About Us


The Northeast Arc helps people with disabilities become full participants in the community; choosing for themselves how to live, learn, work, socialize and play.

Our Story

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 approximately 9,000 people in nearly 190 cities and towns.

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. We work toward that goal by offering a wide variety of programs including Autism Services, Day Habilitation, Deaf Services, Early Intervention, Employment Services, Family Support, Personal Care Assistance, Recreation, Residential and School to Work Transition Services.We employ people with disabilities at our inclusive businesses: Breaking Grounds Café, Heritage Caning, Heritage Shredding and Shine Jewelry.

Northeast Arc by the Numbers

  • We have an annual operating budget of $200 million
  • We serve approximately 9,000 people annually
  • We serve people in nearly 190 Massachusetts cities and towns
  • We are the largest Arc in Massachusetts
  • We are the 2nd largest in the country
  • We are one of the largest employers on the north shore, with more than 500 hundred full-time employees and close to 100 part-time employees
  • We work with over 700 volunteers annually