One Ashburton Place, Room 1305
Boston, MA 02108
617 727-7440 or 800 322-2020 toll free in MA (Both Voice and TTY)
Created in 1981 under M.G.L. Chapter 6 Section 185 the primary mission of the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) 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.
While MOD is a small agency with very limited resources, its output is significant. It is the designated agency to oversee and administer the Commonwealth's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is the touchstone within government for technical assistance, trouble-shooting and advice on all disability related issues. It serves as ombudsman, conscience, facilitator and critic as major changes in state policies and services emerge while resources dwindle.
The work of the Office and the commitment of the staff have been recognized by the Commonwealth by awarding four of the staff the Manuel Carballo Award for Excellence in Public Service four consecutive years, in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. These awards acknowledged the extraordinary work done by this very small agency with its very small staff.
The Office has three main components that function to fulfill its priorities: the Government Services Program, the Client Services Program, and the Community Services Program. While each program is uniquely distinct, they intersect and interact with each other in order to effectively ensure that people with disabilities are treated fairly in the Commonwealth.
The Government Services program works to ensure that Massachusetts' policies and practices are consistent with state and federal laws. This unit works with other facets of state government on behalf of the needs of people with disabilities to resolve problems before they turn to crises.
The Client Services Program is an extensive information and advocacy system for people with disabilities. Responding to over 10,000 requests a year, the program helps people, their families and friends, as well as professionals and government officials, learn about the government program that help citizens with disabilities live independently and about their civil rights. When consumers report that systems are not responsive to their individual or collective needs or that their civil rights have been violated, the Program investigates and advocates that legitimate problems be corrected. The Program also houses the federally mandated Client Assistance Program, which addresses similar information and advocacy concerns about the functioning of federally funded vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs.
The Community Services Program interacts with approximately 8,000 people per year through training and technical assistance to help ensure that people with disabilities learn of their rights and responsibilities and that state, local and private entities know how to comply with their non-discrimination responsibilities. This Unit developed and runs the nationally acclaimed and replicated Community Access Monitor (CAM) Program.