CARF International announced that Habilitation Assistance Corporation has been accredited for a period of three years for its Community Integration services in Braintree, Plymouth, Pocasset and South Yarmouth. The latest accreditation is the tenth consecutive Three-Year Accreditation that the international accrediting body, CARF, has awarded to Habilitation Assistance Corporation.

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.

Habilitation Assistance Corporation is a for-profit organization with its main offices at 434 Court Street in Plymouth and access centers in Braintree, Plymouth, Pocasset and South Yarmouth. It has been providing community integration services as well as transportation, homemaker, supported living and home care services in the South Shore and Cape Cod areas of Massachusetts since 1983.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services. For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF website at

Successful Soft Opening of New Mid-Cape & Islands Access Center

On February 23rd, we celebrated our new site of our Mid-Cape and Islands Access Center in South Yarmouth with a “soft” opening from 3pm to 6pm. We welcomed our members, their family members and friends, as well as our community at large to visit us and tour the facility before the complete move-in.

Computer Area at New Site and Dinning Area

All who attended enjoyed refreshments, good conversation and an individualized tour of the new state of the art facility which includes an all new computer area with touch screen computers, physical fitness machines, large screen televisions, large dining area and plenty of room for our members to practice skills and achieve their goals and missions. Thank you all who attended, we appreciate your friendship and support! The program opened for member participation on February 27th. All of our Mid-Cape members are ecstatic about the new site!


Romeo and Juliet Wedding Event at Braintree Access Center

Have you ever thought that Romeo and Juliet could have a better ending than it did? Have you ever dreamed that love struck couple should have a “happily ever after” instead of their sad demise? Well, the Habilitation Assistance Corporation’s “B.E.A.M.” (Braintree Expressive Arts Media) Project decided that they would take a little poetic license and present a production that was happy, inspiring, and focused on a loving couple who enjoyed all that Boston has to offer. Their parents were as against the marriage as in the original plot, but they were able to see the error of their beliefs and the story ended with Romeo and Juliet tying the knot under a beautifully designed arbor near the Hatch Shell at the Esplanade in Boston. Everyone at the Braintree Access Center was involved in this very well attended rendition from the set designs of Boston and “Southie” buildings to the wardrobe (even a real wedding dress) to the script development, to the singing of songs, and the wonderful buffet luncheon served following the play (complete with a real Wedding Cake!). This production took creativity, focus, and the hard work of all of the members and the staff throughout the year.



Stars of the show included: Raymond C., Wendy J. (understudy) (our own Romeo and Juliet), Kate K. (original Juliet), Tim R., Mary Ellen B. (Romeo’s parents), Frank T. and Pat H. (Juliet’s parents), Beverly B., Kathy S. (Bridesmaids), Mark P. (Best Man), John L. (Street entertainer), Doris B and Tom S., Vinnie C. (scene/time changers) along with all of the singers for our Choir Works, Set Designers, Culinary Team, Wardrobe and Writers! A big thank you to Joe, Karlee and Erin who helped make our BEAM meetings happen, Stacy and Anita who along with all the members planned and executed lunch and dessert, Amery who with Social Connections group and several others designed and delivered all the sets, Elsie and her band of sewers for costuming, Joanne for pictures and video and Jonathon for our beautiful program. Parents, friends and family, Residential staff, many of our friends from DDS attended and enjoyed our wonderful day. And now B.E.A.M. is on to dreaming up their next artistic venture!

Mid Cape Update

One area of great success for our Mid-Cape members has been our partnership program with the ALP (Alternative Learning Program) through Barnstable High School and the Barnstable Recreation Center. Our members shared a unique opportunity for comradery, sportsmanship, and physical fitness through weekly basketball league sessions with this group at ‘the Rec Center’ (see photo).


Fortunately, the agency was allowed to reschedule the games for the Spring of 2002. From that point on, the event has been held in the Spring. Staff from all four of the HAC Access Centers, scores of volunteers and more than 200 athletes took part in the much anticipated event.


Habilitation Assistance Looking Forward to Upcoming CARF Survey


A survey team from CARF International* will be visiting on March 19, 2012 to March 21, 2012 We invited the surveyors to evaluate how well we meet international standards for quality. The survey will tell us what we are doing well and ways we might improve. As a result of this survey, we may earn or continue accreditation. As part of the survey, the surveyors will interview people who receive services, their families, our staff, and others.

