Learning Center Resources
Dear Learning Center Parents and Guardians,
During this challenging time, I want to first express my hope that all of you are well. Because of the unprecedented circumstance we find ourselves in, the Learning Centers are providing educational opportunities for your children in ways that are new for all of us. It is the goal of the Learning Center program staff to do two things: First, to fully engage with you to support our families and students. This will involve ongoing contact with your child’s teacher, with supplemental support provided by your child’s team, the Learning Center Program Coordinator, and Social Worker. Second, to provide our students enriching and engaging educational activities designed to meet your child’s IEP objectives within their homes through the ClassDojo online platform, live remote learning sessions, and other educationally based sites appropriate to the specific learning needs of your child. Teachers and therapy teams will provide individualized guidance, as well as whole group activities. Below, I have included additional resources to assist you during this period of national crisis and for you to reference, as needed, in the future.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of assistance to you.
Kate Stevens, Learning Center Program Coordinator
Community Supports and Resources
Department of Developmental Services
Services for families and individuals with intellectual disabilities and children with disabilities.
Agency offers residential supports, respite care, transportation services. This is also the lead agency for initiating the process of guardianship.
Plymouth: 508-732-5700 (Additional info COVID-19)
Department of Public Health
Division for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs at MA Department of Public Health.
800-882-1435 – Support Line
617-994-9815 – Contact Division (Additional info COVID-19)
Services Offered for children/adolescents from 0-22 yrs who have chronic physical, developmental, behavioral and emotional conditions and who require health and related services beyond those required by children generally.
Care coordination services are offered as well as training and information related to resources such as Social Security and SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
Parent to parent support: Family Ties – (800-905-8437) Provides training, information regarding local and statewide resources and connection with other parents.
BAMSI – Brockton Area Multiservice Inc.
A social service agency that offers local services and support for families. Some services/information includes the following:
MA Legal Services, Educational resources school consultation, Healthcare benefits, Social Security, SSI, Food Stamps, emergency assistance for homelessness.
There is a Family Support Center that brings families together with a variety of activities throughout the year.
BAMSI’s First Program supports mobile 24/7 crisis intervention for mental health emergencies. Their home-based Team offers ongoing mental health support.
Helpline: 508-584-4357 and information re: COVID-19
Massachusetts Advocates for Children / Mass Legal Services
25 Kingston St, 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02111
617-357-8431 or ext 3237 for Spanish
This agency provides education advocacy for children 3-22, focusing on children with special needs, ELL resources, children’s mental health and the impact of trauma on learning.
This is an excellent agency with information about every aspect of children’s well-being. Currently they have an excellent COVID-19 resource page including activities for children at home, how to talk with children about COVID-19, distance learning solutions, resources for families etc.
In addition, there is information regarding legal help related to immigration, housing, food security, unemployment, and resources related to health insurance, DTA and SNAP benefits etc.
Federation for Children with Special Needs
529 Main St, Boston, MA
Their mission: Ensure all children have equal access to education, medical and community resources. Their programs include the following: Health Advocacy Center (including Mass Family Voices), Family Support Center, Special Education Parent Center, Family and Community Engagement Center and Parent Professional Leadership Center. Their website also has information re COVID-19.
The Edwin Phillips Foundation
The Edwin Phillips Foundation is a charitable trust established under the Will of Edwin Phillips. The Foundation’s focus is to assist the needs of intellectually and physically disabled children up to and including age 21 whose families are experiencing financial challenges. Funds for those eligible are available to children residing in Plymouth County, MA. Assistance may be given for prosthetic appliances, wheelchairs, beds and other forms of equipment as well as educational assistance when appropriate. An application from the Foundation must be completed to determine eligibility. Website Link: Edwin Phillips Foundation
Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic charitable organization. One of its missions is to help people with intellectual and physical disabilities. The organization has partnered with Special Olympics since its founding and assists special education teachers and school districts throughout the country. Website Link: Knights of Columbus MA Division
Health and Housing Resources
MA Housing Authority: To find housing, call the housing authority in your town.
The Massachusetts Housing Authority is made up of several local city and county branches that cover most of the population. Massachusetts has lots of programs that cover both voucher programs for housing and public housing if they’re available.
*How to Apply
To apply for state-aided public housing, you must use the Common Housing Application for Massachusetts Public Housing (CHAMP). You can apply using CHAMP either online at our CHAMP website, or in person by completing a printed paper application. Both the online and paper applications are available in English, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Khmer, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
If you have a disability, you have a right to request reasonable accommodation during the application process. To do so, please review the notice below and contact a Local Housing Authority.
*Special Needs Housing
The Special Needs Housing programs (Chapter 689 and Chapter 167) are designed to provide housing with specialized services for persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities, or physical disabilities. To be considered for this housing program the person is referred to this housing program by the agency providing the service.
Furthermore, there is a program called HomeBASE: HomeBASE | Mass.gov to help with financial assistance such as first and last month rent …. See below
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/homebaseHomeBASE is the Commonwealth’s re-housing benefit created to provide … Families enjoy the support of a case manager and may access agency … in HomeBASE should ask staff at their shelter or residential program about a referral.
HomeBASE is the Commonwealth’s re-housing benefit created to provide families who are in the emergency shelter assistance system an opportunity to overcome some of the financial barriers to ending their homelessness.
HomeBASE can provide funds for:
- first and last month’s rent and security deposit in a new home,
- a monthly stipend to help pay rent for up to one year
- travel costs
- many other expenses that would otherwise prevent a family from accessing a new home.
The amount and type of assistance is based on a family’s needs, which will be determined through an assessment.
HomeBASE additionally provides a designated stabilization worker for each family to help access community supports and offer resources to resolve issues that may arise, including tenancy-related issues. Families enjoy the support of a case manager and may access agency resources such as:
- Workforce development
- Child care
- Other support to ensure they succeed as new tenants
*Learn about Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)
The RAFT Program is a homelessness prevention program funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). RAFT provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Choose from the private health insurance of your choice OR….
In Massachusetts, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are combined into one program called MassHealth. MassHealth members may be able to get doctors visits, prescription drugs, hospital stays, and many other important services. (MassHealth/Mass.Gov)
*Customer Service Help
The Health Connector Customer Service team is dedicated to serving our members during this time. If you need help with apply for coverage, our call center remains open during normal business hours. We ask for your patience if you experience longer call wait times than usual.
Call 1-877-623-6765 (TTY: 1-877-623-7773 for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled)
*Extended Enrollment Period through May 25
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, an extended enrollment period is available through May 25, 2020 for qualified Massachusetts residents who are uninsured.
*Special Note for current MassHealth Members
As of March 18, 2020, MassHealth will protect coverage for all individuals who have Medicaid coverage and for all individuals approved for coverage during the COVID-19 outbreak national emergency and for one month after the emergency period ends. Coverage will only end if an individual requests termination of eligibility or if they are no longer resident of the state. Members will not lose coverage or have a decrease in benefits for any other reason.
For individuals who see on the screen and/or have received notices that their coverage is ending after March 18, 2020, no change in coverage will occur. These individuals do not have to send in any paperwork to keep their coverage, we will take steps to ensure their coverage does not terminate.
- https://www.yourcpf.org/ (United Cerebral Palsy)
- http://www.childrenshospital.org/centers-and-services/programs/a-_-e/center-for-communication-enhancement-program (Communication Enhancement Clinic/Boston Children’s Hospital)
- Resources for Durable Medical Equipment
Supplemental Resources to Support Your Student's Progress at Home
Virtual Field Trips: