Community News and Events

For information on our Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) meetings please see the link under Special Education.

Upcoming Events:

September 30, 2017
UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center is hosting a Teddy Bear Clinic at the EcoTarium on 
September 30, from 10 am - 3 pm.

Admission to the EcoTarium is free that day so everyone can attend this fun event to help children of all ages to learn about health and safety with fun and interactive booths.

The attached flyer provides additional information about the event and/or you can look at the event webpage<>.

Meg Sullivan
Coordinator, Quality & Outreach Programs
Children's Medical Center
UMass Memorial Medical Center
Office: 508-856-5255

October 4, 2017  7:00 to 9:00 PM
The Concord Recreation Department in Concord, MA is excited to be offering adaptive and inclusive recreation programs for community members with disabilities this fall! Residents and non-residents welcome. 

Classes include: 
-Intro to Sports 
-Beginners Basketball 
-Intro to Golf 
-Adaptive Tennis *scholarships available for the first 4 to register 
-Inclusive Fishing Clinic 
-Music Therapy for youth, pre-teens, teens 
-Adaptive Skiing/Snowboarding 
-Pokémon Social Skill Club 
-Inclusive Cheerleading 
-Inclusive Dance Clinic 
-And more! 

To register, please call Anna Wood at 978-287-1057 or visit the Concord Recreation Department’s website<> to learn more. 

November 4, 2017

A statewide all-day conference for parents

College of the Holy Cross, Worcester
Registration Deadline: October 27, 2017
A statewide all-day conference for families, introducing state-of-the-art, best practices around Transition, covering topics focused upon creating seamless, successful transitions into the adult world. Workshops will cover education in the school system, employment, post-secondary education, community involvement, self-determination, independent living skills, financial and legal considerations, eligibility for services and Many others!
[]Featuring: Dr Michael Wehmeyer
Director of the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas

Families are the most important support a young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, needs to become a self-determined young people. This keynote session will explore the family's role in ensuring positive transition outcomes by supporting a young person's self-determination. The session will explore what is meant by self-determination and how self-determination applies to all youth and young adults, including youth and young adults with more extensive support needs. The session will also look at the important role of the family movement in creating and sustaining the 'self-determination movement".

Michael L. Wehmeyer, Ph.D. is the Ross and Marianna Beach Distinguished Professor in Special Education and Director of the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas. Dr. Wehmeyer has written and presented extensively about issues pertaining to self-determination and the application of positive psychology to the disability context. He is a fellow and past-president of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 33 on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and past-president of the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Career Development and Transition. He recently received the American Psychological Association Distinguished Contributions to the Advancement of Disability Issues in Psychology Award and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Award. From 1990 to 1999 he was with The Arc of the United States and directed the Bill Sackter Center on Self-Determination there, and in 2013 received The Arc of the United States Distinguished Research Award.

Adaptive Sports:




NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people living with mental health conditions.
Read More....

Prior Events/News:

The Insurer said "No"- What Happens Now? Insurance Denials and Appeals.
Webinar- Thursday, April 13, 2017    noon - 1:30 PM
email to register to (

"Life Animated"- Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Fine Arts Theater, 19 Summer Street, Maynard   6:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.
This award winning documentary is about a family whose son Owen, diagnosed with autism as a child, was non-verbal until he and his family found a way to use his fascination with animated Disney films to help him communicate.  Free screening with the discussion with Ron Suskind (Owen's father).  6 - 6:45 book signing before the film
Reserve tickets 

The Discovery Museum Speaker Series:
Angela Hanscom, MOT, OTR/L
The Decline of Outdoor Play in Children- and the Rise of Sensory Issues.   Read More....

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017  Time: 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Place: The Gallery at Villageworks, 500 Mass Ave #200, West Acton, MA

Seussical the Musical
There are several accessible performances, including a sensory friendly matinee, and an ASL-interpreted performance, and an audio-described show for those who are blind or have low vision.
Read More....

Dates:   February 3-12, 2017  Time:   Various times
Place: Open Door Theater, Acton, MA

Basic Rights:
What Parents Need to Know to Navigate the Special Education Process

Whether you've been to ten IEP meetings or you think you might go to your first one in the near future, being familiar with your rights under special education law is an important step in preparing for the meeting and advocating for your child.
This parent workshop, hosted by the Federation for Children with Special Needs, will help you understand your basic rights under special education law and basic special education procedures.  You will learn more about the Team meeting process and how to effectively collaborate with your child's Team. We will also discuss dispute resolution options.
Thursday, January 12th
Time:  7:00 to 9:00 PM
Place: Nashoba Regional High School, 12 Green Road, Bolton

Jessica Minahan, M.Ed., BCBA on Srategies for Students with Anxiety -  
December 14, 2016 - Where: RJ Grey Junior High Auditorium, 16 Charter Road, Acton   Read more....

CASE Collaborative Family Community News & Resource Pages:
Check out the list of workshops, conferences, social and recreational events that are taking place throughout Massachusetts.  Read more....

Child and Adolescent NeuroDevelopment Initiative (CANDI)  

List of upcoming events by CANDI: including SPARK for Autism, Autism Insurance Resource Center meeting, Preventing, Identifying and Managing Postpartum Depression, Autism Housing, Relationship and Social Skills Training Series,PPAL's 25th Anniversary and HMEA's Holdiay Party.  Read more.....


MassHealth Coverage for ABA Therapy Update    

The Universal Access Program:  

Check out all we have to offer this summer/fall, from rowing, kayaking, canoeing and sailing, to horseback riding, cyclying and hiking.  Read more.....    

Basic Rights in Special Education- To learn more about a workshop held on this subject, please find the presentation notes attached.  Read more...

Massachusetts Family Ties 2015 Directory is now available on line.  Family TIES of Massachusetts provides a unique service for families and professionals supporting children and youth with special needs. This Directory is meant to be used only as a starting point for inquiry into community-based resources and state agencies that support families of children and youth with special needs. Click to go to the directory.  

AMC Entertainment  

AMC Entertainment in association with the Autism Society of America is brining sensory friendly films to families affected by Autism on a monthly basis. Please check out their website for information and on this program and for upcoming dates for movies.  The Boston location is in Framingham.  AMC Entertainment

SPED Child and Teen Newsletter

This newsletter lists disability services and events in Greater Massachusetts. Please click on the link above to access the newsletter.  

Special Education Surrogate Parent Program

The Special Education Surrogate Parent Program is seeking volunteers to become an important part of the Special Education Team for a child in State Custody. They are offering training session at six different locations through out the state. For more information on the program you can check out the SESPP website at    

The Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts Newsletters

Please click on the link below to view the available newsletters from The Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts

First Connections Community Newsletter

First Connections is a serivce of CASE Collaborative and Concord Family & Youth Services, a Division of Justice Resource Institute. This newsletter is a parenting resource for families with children through age three. For the most recent information please visit the website at To get to the newsletters please click on the Publcations links and then Newsletters.  

Leominster Library

Developmental Disabilities Research Validated Library Collection. This collection of library materials, housed at the Leominster Public Library contains information about research-based approaches to assist children and adults with developmental disabilities. This collection is inteded to meet the diverse needs of families, educators and others in the community in a user-friendly way.

Access Pass

The Access Pass is free for individuals with permanent disabilities. This pass provides access to and use of any Federal recreation site that charges an entrance or standard amenity fee and also provides a discount on some expanded amenity fees. For more information please click on the link to view a full explantion of the Access Pass.