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 (I/DD). 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, including autism, and their families.
Operation House Call has been a popular and valued course since 1991, initiated by two professors of medicine at Boston University, including a pediatric neurologist whose brother has autism. In 2011, The Arc of Mass began OHC at Tufts School of Medicine and the Simmons School of Health Sciences. Since then, we have added Yale School of Nursing, UMASS Medical School, UMASS Graduate School of Nursing, and Harvard Medical School, totaling four medical schools and three graduate nursing schools.
The Arc is grateful to our network of volunteer families. They provide the opportunity for students to have experiential learning through home visits. In Massachusetts, OHC now has 265 (and growing) volunteer families teaching over 1,200 medical professionals every year. OHC is expanding geographically and has been featured by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Arc is actively working on legislation to support the need for this important work with our medical community.