Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Since 1954, Berkshire County Arc has been providing residential services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The agency currently supports more than 125 individuals in community homes, cooperative and staffed apartments, supported living and home ownership throughout Berkshire and Hampden Counties.
Berkshire County Arc’s mission statement reads: “Berkshire County Arc is committed to assisting and supporting individuals in their quest to identify and realize their chosen lifestyles,” and our residential services reflect that mission with a passion. Berkshire County Arc is a recognized leader in providing dynamic, flexible, person-centered supports that respond to each person’s changing needs, skills, and preferences.
Individuals supported by Berkshire County Arc’s residential services enjoy full and active lives in both their homes and communities.
- In their homes, individuals actively participate in the hiring and evaluation of staff, choosing the furnishings and décor of their home, creating menu choices and meal preparation. Individuals help to select their daily routines and social and recreational activities. Staff members support and encourage individual choice and decision making.
- In their communities, Berkshire County Arc staff members encourage each individual to become as fully involved as they wish to be. Staff facilitate the identification and promotion of interests. Volunteer activities at locations such as senior center, the Humane Society, churches, fire departments, local and state police departments, and hospitals provide valuable opportunities to make a difference. Membership in local and statewide organizations, such as the YMCA, the public library, and political and advocacy organizations, enhance existing – and foster new – interests and friendships. Additionally, residents have multiple opportunities for social connection through regularly scheduled dances, men’s group, and women’s night out.
Shared Living/Placement Services
Berkshire County Arc’s vision of Shared Living begins with the wishes of the individual, their family and or guardian. Many people prefer the lifestyle, relationships and family atmosphere offered by shared living to that of a group residence or independent/supported living.
We believe that individuals thrive in a home environment that is most suited to their unique needs. What home means to each person is different and therefore the goal of Shared Living is to match an individual with a provider/family that offers mutual support and gratification.
The hope would be for the individual to enjoy living in a structured family setting while participating fully in family activities to include memberships, activities, holiday celebrations, household chores/responsibilities, vacations and more.
Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment and evaluation are both ongoing processes. Their aim is to encourage and support the overall health of each individual:
- Physical health
- Emotional/mental health
- Financial security
- Personal productivity and level of engagement
- Level of involvement in activities
In addition, Berkshire County Arc’s Residential Services incorporates Positive Behavior Support (PBS) as an evidence-based approach to helping individuals with behaviors that are barriers to reaching their goals. PBS is based on the well-researched science of Applied Behavior Analysis. A key component is understanding that behaviors occur for a reason and can be predicted by knowing what happens before and after those behaviors. PBS interventions are designed to reduce potentially negative behaviors and increase adaptive, socially appropriate behaviors.
Berkshire County Arc’s comprehensive residential services focus on the development of meaningful lives enriched with purpose, relationships, community membership, respect and dignity. Each individual is supported to take dignified risks with appropriate safeguards. Berkshire County Arc provides direct services and emergency coverage 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. Our wide-ranging services include:
- Behavior Management
- Choice and Decision Making
- Communication Development/Enhancement
- Community Integration and Participation
- Domestic Skills Training
- Estate Planning
- Hazard Awareness
- Human Sexuality
- Money Management
- Personal Hygiene and Health Maintenance
- Recreation & Leisure
- Social Skills
Berkshire County Arc also meets the needs of its senior residents, including those individuals who have chosen retirement. Berkshire County Arc offers activities that promote ongoing participation in community activities, as well as in-home therapies, medical monitoring, daily living skills and recreation.
Berkshire County Arc staff are highly trained and are knowledgeable about the individuals they support. Our staff work together as a team and embrace the agency’s mission of assisting and supporting individuals in their quest to identify and realize their chosen lifestyles. Employees establish genuine relationships with each individual, which enhance the individual’s experience and provides both emotional and instrumental support. There are extensive systems in place to ensure that staff is providing the highest level of support possible.
Vice President of Residential and Clinical Services
413-499-4241 ext. 228