Craig Welton, Northeast Arc’s Chief Development Officer, has been named to the Boston Business Journal’s annual “40 Under 40” list. The annual award highlights the regions best and brightest young professionals. Welton joined Northeast Arc in 2018 after spending ten years at Best Buddies International. In a Q&A with the Boston Business Journal, Welton spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on individuals with disabilities, and how that will have an effect on Northeast Arc and other human services agencies moving forward. “COVID-19 has and will negatively impact people with disabilities by making social inclusion much more challenging,” said Welton. “At no point in history has the general public better understood the feelings of loneliness and isolation that people with disabilities have historically faced and continue to face at a heightened level due to COVID. Despite the pandemic, the Northeast Arc and many others throughout the disability service sector are more committed now than ever before to ensure that the full inclusion of people with disabilities is part of our ‘new normal.'”
Northeast Arc was founded in 1954 by parents of children with developmental disabilities who wanted to raise their sons and daughters as full members of the community. By having the courage to challenge professionals who told them their children could not be educated and would not live to become adults, these parents created the systems that enabled them to attend public schools, develop friendships, reside in the neighborhoods of their choice and to earn a paycheck. Over the years, our programs have expanded to support children and adults with a broader range of disabilities, including autism and physical disabilities. Today we serve thousands of people in nearly 200 cities and towns across Massachusetts. The goal of the Northeast Arc is to ensure that children and adults with disabilities are able to live, work, engage in civic life and play in the community.