Some questions the survey team members might ask people are:

• Do we provide a clean and safe setting?

• Do you receive the services you need and want?

• Are you treated with respect?

• Do you take part in planning your services?

• Are you told what you need to know about your services?

• Are your questions answered in a way you understand?

• Do you know where to go with questions or concerns?

If you would like to talk with one of the survey team members or want to learn more about CARF International, please let one of our staff members know.

You may also contact CARF International directly.

Internet: E-mail: Mail: CARF International, 6951 East Southpoint Road, Tucson, AZ 85756 Toll-free telephone:            (866) 510-2273       Fax: (520) 318-1129


Mardi Gras at Pocasset Access Center 2011

The Members at the Upper Cape Access Center studied the Mardi Gras celebration and incorporated traditional Mardi Gras culinary dishes, colors, customs and music and into their event.


The culinary group studied Cajun recipes. They learned about spices traditionally used in Cajun recipes and chose a Chicken Gumbo to prepare and served at the celebration. Decorations were crafted to adorn the program in traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, gold and purple. They learned the significance of these colors: purple representing justice; green representing faith and gold representing power. In addition, green, gold and purple beads and masks were worn in preparation for the dancing and crowning of the Mardi Gras King and Queen.


Live music included traditional Louisiana tunes such as Jole’ Blonde. Cajun styled instruments such as the rub board (a household tool used to clean clothes) was played as well as the fiddle and guitar. The live band encouraged audience participation and enthusiastic dancing with its driving Cajun rhythms.


As the energy level increased, a lively dance contest was held and the winners were crowned King and Queen of Mardi Gras.


Congratulations were given to the royal couple and the festivities came to a close with Mardi Gras cake for all.

Pocasset Holiday Program

The Pocasset program held a holiday party on November 17, 2010. Members enjoyed a lunch of ham sandwiches made by the culinary group. Following lunch, the members exchanged gifts and enjoyed live music and dancing. The tables were decorated with placemats made by the sewing group and flowers arranged by the “Flower Power” group.


Lola, our therapy dog was present for the celebration and struck a holiday pose in front of the tree in the front lobby.


21st Annual Massachusetts Special Olympics Event on Cape

On Friday, June 5, 2009, Habilitation Assistance Corporation held its 21st Annual Massachusetts Special Olympics Event at the Massachusetts Military Reservation in Bourne, MA. Prior to September 11,2001 the event was held in the Fall. After the attacks on 9/11 our event had to be postponed, as there was no civilian clearance on to the base. Fortunately, the agency was allowed to reschedule the games for the Spring of 2002. From that point on, the event has been held in the Spring. Staff from all four of the HAC Access Centers, scores of volunteers and more than 200 athletes took part in the much anticipated event.


For months before the games athletes in all the programs trained enthusiastically with the support and encouragement of their dedicated staff. The athletes competed in bowling and ball throw, which are Field events. Track events included wheelchair, walking and running races.


The final event of the day was the annual Dottie Marshall Memorial Relay Race. Dottie worked in the Braintree program for many years until she lost a valiantly fought battle with breast cancer. The race is run each year in her memory. It is always a hotly contested event and this year was no exception, but the team from Hyannis emerged victorious.

Habilitation Assistance has been working with the military personnel of Otis Air force Base for the past 15 years. From the beginning, the affiliation has been tremendously positive for us as the service men and women who volunteer always work diligently to ensure that the day is as perfect as they can make it. Each year on the day of the event representatives from several branches of the military arrive at the gym ready, willing and able to do whatever is asked of them. Setting up tables and chairs, facilitating parking, making coffee, putting up balloons, ensuring that the sound system is ready to go, helping athletes off the vans when they arrive, making sure people get to and from their events, serving lunch and awarding medals are just some of the ways that the military volunteers help out. It is hard to remember how we ever managed without them. Our volunteer crew is not only comprised of military personnel. Family members, friends, residential staff and others also gather each year to support the athletes. Their ranks continue to grow and at this event we had more than 200 volunteers.


