Our 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.

Our Core Values

Our Position Statements

Our Strategic Plan for 2021-2024

Both the Core Values and Position Statements are adopted by our organization.

Founded more than 65 years ago, The Arc of Massachusetts represents the interests of more than 200,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

We reach out to individuals with information and education, much of it through 17 chapters in local communities throughout the state, as well as through other public and private agencies. We provide information and consultation to community agencies, legislators, and municipalities.

Collectively, with all its affiliates, The Arc of the United States, was ranked by Forbes Magazine in 2010 as the country’s eighth-largest charitable organization. Our national membership helps shape federal policies that include special education, employment, housing, and health care.

The Arc of Massachusetts maintains three active programs: education and information referral; legislative and public policy; and membership support and outreach. Local chapters of The Arc work with communities, families, and individuals to advance social inclusion, education, employment, and community living.

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’ focus is full integration into the community for all activities. If you are a member of the press, we suggest you visit our media resources page.

The Arc's Accomplishments

  • Establishment and growth of community-based services
  • Legislation and funding for quality of supports, including Salary Reserves for Direct Care Staff
  • Creation of a separate state agency to address the needs of individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities
  • Passage and implementation of Chapter 766, the Massachusetts Special Education Law
  • Establishment of the Respite Care and related family support services
  • Passage and implementation of Turning 22 law/funding for students graduating from high school
  • Waiting List funding for adults who need housing, employment, or day services
  • Fair Housing legislation
  • Establishment of the Abuse Registry through the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (Nicky’s Law)
  • Supplemental Social Security and Medicaid long-term services
  • More flexible funding from Medicaid, such as the home- and community-based waiver
  • PL 94-142: The Education of All Handicapped Children Act (Federal Special Education Law)
  • Played key role in passage of ADA
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • The Developmental Disabilities Act
  • Early Intervention and Childhood programs
  • Housing Programs in HUD