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Mission Statement:

Since 1954, EMARC’s mission is to support, serve, and advocate for people with developmental disabilities and their families to ensure they are valued, respected and have the opportunity to fully participate in their communities.  EMARC is a 501c3 non-profit organization Federal i.d. #: 04-2239964


In 1954, a group of concerned parents and relatives of individuals with developmental disabilities began seeking solutions to the lack of services for their children. In October 1957, the group was incorporated as the East Middlesex Association for Children.  In 1974 it became the Association for Retarded Citizens reflecting the Agency’s provision of services to all age groups and a new focus on adult services.  Soon after, EMARC began to focus its attention on the over 22 population which, to this day, are not entitled to guaranteed services after 766 programs. 

Today, EMARC annually serves over 1,000 families from Everett, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Saugus, Stoneham, Wakefield and surrounding communities.

The following is an overview of the services EMARC provides:

Life Choices, a new program supporting adults in developing their life skills to increase independence.  This innovative new program has distinct focuses for various age groups.  Locations in Reading, Beverly and Burlington.

Residential Supports in 10 homes and five apartments staffed by EMARC and for individuals living independently.

Job Training including literacy and computer classes.

Employment Opportunities at supervised sites in the community including REI.

Job Placement services for individuals seeking competitive employment.

Food Pantry for low income adults with developmental disabilities and low income families of people with developmental disabilities.

The Center for Emerging Artists which explores and fosters the artistic talents of individuals with disabilities.  Artwork created by participants is sold through the Center, through local exhibits and at local gift shops.

School to Work Transition Services to prepare High School students to live and work independently in our communities.

Respite Care to support families caring for their sons and daughters with developmental disabilities at home.

Family Support Groups for parents and siblings of people with disabilities.

A Successful Parenting Program for parents with cognitive limitations.

Support for Seniors, a monthly education and support group for elder caregivers of people with developmental disabilities.  Guest speakers cover topics including health care coverage, depression and Social Security benefits.

Recreation Programs held independently and in cooperation with local schools and YMCAs.  Activities include integrated sports, Special Olympics training and teams, crafts, music therapy, cooking, outings and special events.

EMARC has received four consecutive certifications of Two Years with Distinction, the highest ranking given by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Disabilities.