The Arc of Massachusetts

Achieve With Us.

Waltham, MA   |  www.arcmass.org

Mission

The mission of The Arc of Massachusetts is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, and their families. We fulfill this through advocacy for community supports and services that foster social inclusion, self-determination, and equity across all aspects of society.

Ruling year info

1956

Executive Director

Mr. Leo Sarkissian

Main address

217 South Street

Waltham, MA 02453 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-2223502

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (W05)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Arc of Massachusetts works to enhance the lives of the more than 200,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and autism living in the state of Massachusetts. When The Arc of Massachusetts was founded in 1954, the focus was on ensuring access to special education, advocating for deinstitutionalization, and obtaining funding for adult services and supports. 65 years later, we’ve come a long way, but we now face new challenges, including advocating for full community inclusion, overcoming bias and ableism in all their forms, ensuring access to quality healthcare, preventing abuse against individuals with I/DD, and much more. Individuals with I/DD deserve to lead lives of safety and dignity within the community.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Empowerment

The Arc of Massachusetts plays a leadership role in advocating on both the state and federal levels to obtain services and supports for people of all ages with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This includes ensuring that elected leaders and public officials understand the needs of our constituents, advancing progressive regulations or policies, and working with the judicial system if needed. We encourage families and individuals to advocate for their personal goals.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Operation House Call (OHC) teaches young medical professionals essential skills to enhance the health care of persons with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Offered by The Arc of Massachusetts, OHC turns to families, parents and individual self-advocates as educators in a health care field that seldom focuses on more than making a diagnosis. It is a rare and important training opportunity. Through OHC, students begin to build confidence and interest in working with individuals with I/DD and their families.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

SUPPORTbrokers of The Arc of Massachusetts are ready to assist you! Consumers or families hire a support broker to help them find appropriate services and supports to thrive in their community. Brokers can help consumers find transportation, a place to live, someone to help them with daily living skills, a job counselor, and other linkages within the community. Brokers can also facilitate and create a person-centered plan and help consumers apply for Social Security or health insurance, among other benefits.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of meetings with policymakers or candidates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Empowerment

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of list subscribers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, People with intellectual disabilities, Activists

Related Program

Empowerment

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of individuals attending community events or trainings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, Families, People with intellectual disabilities

Related Program

Empowerment

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We are working toward a goal of increasing equity for people with I/DD and autism across all aspects of society, by removing barriers to inclusion, eliminating bias in all its forms, and improving the quality of life of these individuals. We advocate for increased funding on the local and national level that would support programs and services these individuals need to thrive in their community, as well as for better policies and legislation that will protect and better serve the community of individuals with I/DD.

The Arc of Massachusetts provides education and systems advocacy to consumers, families, human services organizations, the public, legislators, other public officials, and the executive branch. Together with The Arc of the United States, we combine the best elements of grassroots support and advocacy so that individuals can thrive in their communities or address the barriers in their way.

The Arc of Massachusetts has five programs that are working to improve the quality of life for individuals with I/DD living in Massachusetts. They include the following:

Empowerment
The Arc of Massachusetts plays a leadership role in advocating on both the state and federal levels to obtain services and supports for people of all ages with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This includes ensuring that elected leaders and public officials understand the needs of our constituents, advancing progressive regulations or policies, and working with the judicial system if needed. We encourage families and individuals to advocate for their personal goals.

Education and Transition Training
The Arc provides a range of webinars and outreach sessions to assist families in their caregiving role and to educate them about resources that are available. We provide self-advocates, parents, educators, and other professionals the tools they need to assure positive transitions from school to adulthood, so they can be fully included in the community with access to housing, employment, and recreation. Our work with the Massachusetts Alliance for 21st Century Policy, including the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, involves both education and empowerment.

Operation House Call
Operation House Call (OHC) teaches new medical professionals essential skills to enhance the health care of persons with I/DD. Families, parents, and individual self-advocates serve as educators in a health care field that seldom focuses on more than making a diagnosis. It is a rare and important training opportunity for students at Boston University School of Medicine, Tufts Medical School, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Simmons College School of Health Sciences, and Yale University School of Nursing. Through OHC, students begin to build confidence and interest in working with individuals with I/DD and their families.

SUPPORTbrokers
SUPPORTbrokers assists persons with disabilities achieve their vision. We accomplish this through planning, education, and advocacy. Consumers or families hire a support broker to help them find appropriate services and supports to thrive in their community. Brokers can help consumers find transportation, a place to live, someone to help them with daily living skills, a job counselor, and other linkages. They also can facilitate and create a person-centered plan and help consumers apply for Social Security or health insurance, among other benefits.

Widening the Circle
Widening the Circle explores the benefits of relationships between people with and without disabilities and provides information on engaging in and sustaining those relationships. Building friendships can be especially challenging to people who have disabilities, whose relationships are often limited to family, paid staff, and others with disabilities. All people benefit from a diversity of relationships.

The Arc of Massachusetts has many dedicated teams working diligently toward our goals in advocacy, outreach, improvements in the field of healthcare, and promoting pathways to friendships between individuals with and without disabilities. Our teams include: Government Affairs, Education, Operation House Call, and Widening the Circle.

Our Government Affairs Team consists of a Director of Government Affairs, a Director of Public Policy, a Policy Officer, Advocacy Alliance Coordinators, a dedicated Steering Committee (who meet bimonthly), a Government Affairs Committee (who meet monthly), and a network of thousands of grassroots advocates across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Our Education Team consists of a Director of Outreach and Education, a Supporting Families Campaign, a Family Support Network, and a team of SUPPORTbrokers, who educate and advocate for families in need of connecting with services and supports for their loved ones with I/DD.

Our Operation House Call Team consists of a Director of Operation House Call, a secondary Program Director, two Family Coordinators, and a Co-Teacher Coordinator. We also have hundreds of volunteer families who conduct trainings and home visits with medical professionals, and robust programs at five leading medical and nursing schools within Massachusetts.

Our Widening the Circle Team consists of five Pathways Facilitators, who work with 27 agencies across the state to facilitate community inclusion and activities that foster friendship opportunities for individuals with I/DD.

The Arc of Massachusetts was founded 65 year ago in 1954. In those early days, families banded together to change policies and practices by advocating for special education, de-institutionalization, and for funding for adult supports. In 2000, The Arc sued the Department of Mental Retardation and 2,437 individuals who were in institutions because their families lacked necessary supports got the opportunity to live in their communities and receive services. In 2013-2014, The Arc played a key role in passage of four key pieces of legislation: Real Lives, Autism Omnibus bill, National Background Check and a data study of autism.

Today, The Arc works to ensure the rights of people with disabilities, obtain funding for support services, and seek the passage of good policies and laws, such as Nicky’s Law, a bill that would create a registry for care providers who have been substantiated of abuse against individuals with I/DD; the Workforce Initiative, a bill that looks to address and resolve the workforce shortage crisis within the field of direct support professionals in human services; and Operation House Call, a bill that seeks to improve access to the highest quality healthcare possible for individuals with I/DD.

Financials

The Arc of Massachusetts
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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The Arc of Massachusetts

Board of directors
as of 10/1/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Scott Borchardt

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Subhadeep Basu

Scott Borchardt

Kristin Hilf

Susan Lodemore

John Nadworny

Tracy Atkinson

Deborah Norton

Rick Daswani

Brett Bell

Janet Rico

Brian Cusack

Jean Phelps

Dan Burke

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/01/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data