Sylvia Hall of GAB-on! presents via Zoom during The Arc Tank 4.0 competition
Northeast Arc awarded $200,000 to a pair of innovative ideas that promise to positively disrupt conventional methods of providing services to persons with disabilities during its Arc Tank 4.0 competition.
The winners are:
- GAB-on! of Barrington, Rhode Island was awarded $125,000. GAB-on! is patented technology that is unique in the market with a student-led approach to parent engagement in education and beyond. GAB-on!’s innovative approach, simple design, and singular focus on the goal of getting students leading conversations with their families about school every day, empowers students and families to have more frequent, more engaged, and more powerful conversations around the dinner table, in the car, on a walk, or anywhere they have a few minutes to connect.
- The Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports of Media, Pennsylvania was awarded $75,000 for Lives-In-Progress Collaborative. Unique and disruptive, Lives-In-Progress will use the funding to create a national collective of leaders with disabilities focused on transforming self-direction; provide a national resource that allows individuals to build self-direction from the ground up; offer multiple pathways and perspectives based on real lived experience; pay dis/Abled people for their expertise and lived experience; offer fast, easy access to the various resources, programs, and supports used by others who are self-directing; and assist people who want to move out of state for college, employment, and/or personal reasons.
The two winners were among four finalists who presented their ideas to a panel of judges via Zoom. Visit Northeast Arc’s YouTube channel to watch presentations from all four Arc tank finalists.
The winning ideas received funding from the Changing Lives Fund established through a $1 million donation from Steven P. Rosenthal, founder of West Shore, LLC.
“The Arc Tank has now awarded over $850,000 to proposals that promise to break down barriers for people with disabilities who are too often marginalized, not included as equal participants in everyday life, and prevented from taking advantage of opportunities,” said Jo Ann Simons, President & CEO of Northeast Arc. “We look forward to watching our two new Arc Tank winners disrupt the status quo and make significant changes for the better for people with intellectual disabilities and autism. We cannot thank Steve Rosenthal enough for the generosity and creativity that have made these awards possible.”
Over the past four cycles of The Arc Tank, approximately 350 proposals have been submitted from across the globe and throughout the U.S. by an array of inventors, engineers, human service providers, parents, college students, and persons with disabilities.
“The Arc Tank is truly changing lives for the better for the disability community,” said Steven P. Rosenthal. “The goal of the Changing Lives Fund is to encourage the kind of creative disruption and innovation that drives entrepreneurship to help persons with intellectual disabilities and autism. I’m very happy these two worthy projects received funding and look forward to future disruptive ideas and more positive changes for years to come.”
Other proposals that did not make it to the final round but have worthy ideas went into “The Holding Tank,” where they will have the opportunity to be reviewed by other funders.
- Ralph James, Entrepreneur, higher education administrator, and philanthropist
- Matthew Kennedy, Founder, Kennedy Merchant Partners
- Shirley Leung, Columnist, Boston Globe
- Matthew Millett, Security Officer II, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services
- Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Judges received support from David Chang, an entrepreneur, active angel investor and CEO of Gradifi, Margaret Ake, moderator of Harvard Business Publishing, and Bonnie Leavitt, a Vice President on the Product Management team at EBSCO Information Services. NBC10 Boston news anchor, Raul Martinez, served as the event emcee.