News & Publications

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries about MABVI’s programs or events or subjects related to disabilities and the field of human services, including developmental disabilities, brain injury, vocational services, visual impairment, and blindness, please contact:

Paul Twitchell, Director of Communications and Marketing
ptwitchell@mabcommunity.org
617-732-0264

Publications

Explore our Annual Reports and other publications.

2022 MAB Annual report

2021 MAB Annual Report

2020 MAB Annual Report 

2019 MAB Annual Report

2018 MAB Annual Report

2017 MAB Annual Report

2016 MAB Annual Report

MABVI Brochure 2022

Ivy Street School Brochure

MAB Adult Disabilities Brochure

ABI Waiver Our Stories book

Our Stories” book (PDF)” is a collection of photos and stories of individuals with disabilities, sharing the impact of the deinstitutionalization of adults with disabilities in Massachusetts. Audio version is available here.

Recent News

Viewpoint: In tight talent market, recognition helps nonprofit worker morale
Op-Ed from Jay Lupica
Boston Business Journal
January 26, 2023

Boston Business Journal logoEvery sector of our economy has struggled to attract and retain staff during the pandemic. While large corporations and other well-funded organizations can offer signing bonuses, flexible and remote work schedules, or other perks, nonprofits that rely on donor support, especially those that provide direct care to the most vulnerable in our communities, have fewer options. Their in-person work is vital, and often very difficult. These are people to whom we’ve entrusted the 24/7 care of our loved ones, yet wages for many in these fields are on par with someone working at a grocery store

…Maxo worked for MAB Community Services, an organization that provides care for over 1,500 adults with disabilities in Massachusetts, operating in a historically undervalued industry, and one overwhelmed with staffing shortages. MAB is uniquely challenged to materialize creative solutions, in large part because the rates in their state contracts are set at $17 per hour for direct-care workers. That understanding helped form the idea of the Maxo Joseph Excellence in Direct Care Awards. I challenged MAB to raise $100,000 in new donations, and in return, the charitable gift fund would match that amount. As a testimony to Maxo and his co-workers, we quickly secured $200,000 to fund four annual award cycles.  MORE

MAB Community Services CEO Barbara Salisbury’s op-ed in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette:
Barbara Salisbury: Model of care for ABI adults 

Published Nov 22, 2022
Millions of Americans are living with the effects of an acquired brain injury (ABI) caused by infectious disease, stroke, injury, overdose, or other factors that have rendered them incapable of caring for themselves in basic ways. READ MORE…

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce & City Awake Announce 2022 Ten Outstanding Young Leaders 

Ivy Street School’s Executive Director is Named A Cityawake Outstanding Young Leader

Boston, MA – The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and City Awake are pleased to announce the 2022 Ten Outstanding Young Leaders (TOYL) honorees. The TOYL Awards are presented annually by City Awake, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s premier young professional network, that connects, engages, and celebrates next-generation leaders. The awards recognize the contributions of current and emerging young, local leaders who have demonstrated professional, personal, cultural, and civic commitments to advancing a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community, organization, and region. READ MORE…

Pilot program works with home care teams to give residents agency

Boston Globe October 21, 2022
The article “Mass. residents with disabilities file suit over living conditions: Say they are unnecessarily in nursing homes” (Metro, Oct. 13) highlights an area of social justice that demands attention. People with disabilities shouldn’t be isolated in nursing facilities, nor should they be transferred to a community setting where they continue to live as if still institutionalized. They should be given the supports they need to live in the community and have real lives. READ MORE…

Beyond special ed compliance:
Let’s honor — and stop marginalizing — disabled populations

By Brandon Cardet-Hernandez, Executive Director, Ivy Street School
For too long, special education has centered around compliance mandates set by Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). It makes sense. Measuring compliance helps ensure young people with disabilities receive the education they deserve.

But compliance is the floor. Our students deserve more than just compliance. They deserve educators, administrators, and policymakers who are aiming to break the glass ceiling in special education. As many students with disabilities will tell you, the special education experience is rarely a celebration aimed at cultivating pride and belonging. Learning as a student with a disability is often isolating and shame-filled. It is otherizing and marginalizing. We must do better. READ MORE…

Brookline’s MAB Community Services Receives $81K Grant
The grant will support a volunteer program for local caregivers, older adults, and people in the blind and low-vision community.
Brookline Patch | October 13, 2022
BROOKLINE, MA — MAB Community Services in Brookline, a Brookline nonprofit that creates opportunities for individuals with a range of disabilities, has received an $81,240 grant from The Community Care Corps, which provides much-needed non-medical assistance to older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers.

