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Arc of Massachusetts
CONTACT:217 South St.
Waltham, MA 02453
DESCRIPTION:Question: Is mental retardation a health problem, a welfare problem, or an education problem? Answer: All of the above. Imagine, then, the complexity, fragmentation, and bureaucratic sluggishness of governmental response, and the difficulties of access, when a son or daughter needs official help. Almost all people with mental retardation are cared for by their parents; but when those parents grow old or infirm, the prospects are frightening.
Arc Massachusetts was founded in 1955 by grassroots agencies across the Commonwealth who themselves needed help. Its name is acronymic for the Association for Retarded Citizens; it has 24 local chapters and 7,000 members, and represents 85,000 mentally retarded Massachusetts citizens and their families.
It has achieved several key policy objectives — waiting list, nursing home (self-determination), and partially achieved community services. Now it seeks to boost its presence across the state as well as its organizational resources.
(1997: HUMAN SERVICES: Health and Aging: Disabilities and Children's Disease)
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