Our Mission and HistoryOUR MISSION
Our mission is to serve children, adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in the community, utilizing a person-centered planning approach. We provide quality, flexible programs, services and supports which maximize independence, foster inclusion, promote self-advocacy and build community connections. Opportunities for Inclusion (formerly GWArc) programs are based upon self-determination, sound teaching practices and the latest technology. Opportunities for Inclusion is committed to advocacy and legislation to influence attitudes and perceptions so individuals may choose and achieve life goals.
In 1956, a group of concerned parents organized the Greater Waltham Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc. (GWArc), an all-volunteer, grass roots organization devoted to advocating for community services as alternative to institutional care for their children with developmental disabilities.
These parents not only supported each other in an era which promoted and sanctioned institutionalization, but they also organized and actually delivered community based education, work training, and clinical services for their children.
Today, we have adapted to the changing needs of our population— participants, families/guardians and residential staffing. While striving to promote independence and inclusion, we shape our services to fit the needs of those we serve. Fiscal challenges and changes in legislation provides obstacles to our services, but our committed and skilled staff continue to overcome these obstacles and provide quality care.
In 2018, GWArc was renamed to Opportunities for Inclusion. A private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we are uniquely sensitive to the level of personal support required for individuals to thrive. We have proven experience with the inclusion of all people into the community.
FUNDING and ACCREDITATION
Opportunities for Inclusion programs are funded by the Division of Medical Assistance (MassHealth), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and private fees. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accredits our Day Habilitation and Community Based Day Supports (CBDS) programs. Day Habilitation and CBDS programs are licensed by the Department of Developmental Services Survey and Certification process. We have consistently received the highest level of certification from both organizations.
Referrals are received through the Department of Developmental Services, Department of Medicaid Assistance and Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. We also accept private pay. If wait time for services occurs, future participants will be placed in the program appropriate to their needs in order of their application and acceptance to the agency.
For contact information for the above agencies, see our website www.OppsforInclusion.org, "ABOUT US, dropdown Resources". You may also contact GWArc CEO Roslynn Rubin, who can provide direct contact information for the above agencies in your area.