Through MAB’s Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) division, this grant will support a volunteer program for local caregivers, older adults, and people in the blind and low-vision community by improving MABVI’s volunteer retention, increasing recruitment for bilingual volunteers, and designing new consumer training for adults who are aging into vision loss. READ MORE…

Amy Ruell, Director of Social Services for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, demonstrates assistive technology devices at a peer support group in New Bedford, MA.

NEW BEDFORD — Stella Lopes became legally blind 17 years ago after being diagnosed with glaucoma. “I never go anywhere without my cane,” she said, adding she avoids crossing busy streets during her morning walks. Even so, Lopes said she has continued to maintain her independence with the support she receives from the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s New Bedford Peer Support Group. “When I first became legally blind, I wanted to be in a support group,” she said. READ MORE…

Rockland Trust provides 13m in Financing for MAB Community Services Group Homes

Rockland Trust Provides $13M to MAB Community Services to Purchase Group Homes – Connect CRE

Rockland Trust Provides Financing for Group Homes – Banker & Tradesman

Rockland Trust Provides $13 Million to MAB Community Services – Boston Real Estate Times

Rockland Trust Finances $13M to MAB for Sixteen Group Homes – The Real Reporter

The Rockland Trust story also appeared in the Westwood Minute, BisNow Morning Newsletters, MarketScreener, and Newest News Today. 

MAB Community Services Honors Direct Care Staff With $50,000 in Awards

MAB Community Services honors three Dedham-based Direct Care Staff with the Maxo Joseph Excellence in Direct Care Award – Dedham Times

Arlington woman honored for direct care work 

MAB Community Services honors Canton-based residential counselor – Canton Citizen

MAB Community Services Honors Norwood Resident Osayomwanbor Kennedy Omoruyi – Norwood Record

MAB Community Services honors Chelsea Resident Oscar Hernandez – Chelsea Record

Watertown-based Residential Counselor Honored for Work with Adults with Disabilities – Watertown News

Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired receives $45K grant from Liberty Mutual Foundation

The Massachusetts Association (MABVI) for the Blind and Visually Impaired was recently awarded a $45,000 grant from The Liberty Mutual  Foundation, which is MABVI’s largest ever grant from the Foundation. This funding will support MABVI’s services for older adults with visual disabilities throughout Greater Boston.

For the past seven years, the Liberty Mutual Foundation has invested more than $180,000 in MABVI. The Foundation’s most recent grant will help MABVI expand comprehensive vision rehabilitation services to ensure that older adults living with blindness or low vision remain healthy and independent. MABVI’s services include in-home volunteer support, access technology training, and mental health services. READ MORE…

Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Awarded Catholic Health Foundation (CHF) Grant

Brookline, MA – (July 2022) Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) announced it had received a $5,000 grant from the Catholic Health Foundation of Greater Boston to support services for older adults living with visual disabilities. More than 700 older adults with visual disabilities from throughout the Archdiocese of Boston will receive medical and support services that help them to live safe, healthy, and engaged lives in their community thanks to the support of this grant. READ MORE…

Brookline’s MAB Community Services Awarded $75k Grant

“We are very grateful for The Boston Foundation’s partnership and investment in the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired,” Barbara Salisbury, CEO of MAB Community Services, said in a statement. “This grant will allow MABVI to expand services and ensure that healthy aging supports are available to the growing number of older adults in Greater Boston who are living with a visual disability. The Boston Foundation’s deep commitment to and leadership in ensuring equity and access for individuals with disabilities is invaluable.” READ MORE…

Valley Eye Radio Interview with Jerry Feliz – YouTube

Jerry Feliz, Director of the Access Technology Program, is interviewed by Valley Eye Radio, an online station that provides accessible local news to blind and visually impaired residents of Hampden County, the Springfield area, and Northampton and Greenfield. Listen Here

MAB Community Services Announces the Election of Paul Saner to its Board of Directors

Brookline, MA (July 14, 2022) – MAB Community Services (MAB) has announced the election of Brookline resident Paul Saner to its Board of Directors. Saner recently has significant nonprofit, community, and business experience as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB). Saner was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) at the unusually young age of four and declared legally blind at thirty-six. Now totally blind, his lived experience, extensive leadership, and successful advocacy make him a uniquely qualified ambassador for Commonwealth residents with blindness and visual disabilities. READ MORE…

Brookline’s Ivy Street School Hosts Prom For Students Of All Abilities
The theme this year was “Enchanted Forest,” and the event was held in a decorated tent in the school’s backyard.

