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The Arc of Opportunity

Opportunity in North Central Massachusetts

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DESE/DDS Program

The DESE/DDS program is administered by the Department of Developmental Services with funding from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The DESE/DDS program is designed to provide supplemental supports to children and young adults determined to need services.  Services are designed to support children under 18 and their families with extensive care needs due to a significant disabling condition in their home. DESE/DDS participant children/families are prioritized and designated by DDS to participate in the program.  The DESE program offers flexibility in the delivery of services, a mechanism to pay for and deliver cost effective family support services and the provisions necessary to enable a child to remain in their home and community.

Families participating in the DESE/DDS are provided service management by a DESE Program Director at The Arc.  The Director’s role is to work in collaboration with the family and Department of Developmental Services.  This collaboration is to ensure that there is a continuum of supports provided at home, school and the community.  This is accomplished through centralized management of the family plan and budget, identifying natural supports, oversight of employees hired by the families and coordination of other governmental services such as entitlements and MassHealth.     Once accepted into the program services may continue through the child’s 22nd birthday.

Finally, The DESE Program Director will work closely with families to provide assistance in transition planning (turning 22) for your child.  There are a number of programs that we can provide information or offer assistance in arranging program tours for you and your child at The Arc.