Weekly Update: May 5, 2023

Weekly Update

Students taking the Waypoint vocational elective learned how to fix a flat tire!

Information From Cotting School

Got Feedback? We Want to Hear It!

The Cotting School website has been going strong for a truly impressive and almost unheard of seven years. It was a huge undertaking and major collaboration for the Cotting community, but a lot has changed since 2016. The time has come for a new website, and to make it as user-friendly as possible, we need your help!

Take our survey: https://forms.gle/34xNR87Y1CDdHyU47

It only takes two minutes (or less) to fill it out!

Join us online for a brief presentation and Q&A:



Marketing director Amanda Balagur will walk you through our initial plans, proposed timing and–most importantly–collect feedback to make the new website the best it can be for parents and guardians. We look forward to seeing you there!

Questions, comments or concerns? Email Amanda at abalagur@cotting.org.

On Sale Now: 2022-2023 Yearbooks

The Cotting School yearbook includes all students, staff and events from the current academic year. If you would like to purchase a 2022-2023 yearbook ($30), please complete the form below and return it to Cotting (Attention: Mike Drew/Development Office) BY THURSDAY, MAY 18. You can leave it at the front desk with Andie, with your student’s homeroom teacher or email it to Mike (see below). Payment by cash, check or Venmo (@cotting-school) is accepted. Please note that seniors (class of 2023) receive one yearbook free of charge.

Questions? Contact Mike at mdrew@cotting.org.

Order form – English

Order form – Spanish

Order form – Chinese

You’re Invited: Spring Social

ALL Cotting parents/guardians are invited to a Spring Social on Friday, May 19, 2023 from 7-9:30 p.m. The event will take place in the Family Courtyard across campus from where the prom is being held. Chat with old friends and new while enjoying hearty appetizers and beverages. This complimentary event is open to all Cotting parents and guardians, regardless of your student’s age and whether or not they plan to attend the prom.

We hope you can join us! Click HERE to register! Reach out to Carly Churchill at cchurchill@cotting.org with questions.

Join the Prom Committee

Want to help make this year’s red carpet event-themed prom as amazing as possible? We’re looking for parent/guardian volunteers to help organize the drink station with several fun options for students to choose from and a creative way to serve them!

Open to any parent or guardian of a student at Cotting School. After setting up, we would encourage you to then go join the parent/guardian Spring Social in the Campus Center for drinks and apps.

If you are interested in joining the committee, please reach out to Marcie Garon mgaron@cotting.org or Dave Largenton dlargenton@cotting.org.

Updates from Bridget Irish

Thank you to the parents who joined our conversation about the groupings process on a beautiful Wednesday evening! You can find the slides from that event here for your reference.

Join us next month on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. via Zoom​ for the follow-up discussion about the continuity and differences between program levels. We will send a reminder email with the Zoom link closer to the event date.

A fun new partnership!

Amy Houghton, Cindy Furbish and I have been working with the design team at Saucony Kids shoe brand as they focus their expertise on creating shoes with our students in mind. We have initially invited them to spend a day at Cotting observing our students putting on and taking off their shoes while they are in OT and PT sessions. This will help them define which issues to try to solve during their shoe design process, make their sneakers easier to put on/off independently and, equally as important, make them look cool! As this project and partnership progresses, there may be additional opportunities for students and their parents to give feedback. We know how strongly our students feel about foot fashion, so I think they will love the opportunity to collaborate with the experts, but if you would prefer your student NOT be observed or participate, please just let Amy, Cindy or me know.

Questions? Please email Bridget Irish at birish@cotting.org.

Community Resources & Events
Autism Advocacy Day in Massachusetts

Boston, MA, and a Virtual Option, May 8, 2023, with Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts, 10 -11 a.m. The annual “Autism Spectrum Awareness and Acceptance Day” is hosted by Advocates For Autism (AFAM) of Massachusetts. They invite the community to hear speakers, legislators, self-advocates and more.

  • Hear from Massachusetts legislators, autism self-advocates, and families as we come together to discuss the current state of affairs and highlight priority legislative proposals that would restore and increase access to services, education, and training.
  • 2023 THEME Services And Supports Can’t Wait – Systemic Change Now.

Speakers include:

  • The Honorable Maura Healey, Governor: Autism Advocacy Day Proclamation
  • Senate President Karen Spilka presents Senator Joan Lovely the Distinguished Legislator of the Year Award

Register here or contact Kathleen Amaral at 781-891-6270, ext 110, or kamaral@afamaction.org or visit: www.afamaction.org.

Inclusive Sailing Programs for Those with Disabilities

East Boston, for all Summer 2023 classes, May 8–August 25, 2023, with Piers Park Sailing. Enrollment is now open for East Boston residents & students with disabilities.

