Easterseals Programs

Easterseals Massachusetts is a statewide, community-based organization that has been empowering people with disabilities to live full and independent lives for 75 years. Our services constantly respond to unmet needs in order to ensure that children and adults with disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work, and play.

Pre-Employment Transitional Services (Pre-ETS)

Easterseals will provide Pre-Employment Transitional Services (Pre-ETS) to students with disabilities between the ages of 14–21(up to their 22nd birthday) enrolled in the various high schools and post-secondary education/certificate training programs in the Worcester area.

Types of Support Services:

  • 5 Components and Services Offered
  • Job Exploration Counseling
  • Self-advocacy and Mentoring
  • Workplace Readiness Training
  • Counseling on Post-Secondary Education or Training Programs
  • Work Based Learning Experiences
  • Other topics included: Internet safety, handling disclosure on the job, financial management and benefit transitioning.

Interested in Easterseals? Please complete the application and submit it our SHS Special Education Office. 

College Navigator

The Easterseals College Navigator program assists students to advocate for their needs, identify barriers, and access college services and resources to successfully reach graduation. This program provides individualized services to college students with disabilities based on their goals, strengths, and needs to help them build lifelong skills. Services can de delivered in person, virtually, or through a hybrid model to best meet the student's needs. 

Youth Programs

The Youth Programs offered are as followed: Youth Leadership Network, Accessible Martial Arts, and Mentoring. Check out the link for more information!


Easterseals Contact Information: Lynn Powell, Manager of Pre-ETS program; 508-751-6387; lpowell@eastersealsma.org


MRC logo

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) is a state agency that promotes equality, empowerment and independence of individuals with disabilities. The Public Vocational Rehabilitation Program serves individuals who have disabilities and are interested in going to work.

Who is Eligible?

  • In order to be eligible, a Shrewsbury High School student with a disability must access the Pre-Employment Transition Services provided by Easter Seals at Shrewsbury High School within the four years of attendance. 
  • In addition, the student may be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services if they have a physical or mental impairment that is a large barrier to employment.

How to Apply: 

  • Referrals should be made no earlier than two years prior to graduation (typically fall of junior year).
  • Referrals can by made by the child's parent/guardian or a school personnel through the completion of the online application: MRC Connect
  • For more information on what is needed to apply, please review the following website: Am I eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation?

Types of Support Services 

  • Assessment of interests and abilities to assist in choosing a career goal
  • Assistance with determining the training program that fits the individual's needs
  • Job readiness preparation including mock interviews, resume assistance and soft skills training
  • Job placement and follow up to assure a correct job match
  • Job development and job coaching to assist with work adjustment.

Contact Information:

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC): 359 Main Street; Worcester, MA 01608

Shrewsbury Public Schools Main Contact:  Cynthia Morin, Sr. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at 508-767-9217; cynthia.morin@mass.gov


NextGen Careers

NextGen Careers is a new initiative to help young adults (ages 18-30) to explore the world of work through MRC! If you young adult is interested in a certificate program, on-the-job training, apprenticeship, or an internship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM), NextGen is right for them! 

Contact Information: 

Krista Digregorio, West District Supervisor-MRC NexGen Careers Program


Department of Developmental Services (DDS) 

The Department of Developmental Services is dedicated to creating, in partnership with others, innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate fully and meaningfully in, and contribute to, their communities as valued members.

Who is Eligible?

  • An individual must have a diagnosed intellectual disability, autism, or closely related developmental condition.
  • A developmental delay means a substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition with a high probability of resulting in a developmental disability if services are not provided.
  • An individual must demonstrate severe functional impairments as defined by law.

How To Apply

  • Referrals should be made upon the age of 17 years old. Referrals made through the Shrewsbury Public School district are part of the 688 Referral process.  Please be advised that the application to DDS is an additional step outside of the 688 Referral.
  • Referrals are generally made by school personnel but may be made by a family member, the student themselves or another professional who is familiar with the student.
  • Referrals made by the Shrewsbury Public School district will be provided by the Shrewsbury Special Education Department. Please contact your child's Special Education Team Chair for more information. 

Types of Support Services 

  • Community 24 Hour Residential Supports provide care, supervision and basic life skills and community living skills training in various residential settings.
  • State operated Residential Supports provides residential programs in specialized housing to individuals with intense support needs, most of who have been placed from DDS facilities.
  • Individual Supports include help with food shopping, cooking, banking, and housekeeping.
  • Day Supports helps individuals to build and maintain their ability to participate in community activities by focusing on important skill areas that include communication, self-care, relationship building and community involvement.
  • Employment Supports provide supervision, training, and/or transportation that enable individuals to get paid jobs.
  • Family Support Services consist of supplemental supports that help a family to care for their family member at home.
  • Respite provides short term out of home care for the individual with intellectual disability.

Contact Information: DDS Worcester Office: 324R Clark Street: Worcester, MA 01606; Tel: 508-792-6200

  • Area Director: Denise Haley, denise.haley@mass.gov
  • Assistant Area Director: Sandra Honig, sandra.honig@mass.gov


Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH)

The Department of Mental Health, as the State Mental Health Authority, assures and provides access to services and supports to meet the mental health needs of individuals of all ages, enabling them to live, work and participate in their communities. 

Who is Eligible? 

In order to be eligible for DMH services, the individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have one substantiated qualifying diagnosis
  • Daily functioning must be directly impacted by the substantiated qualifying diagnosis
  • Must have a demonstrated need for a DMH service
  • The needed service is unavailable through other means
  • DMH must have the available capacity in the needed service

Qualifying Diagnoses Include:

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder

How To Apply Please keep in mind that the chance for the Clinical Service Authorization process to be expedited will depend on the upfront availability of clinical records and the ability of the Clinical Service Authorization Specialist (CSAS) to locate and communicate with the applicant after the application has been submitted, particularly prior to hospital or other placement discharge.  The role of the referral source is key to ensure timely assistance of both.

The Ideal Request for Services Packet:

  • Sufficiently authorized service request (including Legal Guardianship Petition/Verification when appropriate)
  • Clearly documented current, intended, or last known address if homeless
  • Current attending psychiatrist's/outpatient provider's/clinical team diagnoses and clinical formulation
  • Current admission paperwork/psychosocial summary
  • Any/all psychological, competency, and neuropsychological evaluations
  • Medical summary including most recent physical
  • Substance abuse summary
  • Psychiatric hospital discharge summaries
  • Completed Authorization for Release of Information forms (ideally including all mental health service providers within the past two years)

The Process

  • "Request for Services" packet is submitted
  • Once a "Request for Services" packet is processed the Clinical Service Authorization Unit will notify the applicant
  • The CSAS may attempt to schedule a Face-to-Face interview
  • Supporting clinical records are gathered using releases
  • CSAS reviews to determine authorization
  • Decisions are made once sufficient information is received or within 90 days.

Type of Support Service:

Community Based Flexible Supports (CBFS) is the cornerstone of the Department's community mental health system. CBFS services provides rehabilitative interventions and supports in partnership with clients and their families to promote and facilitate recovery.  Services include interventions and supports that manage psychiatric symptoms in the community, restore or maintain independent living in the community, restore or maintain daily living skills, promote wellness and the management of medical conditions and assist clients to restore or maintain and use their strengths and skills to undertake employment. 

Contact Information: 

DMH Central Mass Area Office: 361 Plantation Street; Worcester, MA;  Tele: 774-420-3140

Jerry Juliano, LICSW, Area Director
361 Plantation Street
1st Floor
Worcester, MA 01605
Phone (774) 420-3140


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