The following was provided by State Senator Katherine Clark:
Among the many challenges that individuals living with developmental disabilities face is how to learn and work right in their own communities. When all children get a high-quality education in their own communities, adults get job training and support, and those living with disabilities receive high standards of care, we all benefit. Community-based programs strengthen our communities, create more opportunity for more families, and make fiscal sense too.
Achieving this requires the daily dedication of many organizations, health care providers, and volunteers across the Commonwealth. And it demands a commitment on our part to support them.
Last week I was honored to be recognized as Legislator of the Year by the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP). ADDP’s mission is to promote and ensure the strength of the provider community so they can successfully improve the quality, access and value of community-based services for individuals living with disabilities and brain injuries. I was humbled by this honor, but the success we have had is a reflection of strong partnerships with the outstanding providers who serve our district. Three prime examples are EMARC, Triangle Inc. and NuPath.
EMARC provides educational opportunities, job training and placement services, housing supports, a food pantry, recreational activities and support groups for people with developmental disabilities and their families. EMARC serves over 1,000 families per year and operates in all communities in our district. To learn more about the available programs, to volunteer, or to make a donation, please visit: http://www.theemarc.org/. Triangle Inc. is headquartered in Malden and serves over 3,000 people throughout Southern New England. Triangle’s school-to-career project helps high school students develop the skills they need to have success working for community-based businesses. To learn more see: http://www.triangle-inc.org/. NuPath, headquartered in Woburn and serving many surrounding cities and towns, also provides high-quality educational, career and health and wellness programs. You can find out how to get involved at http://nupathinc.org/.
These organizations and many like them provide outstanding services, care and educational and employment opportunities. Even more than that, they bring families together, and they help build up our communities. Through their work, these organizations, their staff members, and the many volunteers and family members who support them remind us all that people matter. Every person.
Those who live with an intellectual disability or a brain injury and who struggle to remain in their home communities to get the services they need are not merely an obligation our society bears. They are individuals who deserve our respect and our compassion. And above all: they have so much to offer us. They are valuable contributors to our businesses, our schools and our lives, and when we support them, our communities thrive.