Family Weekly Update: October 29, 2021

Weekly Update
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and we’re celebrating this month and all year long by empowering our student workers!
Information From Cotting School
Please join us at next week’s Cotting Parent meetings:
Cotting PTO Meeting: Thursday, November 4 at 8:30 am on Zoom
The meeting link will be sent out to all parents by email next week.
Cotting PAC Meeting: Friday, November 5 at 9 am in person at Cotting!
Save the date for an upcoming Cotting Family Support Information Session: Planning for Two Generations
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
6:00 pm on Zoom
Presented by: Alexandria Nadworny, Wealth Advisor, CFP®, CTFA
Special Needs Financial Planning
About the presentation: “Special Needs Financial Planning is planning for two generations. Many children with a disability must be supported their entire lives, even long after their parents have died. Our approach reaches beyond the limited boundaries of Wills and Trusts to provide you with a road map to address your own family’s Special Needs.
RSVP to attend this presentation by emailing Pam at pvarrin@cotting.org
Clothing Donations Needed
It’s that time of year again, when you clean out your closets to make room for the colder weather! Please keep the Cotting Medical Department in mind. We are in need of some specific clothing donations, such as elastic-waisted pants and undergarments for girls.
Any donations made would be much appreciated and put to good use!
Jake’s Good Good Good Walk is underway in October
Many of you may remember Jake, a beloved student whose time at Cotting was cut short by his death two years ago. Jake’s Good Good Good Walk celebrates Jake’s life and supports Cotting School at the same time. The “Walk” is an opportunity to just have fun during Jake’s favorite time of the year by walking, rolling, or jogging 3.22. miles or dancing for 3.22 minutes. Participants are invited to be creative! Last year’s “Walk” included people hiking, riding on horseback, and snorkeling! Please visit the website for more information about the walk and to learn more about Jake and his family and how to make a donation.
In-person events at Cotting are starting up again
Information Sessions
Cotting Parents! Do you have friends, acquaintances or folks in your community who would be interested in learning more about whether Cotting would be a good fit for their child? You can help keep our admissions strong by spreading the word about our monthly information sessions, now in-person! Visitors can tour our campus, visit our classrooms, talk to Cotting School professionals and learn about:
  • Cotting School - Day program for ages 3-22
  • HOPEhouse - Transition-focused boarding program for young adults ages 17-22
  • Extended-Year Academic Programs and Summer Enrichment Options
  • Cotting Consulting – Providing technology solutions for students in their school environments
  • All the new initiatives at Cotting School
When will information session take place?
Friday, December 3
Time: 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Place: Cotting School, 453 Concord Avenue, Lexington, MA
Cotting Conversations – SAVE THE DATE!
Learn about the Cotting School Summer Learning Institute, its focus on social and emotional learning and how the curriculum on behavior supports benefits our students and teaching staff. This event is open to the public, so please feel free to share this information, and will be followed by a short tour (including the new campus center).
When will this event take place?
Friday, November 19
Time: 9:30 am – 10:30 am (followed by an optional half-hour tour)
Place: Cotting School, 453 Concord Avenue, Lexington, MA
More information can be found here.
Check the events tab on the Cotting website home page for upcoming event information. Walk-ins are always welcome. Those who wish to RSVP or set up a private tour can contact Director of Admissions Elizabeth Russell at erussell@cotting.org or 781-862-7323 ext. 114
Community Resources & Events
Adults and Turning 22: Addressing the Services Gap
On November 1, join Arc Executive Director Leo Sarkissian for a special session on Adults and Turning 22: Addressing the Services Gap. This session will explore the continued services gap exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Why are we in this position? Do you have stories to share on what has worked? What recommendations can we make on advancing local problem-solving, solutions, and education needs regarding personal advocacy?
It will take more than one session and hard work to address this existing gap. Let’s start to develop a strategy together. Register for the November 1 session at bit.ly/LeoLives.
Prepping for an Assistive Technology Evaluation
This animated video takes an individual with a disability and their family members and staff through how to prepare for an assistive technology (AT) evaluation after receiving an AT referral. It provides simple steps to take to achieve a successful technology assessment. The script is prepared by Paul Simeone, Speech & Language Consultant, and Ellen Taverna of The Arc of Massachusetts.
The Arc’s Tech Center supplies current technology tools and resources for people with IDD and autism and their families and support staff. The information we provide on new apps, devices, and websites will be updated, as technology is always developing and improving. Visit arcmass.org/tech to learn more.
Attainable Savings Accounts (ABLE) Workshop for Massachusetts Families
Webinar, November 3rd, 2021, with Communitas of Wakefield. ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Accounts allow individuals with disabilities to save and pay for qualified disability expenses. With an Attainable Savings Plan, individuals with disabilities and their families can save for these expenses while keeping benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.
  • This webinar will discuss the basics of an ABLE account, as well as share some of the tax advantages that these accounts provide.
  • Live transcription will be available.
  • MEFA is the state sponsor for the Attainable Savings Plan (ABLE Accounts) in Massachusetts.
Register here or call (781) 587-2200 or email socialnet@communitasma.org  to register.
Arc of Massachusetts Disability Transition Conference
Virtual Conference, November 4 – 18, 2021, with the Arc of Massachusetts. For families of teens and adults ages 13-26 with special needs.The Arc of Massachusetts Disability Transition Conference webinar series will demonstrate how LifeCourse Frameworks and Tools can help you create seamless, successful transitions into the adult world for your loved ones.
This two-week virtual program will begin with:
  • A welcome from Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts
  • Kickoff with special guest Corey Ferguson from the Department of Developmental Disabilities in Ohio
This event offers 16 webinars reflecting the six domains of Charting the LifeCourse:
  • Meaningful Day and Employment
  • Safety and Security
  • Community Living
  • Social and Spirituality
  • Healthy Living
  • Advocacy and Engagement
About the Speaker:  Corey F. Ferguson, MHA, works at the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, where he focuses on supporting, educating, engaging and empowering Ohioans with developmental disabilities, and their families, in pursuing their vision of a good life. He facilitates an Ohio Community of Practice for Supporting and Empowering Families and is a Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador. His passion for his work in Ohio, and as an Ambassador, derives from his lived experience as a father of a child with significant disabilities.
Fees apply – Scholarship available
Registration is required or contact Kerry Mahoney at 781-8916270 x109 or mahoney@arcmass.org
Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc.
We provide people with developmental and intellectual disabilities recreational opportunities that celebrate each person’s unique abilities while cultivating expression, building peer relationships, and fostering self-esteem through life enhancing activities in art and music.
Many Cotting students and alumni have participated in their programs. Find out more at
Please share your own resources and suggestions with Pam at pvarrin@cotting.org
Helpful Links
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Cotting School every time you shop, at no cost to you. Just select “Cotting School, Inc.” as your charitable organization and remember to shop at smile.amazon.com! Amazon will then donate a portion of your order’s purchase price to Cotting School!
Spread the Word!
Do you know someone who would like to learn more about Cotting School? Please share the information at the links below with someone you know. Cotting School parents are our best ambassadors, and our team is available to connect with families that would like to learn more!
Follow us on social media for more photos, videos & updates!

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