Technology Forward, Report and Recommendations by the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Task Force

The Arc of Massachusetts (The Arc) and Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) announce the release of the “Technology Forward Report and Recommendations” developed by the Innovation and Technology Task Force (Task Force), a partnership with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), ADDP and The Arc.

The Technology Forward Report and Recommendations is directed to DDS Commissioner Jane Ryder to build supportive technology competency and capacity for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and autism in the Commonwealth. The Task Force Report and Recommendations can be found at www.arcmass.org/technology-forward. The Report requests the Commonwealth to commence a multi-level initiative that enhances capacity at a systemic level.

In October 2019, the Task Force initiated its first full meeting with 24 Task Force members where they identified key impact areas to focus on including Communication, Residential Demand, and Employment and Community Inclusion. Also, members focused on individuals with IDD and autism turning 22 and their families who may need additional assistance incorporating technology to plan for adult life. Despite the immense challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it illustrated supportive technology’s potential in bridging the access issues for people with disabilities. The pandemic also forced a major shift toward technology in supports and services for people with disabilities with little preparation or training – highlighting the necessity for a thoughtful and strategic approach.

The Task Force developed a Technology Forward plan to 1) Build Supportive Technology Competency & Capacity in Massachusetts and 2) Outline Recommendations to Develop a Supportive Technology Pilot Program. It also provides an update from DDS on the agency’s progress towards shaping the framework of the Technology Forward Initiative.

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 www.thearcofmass.org.

Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) represents more than 130 community-based organizations who provide services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism, as well as people with brain injuries across the Commonwealth. ADDP’s mission is to promote and ensure the strength of community-based providers so our members can be successful in improving access, quality and the value of services in the community. To learn more, visit https://www.addp.org/.

Technology Forward Report

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