Weekly Update: July 22, 2022

Weekly Update

Ms. Norregaard’s students are learning about stained glass in art and making their

own beautiful artwork inspired by the technique.

Information From Cotting School

Has Ch. 766 Made an Impact on Your Child’s Life?

July 20, 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of Chapter 766. This landmark legislation is the foundational special education law that guaranteed all students the right to an educational program best suited to their needs. Massachusetts was the first state in the nation with this kind of provision for students, and much of the Federal IDEA legislation followed the work done in the Commonwealth. While Cotting pre-dated this legislation by many years, it solidified our place in a continuum of offerings that helps students find an educational setting best suited to their unique needs.

We would love to hear from you about the impact and successes Chapter 766 has provided your family and the potential opportunity to participate in a Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools (MAAPS) special event at the Statehouse in September. If you are interested in participating or sharing with us, please contact Marketing Director Amanda Balagur at abalagur@cotting.org or 781-862-7323 x 205.

July is Disability Pride Month!


Find 11 Ways to Celebrate Disability Pride Month 2022 before July is over here!

Disability Pride Flag (New / Digital)

After the original “Lightning Bolt” Version of this flag gained visibility in 2021, it was discovered that during digital scrolling, this graphic visually triggered epileptic seizures and migraines. So, Ann Magill and several others collaborated to redesign the flag.

The colors were muted, the black was removed from between the colors, and the warm colors and cool colors were each grouped separately on either side of the white band to:

  1. lessen the chance of a flicker effect when scrolling online
  2. lessen a nausea trigger for those who suffer from migraines
  3. separate the red and green stripes for those with color blindness.

Each color band also has a slightly different luminosity and radiates from brightest at the center to darkest at the edges, so that even in grayscale, the stripes can be distinguished. More information can be found here.

Community Resources & Events
Sensory-Friendly Open Barnyard in Hingham

Hingham, MA, July 23rd, August 6th and 20th, September 3rd and 17th, 2022. This program offers a dedicated hour for families with disabilities, providing a reduced number of guests and quieter sensory friendly environment. Any family that would benefit from a limited capacity visit is welcome.

  • During the Weir River Farm Sensory-Friendly Open Barnyard series, meet ponies, llama, and potbellied pig. Interact with goats, sheep, chickens. and black and white belted Galloway cattle. On your way down to the barnyard, enjoy the StoryWalk™.
  • During this program, the barnyard is closed to the general public and headcount is limited. Pre-registration is required. Children 2 and under are free.
  • Resources available to prepare for your visit include Story Guide available online.
  • A special sensory kit and visual story guide are available in the barnyard.
  • Limited number of sensory kits and headphones available.

For more information or to purchase tickets click here or contact 781-740-7233 or weirriverfarm@thetrustees.org.

Find more summer and fall accessible outdoor activities for children and families, including properties with mobility-impaired access here.

Adaptive Sailing for Ages 6 – 18 with Visual & Mobility Impairments: Boston

Esplanade, Boston, July 6th – August 31st, 2022, with Adaptive Sports New England. Free. Sailors ages 6-18 who have a visual or mobility impairment will meet to learn the basics of sailing.

  • This free program will be located at Community Boating at the Charles River Esplanade in Boston.
  • Parents and siblings may join sailors by arrangement on a space-available basis. * Parking is 10-min walk to boathouse.

Click here for more information or contact Adaptive Sports New England, 617-690-9103


The Inside Track, A PPAL Family Mental Health Briefing

Webinar, July 26th, 2022, with the Parent Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) of Massachusetts. Our children’s mental health system had gaps and flaws before the pandemic. COVID-19 only made things worse.

  • However, there are growing efforts to make improvements in schools, insurance, crisis care and family support.
  • Get updated on new and current resources, news, legislative changes and advocacy efforts that affect youth and families.

Registration is required or contact PPAL Training, Parent/Professional Advocacy League

866-815-8122 or training@ppal.net.

Adapted Bike Evaluations

Natick, MA, July 30th, 2022, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Do you or someone you love want to try riding an adapted bike? Sign up for an adapted bike evaluation for free, with SMILE Mass.

  • SMILE Mass has teamed up with physical therapists from Boston Children’s Hospital, who will be there to measure and fit children and adults for an adapted bike.
  • Once fitted, they will be able to ride around to try it out.
  • If they fall in love with the joy of cycling, you can sign up for our Club SMILE Mass monthly membership, giving you a loaner bike to take home.
  • Limited slots available.

Click here to sign up or for more information or contact 617-967-7755 or info@smilemass.org.

Self-Directed Disability Services with the DDS

Webinar Series, August 3rd & 31st, September 14th & 28th, 2022, with the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. Join interactive discussions about expanding choices and control in your life through Self Directed Supports.


  • This is an opportunity to hear how participants and their families can design individualized services to meet their needs through the Participant Directed Program or Agency with Choice.
  • Self-Direction is a process through which an individual/family can design and direct their own services, thus providing people with more options.
  • Self-Direction gives people the opportunity to use their allotted DDS Budget to purchase supports and services that meet their needs and goals.
  • This enables the principal of self-determination to be achieved by Self-Directing Supports.
  • Agency with Choice is a way to support individuals and families to engage in self-determination.
  • The Agency with Choice Provider, agrees to hire qualified staff to provide an individual and their family with direct supports.


  • 8/3/22 – 10:00 am
  • 8/31/22 – 4:00 pm
  • 9/14/22 – 10:00 am
  • 9/28/22 – 4:00 pm

RSVPS are required to jennifer.r.benoit@mass.gov or visit www.mass.gov/dds-self-directed-services

Stay in touch!

Please share your own resources and suggestions! Send them to pvarrin@cotting.org.

Helpful Links
Family Resources Dashboard
2022-2023 School Year Calendar
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!
Cotting’s Viewbook: Cotting Forward!
Cotting Admissions Information
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