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 8,000 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 Transition Services. Northeast Arc is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of individuals with disabilities, parents and siblings of people with disabilities, and business and community leaders. Programs are operated by a professional staff led by a Chief Executive Officer with 35 years of experience at the helm of the organization, and are supported by a large volunteer corps.

Northeast Arc by the Numbers

  • We have an annual operating budget of $191 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

Core Values

  • Create and foster an environment in which people of all backgrounds and abilities can communicate openly and respectfully, and learn from each other.
  • Make our services accessible (linguistically, culturally and economically) to underserved populations.
  • Maintain high standards of service through innovation and early adoption of proven practices and technology.
  • Provide an environment for employees that fosters growth, recognition, respect and open communication.
  • Support and enable staff and those we serve to explore and achieve career goals, and be recognized for their achievements.
  • Participate in mutually beneficial partnerships with local community organizations.
  • Advocate for legislation, policies and funding levels that serve to enhance the well-being of individuals with disabilities and advance the human and legal rights of people with disabilities.