NEW…Video of Special Olympics – Mouse over for player controls

One very special volunteer who has been with us for many years is Sandra Hicks. Again this year, Sandra was on hand to grace us all with her angelic rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’. She has become an integral part of our annual event and we are all very grateful for her generous contribution. Members of the Color Guard posted the flags before the opening parade where the athletes from each program proudly displayed their handmade Special Olympics banners. A representative from each of the programs read the Olympic oath – “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” In the center of the gymnasium 4 people representing each of the Access Centers took their positions, passed the Olympic torch and signaled the proclamation. “Let the games begin”!

Cape Elder Services Honors Habilitation Assistance

Here’s a reprint from a recent article and award from Elder Services of Cape Cod & the Islands.

“The Habilitation Assistance Corporation’s (HAC) Hyannis and Pocasset offices have been assisting and supporting the Meals on Wheels Barnstable and Bourne sites for the past seven years. Additionally, they have been volunteering for the Barnstable Senior Dining program. In Barnstable HAC volunteers wash dishes for the Senior Dining program. Some days, they bring in fresh flowers for our dining tables. They are always cheerful and willing to help out wherever needed. Other HAC volunteers maintain a schedule of delivering meals to our consumers four days a week. Drivers and the members who deliver Meals on Wheels are able to participate each day and they are always upbeat and a pleasure to have on board.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, HAC volunteers arrive at our Bourne Meals on Wheels site with happy smiles and eager to volunteer. The drivers and members pick up their coolers and head off to deliver the meals.

It is with tremendous enthusiasm, praise and thanks that we honor the Habilitation Assistance Corporation as “Volunteer of the Year”

Thank you Habilitation Assistance Corporation!

MVCS Newsletter Features a Pocasset Member

Martha’s Vineyard Community Services spotlighted Alexander Campbell, one of our members at the Pocasset Program. Recently, with the assistance of Kathi Hackett, his interest in the arts led Alex to an art class at Habilitation Assistance where he has begun to more fully explore his artistic abilities with the help of his teacher, Linda.


Alex has previously blended his artistic talents with his spiritual interest in angels when he created a line of angel cards. Read more about Alex’s story on the MVCS Newsletter, “Community View”.

Cape Citizen Advisory Board and DMR Honor Clients

More than 40 people were honored at March 20th recognition breakfast put on by the Cape and Islands Citizen Advisory Board for the state Department of Mental Retardation. In July, the DMR will be renamed the Department of Developmental Services. The theme of the event was to recognize both clients of service organizations and the people at those organizations who help the clients. “What would we do without them,” was the refrain as each individual who works in a service capacity was honored. State Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown) and Susan Rohrbach, from State Senator Robert O’Leary’s office and Ed Jalowiec, chairman of the Cape and Islands Citizen Advisory Board, attended and honored two of our own, Don DePolo & Mary Lee O’Connell. They both were featured in an article in the Friday March 27, 2009 edition of the Mashpee-Enterprise.

Don DePolo provides support for Mary Lee O’Connell of Sandwich, who is an active member with the Bourne Friends Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels among other activities. Ms O’Connell is a client of Habilitation Assistance Corporation.

Habilitation Assistance Corporation Awarded
Three-Year CARF Accreditation

Plymouth, Massachusetts – April 22, 2009 – CARF International announced that Habilitation Assistance Corporation has been accredited for a period of three years for its Community Services: Community Integration Programs. The latest accreditation is the eighth consecutive Three-Year Accreditation outcome that the international accrediting commission has awarded to Habilitation Assistance Corporation.

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the standards established by CARF. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation outcome has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable and accountable.

Habilitation Assistance Corporation is a for-profit organization with offices at 434 Court Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts. It has been providing Community Services in the Braintree, Plymouth, Pocasset and Hyannis areas since 1983.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

DMR is Changing to DDS

DMR is officially changing their name to DDS, Department of Developmental Services effective July 1, 2009. Here’s the link to the most recent press release…

Jane Sottak Recognized for Her Work with MS Client

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Central New England Chapter recognized Jane as a care manager who has made a significant impact on the life of one Home LINKS participant, shown exemplary care management skills and attention to Home LINKS protocol.


