Important Links

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We’ve scoured the web for resources that may help you better understand issues that affect persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities. 

Below are links to our Service, Education, Advocacy, and Program partners along with Recreation resources you may find helpful.

Service Partners

  • Massachusetts has a comprehensive system of specialized services and supports to give individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunities to live the way they choose. The Department of Developmental Services is the state agency that manages and oversees this service system. Every day, they provide these specialized services and supports to approximately 32,000 adults with intellectual disabilities and children with developmental disabilities. The types of specialized services and supports include day supports, employment supports, residential supports, family supports, respite, and transportation. They provide these services through facilities and community-based state operated programs and by contracting with 235 private provider agencies. Use this website to find DDS providers, local/regional DDS offices, plus information on DDS programs and eligibility.

    DDS Area Office: Lowell, MA
    Address: 325 Chelmsford Street, Lowell, MA 01851

    Director: Tom Marshall
    Intake Eligibility Coordinator: 978-774-5000, ext 850
    Phone: (978) 322-4300
    Fax: (978) 970-0468

  • The Office of Quality Management is responsible for coordinating the many activities the Department of Developmental Services engages in order to assure and enhance the quality of services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Specific activities include the collection of data and publication of periodic quality assurance reports, the licensure and certification of both private and public providers of services, compliance with the requirements of the Federal Home and Community Based Waiver program, oversight of the risk management and incident reporting system, and initiatives to support and enhance the quality of health care supports. The Office of Quality Enhancement (OQE) within the Office of Quality Management is responsible for the implementation of the survey and certification process. This website has a guide to the Licensure and Certification process and reports generated by the Office of Quality Management.

  • The mission of CARF is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Through responsiveness to a dynamic and diverse environment, CARF serves as a catalyst for improving the quality of life of the persons served by CARF-accredited organizations and the programs and services they provide. CARF provides accreditation services worldwide at the request of health and human service providers. Providers that meet CARF standards have demonstrated their commitment to being among the best available. Use this website to learn about CARF standards, providers, and the CARF accreditation process.

Programs and Services

  • Social Security's Representative Payment Program provides financial management for the Social Security and SSI payments of beneficiaries who are incapable of managing their Social Security or SSI payments. Generally, they look for family or friends to serve in this capacity. When friends and family are not able to serve as payee, Social Security looks for qualified organizations to be a representative payee. This site has a complete guide for individual and organizational representative payees, educational webinars, forms and more.

  • The Mass Health Program provides comprehensive health insurance—or help in paying for private health insurance—to more than one million Massachusetts children, families, seniors, and people with disabilities. Mass Health is the second largest health insurer in the state and is nationally recognized for providing high-quality care in an innovative and cost-effective manner. This website has information and publications on the Mass Health application process, regulations, eligibility, and care providers.

Education and Training

  • UMass Lowell is a comprehensive University with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers more than 14,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education. Go to this site to learn more about UML’s Sociology program, internships, and career options in human services.

  • Middlesex Community College is one of the largest community colleges in Massachusetts, with two distinct campuses, one in suburban Bedford and the other in the center of the city of Lowell. MCC has a total annual enrollment of more than 12,000 credit students and 9,000 noncredit students. Middlesex Community College is committed to providing many options to higher education. With more than 75 degree and certificate programs, as well as many short-term, highly focused programs in selected career fields, our students can take classes during the day, evening, on weekends, and online. MCC students can now complete selected bachelor’s degree programs at the college offered in conjunction with Massachusetts state colleges. Go to this website to learn more about MCC’s degree and certificate programs in Human Services and internships.


  • The DPPC was created through MA legislation (M.G.L. c.19C) in 1987 as an independent state agency responsible for the investigation and remediation of instances of abuse committed against persons with disabilities in the Commonwealth. The jurisdiction of DPPC includes adults with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 59, who are within the Commonwealth whether in state care or in a private setting and who suffer serious physical and/or emotional injury through the act and/or omission of their caregivers. Go to this website to find more about abuse training, reporting, and prevention.

  • MASS is a statewide advocacy group whose mission is to empower self-advocates through education so they make choices that improve and enrich their lives. Check this site to learn more about MASS activities and events throughout Massachusetts.

  • The ARC of Massachusetts enhances the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy of supports and services based in the community. Through advocacy and collaboration with others, The ARC of Massachusetts has helped to establish and maintain significant legislation and funding on both the state and federal levels. Go to this site for more information about how to get involved.

  • ADDP's mission is to promote and ensure the strength of the community-based provider community and its members so that members can be successful in improving the quality, access and value of community based services. To that end, the ADDP is committed to enhancing the political, financial and professional/educational health of member organizations that care for people with disabilities, including developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries, and their families. Check this website for news, events, and training opportunities.

  • The Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Inc. is a statewide association of health and human service agencies. Founded in 1975, the Providers' Council is the state's largest human service trade association and is widely recognized as the official voice of the private provider industry. Go to this site for industry news, events, and up-to date coverage on legislative issues affecting the health and human services community.

Recreation Links

There are lots of special events and activities going on in our communities each month.  Use the links below to quickly find what types of leisure activities and special events are happening each month.

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