Brookline Patch | BROOKLINE, MA — Ivy Street School, a school in Brookline for neurodivergent youth, hosted a prom on June 2 for its students. During the prom, Ivy Street students had their caricatures drawn, took silly pictures with friends and teachers, worked on themed crafts, and participated in a baby animal petting zoo. According to the school, these activities provide safe and fun environments for students who find themselves less comfortable on the dance floor. READ MORE…

Brookline’s Ivy Street School designs prom thoughtfully for its neurodivergent students

GBH Morning Edition | It’s prom season for schools across Massachusetts, and this year it’s a welcome release after pandemic restrictions, national tragedies and turbulence. For students at Ivy Street School in Brookline, their enchanted forest-themed prom happening tonight is especially exciting. The small school works with a diverse community of kids and young adults who are neurodivergent.

Natasha Kaufman, the school’s director of strategic initiatives, says that for many students at Ivy Street School, prom wasn’t always a good experience for them. “Often associated with prom for our students is this feeling of not belonging,” she told Morning Edition hosts Jeremy Siegel and Paris Alston. “Here we get to take back prom for all of our students. And we get to give them an event that’s designed for them.”  READ MORE…

MABVI Receives $7,500 Grant From Community Foundation of North Central MA/Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund

Brookline, MA – (June 1, 2022) The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) has received $7,500 from the Community Foundation of North Central MA and the Nashoba Valley Healthcare fund. The purpose of the Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund and Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts is to advance the community health of residents in thirteen communities, including Ashby, Ayer, Bolton, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend, and Westford.

The grant for MABVI will support rehabilitation services for older adults with visual disabilities. Programs include MABVI’s In-home vision rehabilitation occupational therapy services, Peer Empowerment Support Groups, Volunteer Services, Mental Health disability adjustment counseling, and Access Technology training delivered directly in the region. These services support older adults as they adjust to the onset of visual disabilities and eye diseases or degenerative eye conditions. These programs assist and adapt their environment for low vision, enable people to live safely in their homes, and manage their health and wellness on their terms. READ MORE…

Franklin Senior Center Partners with Mass. Association for the Blind Low-Vision Program Welcomes Seniors from Area Towns – Norfolk/Wrentham

Norfolk Wrentham News | May 1, 2022
The Franklin Senior Center will now be working with The Mass. Association for the Blind to run its low-vision program. The program and its services are available to blind and visually impaired seniors in Franklin and surrounding towns, including Norfolk and Wrentham. It is made possible through a grant from the Greater Milford Community Health Network (CHNA-6). This same program has been established and is successful in Natick, Brookline, Worcester, Pittsfield, and Harwich.

We laid a good foundation,” said Maggie Gundersen, Social Services Coordinator at Franklin Senior Center, who has been a coordinator for The Stella Jeon Assistive Technology Center, or “Low Vision Center,” for about five years, teaching seniors with vision loss about assistive technology there to help them. “We’d taken the program as far as we could, but what I’ve come to find is that with Mass. Association for the Blind has known all along, visually impaired individuals need to learn technology. Many are resistant, which is understandable, because they didn’t grow up with it, but if they don’t learn it they will get left behind.”
In March, the Franklin Senior Center welcomed Jerry Feliz, of the Mass. Association for the Blind, who will be an active participant in the new partnership, directly working with seniors who have vision loss. READ MORE..

Dr. Temple Grandin Visits Brookline’s Ivy Street School

Brookline Patch | April 11, 2022
BROOKLINE, MA — Dr. Temple Grandin, a leading activist, author, academic, and one of the most accomplished and well-known adults with autism, recently paid a visit to Ivy Street School, a school in Brookline for neurodivergent youth. During her visit, Grandin toured Ivy Street School, conversed with students, staff, and family members, and hosted a discussion of her most recent book, Navigating Autism: 9 Mindsets for Helping Kids on the Spectrum. During her visit to Boston, Grandin also participated in a speaking event and book signing at WBUR’s Cityspace, where she spoke on the topic of “Helping Different Kinds of Minds Solve Problems.” READ MORE…

Tight job market presents opportunities to workers with cognitive or behavioral disabilities

