Community Life services are services and resources available to support independent living in the community. These include programs that provide an array of services that empower individuals to live independently in the community and services that focus on secondary functional needs such as transportation services, technology and peer supports.
Adult Supported Living Services
Adult Supported Living Services is a program for people with severe physical disabilities that provides an array of services and case management to help them live in their communities. This program is available through the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.
Assistive Technology Program
Assistive Technology Program provides individuals with disabilities of all ages with devices and services that help give them control over their environment and support to achieve their goals. Technology can help people perform daily tasks, get around, and communicate more effectively. This is a program of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.
Assistive Technology for the Blind Program
Assistive Technology for the Blind Program is a program that provides people of all ages who are blind with assistive technology options to access print material, improve daily function, mobility, and communication. The Technology for the Blind Program is available through the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.
Blind Reintegration for Independence, Development, and Growth for Elders (BRIDGE) Program
Blind Reintegration for Independence, Development, and Growth for Elders (BRIDGE) Program provides independent living services to individuals aged 55 and older who are legally blind. This program is available through the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.
Children’s Services Program
Children’s Services Program assists families with children who are blind, by providing information and referrals to services and resources that can help the child reach his or her full potential. The Children’s Services Program is available through the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.
Clubhouse Services are programs that provide individuals people with mental health needs with support services to develop skills in social networking, independent living, budgeting, accessing transportation, self-care, maintaining educational goals, and securing and retaining employment. Clubhouses help people live a productive and stable life in the community. They are funded, in part, by the Department of Mental Health.
Councils on Aging (COA)
Councils on Aging (COA) the community focal point for social and support services to elders, families and caregivers in 349 cities and towns in Massachusetts. COAs offer many programs including congregate and home delivered meals. See the Massachusetts COA directory to find your local COA.
Community Health and Prevention Programs
Community Health and Prevention Programs such as chronic disease self-management programs, healthy aging programs, and health access initiatives, such as reducing health disparities and promoting the use of Community Health Workers. These programs are available through the Department of Public Health.
Deaf Blind Extended Supports
Deaf Blind Extended Supports include a wide range of services to people who are deaf blind and or legally blind with cognitive issues. The goal of the program is to enhance each person’s independence and overall quality of life. Deaf Blind Extended Supports are available through the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.
Emergency Preparedness includes training and support to individuals and health systems in preparing to support individuals with disabilities in emergency situations. Emergency Preparedness assistance is available through the Department of Public Health.
Home Modification Loan Program
Home Modification Loan Program provides no- and low- interest loans to modify the home of adults and children with disabilities, and elders to allow people to remain in their homes and live more independently. The Home Modification Loan Program is a program of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.
Independent Living Center (ILC) Services
Independent Living Center (ILC) Services include support, role modeling, and advocacy by and for persons with all types of disabilities. These services are provided by ILCs, private, nonprofit, community-based organizations run and controlled by persons with disabilities.
Independent Living Programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people (DHILS)
Independent Living Programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people (DHILS) provide peer mentoring for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, self-advocacy training, information and referral services, and trainings on topics such as assistive technology, communication skills, and how to find a job.
Independent Living Social Services
Independent Living Social Services assist individuals who are blind to become more independent and to have an improved quality of life. Independent Living services for individuals who are blind are available through the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.
Information and Referral
Information and Referral specialists can connect you to services and supports in your community. You can get help focused on your needs and interests. Services are available through the Executive Office of Elder Affairs through 800AgeInfo (1-800-243-4636); the Department of Mental Health; and through the Aging and Disability Resource Consortia (ADRC), are statewide, trusted places in the community that provide information and referral to long term services and supports to people of all ages, disabilities, and incomes.
Interpreter/CART Services provides referral services for American Sign Language, spoken English, oral, tactile and close vision interpreting for people who are Deaf and Deaf-Blind. The program also provides referrals to freelance Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) providers for real-time captioning on behalf of hard of hearing and/or late deafened individuals in a wide variety of settings such as medical, legal, mental health, employment, education and recreational situations. Interpreter and CART Referral Services are available through the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP)
Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) is a statewide association of the 24 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) operating in Massachusetts. CAAs are human service and advocacy organizations that are dedicated to fighting poverty and promoting self-sufficiency.
The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD)
The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) aims to ensure the full and equal participation of all people with disabilities in all aspects of life. MOD offers training services, advocacy on variety of disability-related issues, monitoring compliance with disability rights and additional resources such as information on government programs.
Massachusetts PCA Referral Directory
Massachusetts PCA Referral Directory is online registry for individuals who receive and provide personal care assistance. The PCA referral directory assists Massachusetts elders, residents with disabilities of all ages, their families, and parents of children with disabilities in hiring their own PCA or direct care worker. The Massachusetts referral directory is sponsored by the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Quality Home Care Workforce Council.
MassHealth Disability Accommodation Ombudsman
MassHealth Disability Accommodation Ombudsman helps MassHealth members and applicants with disabilities receive the accommodations they need for effective communication with MassHealth.
Outreach Centers for Veterans are nonprofit organizations that assist veterans and their families with a range of services such as assistance with obtaining benefits, transportation services, substance abuse counseling, and peer counseling. Outreach Centers are administered by the Department of Veterans’ Services.
Turning 22 provides transition services for young people with severe disabilities as they leave special education and transition into the adult service system. Turning 22 services are available through the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and the Department of Developmental Services.
Universal Access Program
Universal Access Program is a program of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Universal Access Program increases the accessibility of Massachusetts State Parks through site improvements, adaptive equipment, and events.
Veterans’ Service Officer (VSO)
VSOs are located in 351 municipalities across Massachusetts to help veterans and families connect with benefits. VSOs are available to anyone seeking information or assistance in the area of veterans’ benefits and services, including family members of veterans, interview applicants, determine eligibility, and administer veterans' benefits. They may be reached at their City/Town Halls, by using the VSO directory, or the VSO locator at Mass Vets Advisor.