jobs and education added to the fellowship and fun.

“The folks that go to Jabberwocky are accessing everything the Island has to offer,” she said.

“That should be a model. Let’s do that all the time.”