Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service
Health: Handicapped Services
H29 Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02211
Toll Free V/TTY: 1-800-245-6543 (within Mass. only)
Ombudsperson: (617) 204-3603
The commission provides the following services for physically or mentally disabled persons with the goal of preventing institutionalization: vocational rehabilitation in the way of job placement, counseling, work evaluation, specialized training, adaptive technology, and other supplies for the disabled; employment services which provide training and support; independent living services with skills training, advocacy, community education, residential and technical assistance; homemaker/chore assistance; head injury rehabilitation services, housing, and day assistance; disability determination for SSI; medical evaluation; psychological and aptitude testing; physical restoration; and prosthetic devices. Call or visit their website for information on eligibility or to contact one of several regional offices.
Massachusetts Network of Information Providers
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center
55 Lake Avenue North S-3-301
Worcester, MA 01655
Toll Free: 1-800-642-0249 (within Mass. only)
Toll Free TTY: 1-800-764-0200 (within Mass. only)
The Massachusetts Network of Information Providers operates a free computerized resource service for people with disabilities, known as INDEX (Information on Disabilities Exchange). The project coordinates a network of several non-profit organizations that serve the disabled community to provide up-to-date information services and referrals. The network is linked to information centers across the state and provides immediate information on adult day care, skills training, summer camps, job and housing placement services, health-provider referrals and legal advice. Callers discuss their needs with an information specialist who will search the network for an appropriate service and get back to the caller as soon as possible.
H31 Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD)
Executive Office for Administration and Finance
One Ashburton Place, Room 1305
Boston, MA 02108
Toll Free V/TTY: 1-800-322-2020 (within Mass. only)
The Massachusetts Office on Disability was created in 1981 under M.G.L. Chapter 6 Section 185. The primary mission of the office is to ensure the full and equal participation of all people with disabilities in all aspects of life by working to advance legal rights, maximum opportunities, supportive services, accommodations and accessibility in a manner that fosters dignity and self-determination. It is the state advocacy agency that serves people with disabilities of all ages.
H32 Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (AAB)
Executive Office of Public Safety
One Ashburton Place, Room 1310
Boston, MA 02108
The Massachusetts Architectural Access Board is a regulatory agency within the Executive Office of Public Safety. Its legislative mandate states that it shall develop and enforce regulations designed to make public buildings accessible, functional, and safe for use by persons with disabilities. The regulations it enforces are designed to provide full and free use of buildings and facilities so that persons with disabilities may have the education, employment, living and recreational opportunities necessary to be as self-sufficient as possible and to assume full responsibilities as citizens. The authority of the AAB is triggered by any construction, renovation, remodeling, or alteration of a public building or facility, or a change in use of building from private to public. Both public and private buildings used by and open to the general public are regulated.
H33 Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC)
300 Granite Street, Suite 404
Braintree, MA 02184
Toll Free V/TTY 1-888-822-0350
This independent commission is responsible for the protection of disabled adults in state care and in private settings, and for the investigation of abuse by caretakers in those settings. Its functions include receipt of mandated and voluntary reports of suspected abuse; investigation and/or monitoring of investigations of reports, including monitoring of criminal investigations which result from commission reports; insuring that disabled persons are protected and receive protective services with their consent, if needed; conducting investigations of problems relating to abuse in the state human services system; and enforcing the provisions of MGL Ch. 19C regarding the criminal penalties for failure to report and retaliation against reporters.
H34 Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC)
Executive Office of Administration and Finance
100 Hancock Street, Suite 201
Quincy, MA 02171
This council, a federally-funded agency, is mandated to undertake systems-level planning and advocacy for better state government support and services to citizens with developmental disabilities. It identifies unmet needs, promotes better coordination of programs, serves as a permanent planning body, and plays a strong advocacy role to develop home, family, and community support programs.