Conversation with Department of Developmental Services about Employment

Published: April 22, 2014


Family Forum 3-19-14 003 By July 2015, Department of Developmental Services plans to phase out all center-based (sheltered) workshops. This is to encourage individuals with disabilities to work in the community.

Last month, Bridgewell staff and the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services held a discussion to learn more about community employment opportunities.


Day Services Supervisor Victoria Jasper discussed Bridgewell’s plan to adopt the Community Based Day Supports model. This model allows for a more varied and a more meaningful day.

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Additional Bridgewell staff including Career Specialist Ashley Smallwood, Program Director Judd Tomaselli and Assistant Program Director Milena Sarrette shared their experiences working with individuals in the community.Each person will have a day tailored to their needs while at the same time allowing us to still focus on employment for that person. Whether that means group employment or independent employment, we will be able to focus on that person’s wishes for how they would like to work.

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Pictured: Peter and Rachelle, who attend Bridgewell’s Boston Street Center, shared their work experiences. Peter works for Lynn’s North Shore Navigators and Rachelle works for Petco.

Local businesses interested in learning more should contact Career Specialist Ashley Smallwood at

Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts created the “Blueprint for Success,” which explains the transition to community employment opportunities.

Click here to download Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts.

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