For Winter 2009, the Chapter recognizes Jane Sottak for her work with Jennifer!

Jennifer is a 25 year old woman, who was diagnosed with MS when she was 16. She lived with family but had to leave due to a domestic violence situation. With little resources at her disposal, Jennifer and her 2 year old daughter wound up staying at a homeless shelter for several months. The social worker at the shelter contacted the Home LINKS Program and requested services.

During their first meeting, Jennifer became quite upset that Jane could not solve her housing situation immediately and demanded that she leave. Only days later, Jennifer was hospitalized after becoming unconscious due to kidney stones and excessive heat. Jane followed up with Jennifer at the hospital and they started over.

Jane created a comprehensive care plan that included:
Custody: When Jennifer was hospitalized, the state took custody of her daughter. When services ended Jennifer had physical custody of her daughter and was scheduled to regain full custody soon after.
Affordable Housing: Jennifer had submitted several housing application while she was at the homeless shelter. Jennifer was found eligible for housing assistance and found an apartment in the town she preferred.
Financial support: Jennifer owed money to the utility company from her previous address. Jane helped Jennifer access financial assistance and clear up the bill.
Cooling Equipment: Jane helped Jennifer find resources for cooling equipment. Jane helped her apply to the MSAA and Jennifer received a cooling vest, pillowcase and seat pad.
Homemaker Services: Jane referred Jennifer to the MRC HCAP Program and Jennifer was approved for services. Because there is a waiting period before services could begin, Jane helped Jennifer apply to the Chapter for funds. The Chapter was able to provide financial assistance, which was helpful with Jennifer’s request to have her daughter move back home.
Medical Care: Jennifer is now being seen by Partners MS Center

Jane is being selected for her work with Jennifer, specifically

• Jane communicated frequently with the Chapter regarding her
progress with the case, changes in the client’s wishes and also for
resource information. She followed through on the care plan and was flexible when the client changed directions or new issues arose.
• Jane collaborated with the other providers who were involved
to avoid duplication of services and gather/verify information.
• Jane made appropriate referrals to community services and
followed through with the agencies to ensure services were established. She effectively advocated for the client and helped the client ommunicate with other providers.
• Jane maintained a professional, helping relationship with the client. She understood the impact of the stressful situation in the homeless shelter and continued to pursue a healthy positive relationship despite a negative first encounter. She was honest and clear about her role and that she could help with.

On behalf of the Central New England Chapter ….Congratulations Jane on a job very well done!

Content provided by the MS Society.

Plymouth Planning Committee Presents Area Art Show

The Plymouth Planning Committee is celebrating the creative talents of people who are involved in Human Services. The artwork that will be displayed is created by people with disabilities, the staff who support them, and our friends in the community.

The show will be held at the Citizens Bank, 20 North Park Ave. Plymouth, Ma. 02360 on February 9, 2009 thru March 18, 2009


A meet the artist open house will be held on: Wednesday, March 18th, 2009, from 5:00pm – 6:30pm at the Citizens Bank. If you’d like to attend the open house, Please R.S.V.P to Teri Peterson at             508 732 5729       or Liz Soares at            508 732 5732      .

Bob’s Milestones – “Twenty Five Years and Counting”

Congratulations to Robert Cleary, our program director. “Bob” would never have imagined being here for 25 years. He told us that he always does things one day at a time. (9,125 days to be exact!) “It’s been a good match for me and I’ve gotten more out of here that I’ve been able to give. I’ve watched the company grow and it’ become an integral part of my life”

“It all started with the reality of needing a job. I had a degree in physical education, but actually started wood working with members, before moving over to sports and fitness. As a physical Education instructor, I could be who I am. People here always tried to see the best in you and I like teamwork.”


Bob also kept up with his coaching for 25 years at Duxbury High School. He enjoys hanging out with his family, spending time with his wife and two sons, Val and Joe. Sports and biking are big part of their lives also.

Collaboration of the Heart Quilt Exhibited at Marshfield Fair

The members of the Upper Cape Access Center of Habilitation Assistance Corporation have made a lap quilt to be shown at the Marshfield Fair this month. The fair (August 15—24, 2008) will display the Collaboration of the Heart lap quilt at the crafts pavilion. The creation of the quilt is part of the Sharing Creative Activities Project developed by the director of the Habilitation Assistance Cape Cod programs.