Boston 25 News | April 7, 2022
Filling job openings can be a full-time job for many employers these days. It’s estimated two available positions exist for every person looking for a job. Those numbers are now creating opportunities for people with developmental or behavioral disabilities to gain employment. Sarah Barrett has a job stocking shelves at Polkadog in Jamaica Plain. “I like to be really organized. I don’t know what it is, but if there’s something messed up, I have to fix it.” Barrett is a student at the Ivy Street School in Brookline, which specializes in educating neurodivergent young people. Job opportunities for people with cognitive or behavioral disabilities have been historically few and far between. READ MORE…

MAB Community Services Announces the Election of The Honorable Margaret R. Guzman to Its Board of Directors

Brookline, MA – (March 25, 2022) Today, MAB Community Services (MAB) announced the election of The Honorable Margaret R. Guzman to its Board of Directors. A lifelong Worcester resident, Judge Guzman will represent the organization in Central Massachusetts, where MAB operates seven group homes primarily for adults with traumatic brain injuries and serves blind and visually impaired adults. READ MORE…

Dr. Temple Grandin To Visit Brookline’s Ivy Street School
Grandin will tour Ivy Street School, participate in a book discussion with parents, and meet with students during her visit.

Brookline Patch |  BROOKLINE, MA — Dr. Temple Grandin, a leading activist, author, academic, and one of the most accomplished and well-known adults with autism, will be in Boston and visit Ivy Street School, a school in Brookline for neurodivergent youth, on March 17 and 18.

During her visit, Grandin will tour Ivy Street School, participate in a book discussion with parents on her most recent book Navigating Autism: 9 Mindsets for Helping Kids on the Spectrum and meet with students. READ MORE…

MAB Community Services Welcomes Laura Alpert as New Chief Advancement Officer

Brookline, MA – (February 14, 2022) MAB Community Services (MAB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Laura Alpert as Chief Advancement Officer. Laura brings a wealth of 25 years of experience in development, marketing, and communications for hospitals and nonprofit organizations, including Massachusetts General Hospital, The Dimock Center, Pine Street Inn, and United Way of the Greater Capital Region in Albany, New York. She most recently served as the Vice President of Philanthropy at Boston Arts Academy Foundation.

Laura will join MAB’s senior leadership team on February 14, 2022. She will lead a six-member Advancement and Communications team that increases awareness of MAB’s mission and impact, builds relationships, and secures support from private individual and institutional donors. The Advancement department also supports “Team With A Vision,” an international team of visually impaired runners, sighted guides, and volunteers who raise funds for MAB’s statewide vision rehabilitation services. READ MORE

Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Receives $250K Grant from NextFifty Initiative

Brookline, MA – (February 15, 2022) The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) has received $250,000 from NextFifty Initiative, a Colorado-based foundation that supports efforts to improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers. This funding will allow MABVI to expand its services for older adults across Massachusetts with blindness and low vision and invest in innovative efforts such as MABVI’s Age-Friendly initiative and Access Technology Training Program.

Sassy Outwater-Wright, MABVI’s Executive Director, shared: “MABVI is incredibly proud to have been awarded a grant from NextFifty Initiative to support thousands of older adults in their journey through vision loss. Grants such as these are transformative – especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has exacerbated already-present obstacles for older adults with disabilities.” NextFifty’s investment will allow MABVI to have an even greater impact ̶ more older adults who are blind or have low vision will have the tools and resources to live healthy lives with confidence, autonomy, and increased social connectedness. Through statewide Age-friendly efforts, MABVI is also working with key state elder service agencies and five Gateway city partners to ensure that health equity and access to care is prioritized for every individual who is blind or has low vision. READ MORE

Blind people, disability advocates say, need more accessible at-home coronavirus tests

Accessible at-home tests should be a top priority during this phase of the pandemic, she said. “Not all of us have a family member who can help, especially if we’re isolating with COVID.” …READ MORE

More news coverage from 2021 and older can be found here

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The Dangerous Vision Podcast

DanImage of a street sign. Text: Dangerous Vision season 2 with Randy Cohengerous Vision explores what it would be like to be blind in a sighted world. Host Randy Cohen, a blind Harvard Business School professor and board member of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, learns how other blind people “do blind,” navigating their way over and around obstacles with white canes, guide dogs, and technology that will blow your mind.

New episodes are released every Monday and can be found online and where you find all podcasts.