Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility RELEASE: The Arc of Massachusetts Is Building Pathways to Friendships and Supporting an Inclusive Community through Local Summits - Pioneer Valley - The Arc of Massachusetts Skip to main content

SPRINGFIELD (February 27, 2024) — The Arc of Massachusetts, along with collaboration of the Department of Developmental Services, is inviting the community to join the upcoming Pioneer Valley Community Inclusion Summit as hosted by the Widening the Circle, Pathways to Friendship initiative.

The Arc of Massachusetts works to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, and their families and the Pathways to Friendship social inclusion initiative builds bridges between these people and others in their communities. Creating networks and community partnerships that provide direct opportunities for belonging and friendships between people with and without disabilities is how The Arc and Pathways advance equity and inclusion at the highest levels. This upcoming event presents a unique opportunity for community organizations to learn about disability inclusion and to advance D.E.I. goals.

The Pathways to Friendship Community Inclusion Summit will be held at the Springfield JCC located at 1160 Dickenson St. on Tuesday, April 2, from 9:30am – 2pm. Participants will learn concrete strategies and techniques for supporting inclusion within their own programs, and will have opportunities to connect with like-minded organizations. Organizations participating in the Summit include recreational, cultural, enrichment, faith based, or any community organization/business seeking to create a culture of inclusion.

The Arc of Massachusetts is thrilled to be able to give back to community organizations who want to enhance their efforts of inclusion by providing expert advice, resources, and networking opportunities through a low cost of $25.00, which includes lunch. This is an opportunity for community leaders to share, learn, and get in on the inclusive change in our communities.

Pathways to Friendship has been able offer this Community Inclusion Summit with collaboration and partnership from other local officials, organizations, and volunteers. This has been made possible from support of the West Regional Inclusion Network, The Springfield JCC, and the expertise of MERGE Inclusion Consulting and Nate Johnson of North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy.

Registration for the Pioneer Valley summit is now live at To learn more about Pathways to Friendship visit


The Arc of Massachusetts (The Arc) is a statewide advocacy organization representing 200,000 individuals with 17 chapters in the state. Its mission is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, and their families. It fulfills this through advocacy for community supports and services that foster social inclusion, self-determination, and equity across all aspects of society. To learn more, visit

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