The quilt project was a cooperative and collaborative effort among the day program individuals, Habilitation Assistance staff and volunteers. After program individuals originated the idea, staff brought in a husband-wife quilting team who generously donated their time and expertise, educating everyone in the art and tradition of quilting and assisting in producing the finished product.

Each member of the quilt project chose a fabric whose colors, pattern or texture held a personal meaning to him or her. The center square had meaning for Joan, the woman who chose it. Joan had cerebral palsy, and physical movement was extremely difficult and often painful for her. The fabric she chose represents a tropical scene where she imagined dipping her toes in the soothing blue water of the ocean. Her square came to hold special significance for everyone involved because Joan passed away before the quilt was completed. Her beautiful square, tucked lovingly into the center of the quilt, represents her dream and her memory to all of those who knew and cared for her.


Group quilting is an honored tradition in American quilt making that conveys the message that many hands and hearts working in unison will produce wonderful results. All of those involved in the construction of this quilt want it to be viewed as a lovely representation of the beautiful things that come from teamwork and sharing.

Eddy Family Business Donates Lift Van to Vets’ Group.

MIDDLEBORO – Earlier this year, Middleborough Veteran’s Outreach Centers Executive Director Joseph Thomas accepted a wheelchair lift van donated by Allen Eddy, and his family, businessman and owner of Habilitation Assistance Corporation.


From left are Steven Eddy, Chris Hart of the Nathan Hale Foundation, Allen Eddy, owner of Habilitation Assistance Corp., Meredith Eddy, Michael Eddy, and Joseph Thomas, executive director of the MVOC

After being approached by the Middleborough Veterans’ Outreach Center and The Nathan Hale Foundation, Mr. Eddy listened to their transportation programs for veterans and their dependents. Mr. Eddy welcomed the opportunity to lend his assistance to both organizations.

Habilitation Assistance/Access Express Offers National Safety Council “Safety Tips” Link

Sometimes a “straw” of information can save a “camel’s back”. Now, by learning more about safety, you can help save a life or prevent an injury. The National Safety Council generates this weekly service to help raise safety awareness. The Weekly tip content leans to consumer safety, rather than occupational safety, and may include advice on driving, first aid and home safety, plus timely seasonal tips. As a member of the NSC our drivers are trained with safety materials created by the NSC. We hope all our visitors and staff can make use of this feature. By clicking on the link you will be transferred to the NSC and without a return link to Habilitation Assistance.


Committee Spotlight

This month we are highlighting the agency’s Advisory Council committee. This group meets on a quarterly basis and its role is to:

  • Advise Habilitation Assistance Corporation on concerns and needs of the individuals we serve
  • Advise Habilitation Assistance Corporation on ways to better integrate our program into the life of the community
  • Assist Habilitation Assistance Corporation with marketing its programs to the community
  • Provide suggestions and assist Habilitation Assistance Corporation with any special projects
  • Review annual audit and budget in order to provide administration with feedback on the financial status of the organization
  • Establish working committees to assist Habilitation Assistance Corporation with ongoing tasks
  • Review and suggest short- and long-term goals for Habilitation Assistance Corporation
  • Advise Habilitation Assistance Corporation on community needs and suggest ways that programs may respond to community needs on an ongoing basis.
  • Assist Habilitation Assistance Corporation in identifying prospective disabled employees


Its membership includes the Executive Director of the agency, representatives from the Administrative Office and/or agency programs, representatives of program participants and/or families, and representatives from the business, financial and religious community, related service and job placement agencies, civic leaders, etc.


The following and pictured are current members of the Advisory Council: (bottom row) Chris Bell, Instructor at Mid-Cape & Islands Access Center; Ellen Dennison, program participant at Plymouth Access Center; Joan Grassi, community representative and parent of program participant; Ellen Burgio, Program Director at Braintree Access Center; (top row) Gerry Buckley, community representative Adelphia Cable Communications; Mary Little, community representative and sister of program participant; Joe Hamilton, Nursing Home Instructor at Upper Cape Access Center; Joyce Turner, community representative and parent of former program participant; Allen Eddy, Executive Director.