  • All neighborhoods of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop – Enrollment opens April 1.
  • All other residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Enrollment opens May 1st.
  • Piers Park Sailing Center’s programs are inclusive and about 1/3 of participants are sailors with a cognitive or physical disability.
  • PPSC primarily serves economically disadvantaged families from East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop, other neighborhoods of Boston and Everett though some families of children with disabilities come from further away.
  • Their goal in their youth programs is to foster an environment of mentorship where children increase science literacy, improve skills in problem solving and resilience and gain confidence and esteem.
  • 100% of our staff participated in our youth programs as children.
  • PPSC strives to have a staff reflective of the community achieves this goal through programming that begins for some youth as young as 6 years old.

Click here to register or for more information or contact 617-561-6677.

A Guide to Interpersonal Communication and Conflict for Autistic Teens and Adults

May 11, 2023 at 1 p.m., presented by Courtney Lang, Ph.D., and Liana Hicks

Interpersonal communication and relationship conflicts happen to us all. In this webinar, experts Liana Hicks and Courtney Lang will discuss interpersonal communication, relationship conflicts and how to guide autistic teens or adults through them. They will also provide information on how to interact during arguments, how we can grow from arguments and misunderstandings and share additional tips, tricks and tactics to practice navigating interpersonal interactions in everyday scenarios.

Register here.

Two Free Workshops on Healthcare Transition from Boston Children’s Hospital

For caregivers of adolescents with ID who will require guardianship:

Thursday, May 11, 2023, 10-12 p.m. on Zoom

  • Overview of transition basics
  • Guardianship process
  • Professional panel
  • Patient/family experience

For caregivers of adolescents with chronic illness and/or complex healthcare needs:

Thursday, May 18, 2023, 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Zoom

  • Overview of transition basics
  • Navigating college with a chronic medical condition
  • Job searching and workplace accommodations
  • Considerations for transfer to adult medical care
  • Professional panel
  • Patient/family experience
  • Advance registration is required

Register Here

Technology for Students Who Learn Differently

Online Summer Weekly Workshops

Discover your creative potential this summer with our Weeklong Workshops! TKU’s dynamic program features a different tech topic each week.

The workshops run from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants can choose between registering for full or half-day sessions. The program is a great way to develop your skills and explore new tech in a fun and engaging environment. Youth workshops are for ages 7-13 and Teens/Young Adult workshops are for ages 14-22.


Enroll before May 15th for Early Bird Registration with a 20% discount.

Learn more.

New Series from The Arc of MA: Advocacy for MA DDS Self-Directed Services as Envisioned by the 2014 Real Lives Law

Webinar on Tuesday, May 16 at 1:30 p.m.

Your voice is needed! Join the conversation about the Massachusetts Alliance for 21st Century Disability Policy’s (MA21) advocacy for changes to the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Self-Directed Services to comply with the 2014 Real Lives Law.


Help improve regulations and waivers at DDS to increase transparency, flexibility and self-determination. Learn how to be part of organized advocacy with DDS to transform regulations, policies and guidelines to make Self-Direction more transparent and less restrictive.


Sessions are currently scheduled for the following dates and times. You can attend one or more sessions. Additional dates will be posted.

Register for Sessions Here

MA21 Real Lives Law Fact Sheet

Outdoor All-Access Evening

Saturday, May 20, 5-8 p.m.

Register Now!


Tonight, we are focused on being outdoors! Explore our accessible Discovery Woods, try out a variety of outdoor activities and take part in our Nature Connections program!


Join us during this special free evening event for families with children with disabilities. During this event, the Museum will be closed to the general public. Any family who can benefit from a limited capacity visit is welcome at this event; a medical diagnosis is not required. ASL interpretation may be available upon request. Dinner, including a gluten-free option, will be provided.

These events are free for all family members, but registration is required as space is limited. ASL interpretation may be available upon request; please indicate on the registration form if you would like interpretation.

Click here for a printable schedule.

Accessible & Adaptive Recreation Fair

Artesani Park/Herter Park, Brighton, MA, June 10th, 2023, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. With the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Universal Access Program. Free and open to the public.

2023 Vendors, Supports and Exhibitors TBA.

  • Join DCR’s Universal Access Program and many other regional adaptive recreation organizations that offer hiking, cycling, power soccer, sport kite decorating and other accessible activities.
  • Enjoy scenic views of the Charles River and social connections while signing up for disability-friendly adaptive summer programs like sailing, kayaking, canoeing, cycling, hiking and more.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Universal Access Program provides outdoor recreation in Massachusetts State Parks for all abilities.

For details or to register, contact Mary at 413-545-5760 or marcy.marchello@state.ma.us or click here.

Another “day camp” possibility: ABLE at Berklee College of Music

At Berklee, we believe that the arts better the lives of everyone. That’s why we offer the ABLE Day Sessions program for musicians with disabilities. Study your instrument in group lessons. Play or sing with other musicians in an ensemble. Experience music through drumming, singing, and music technology workshops. Learn from other musicians in clinics. Share your music in a performance with your ensemble at the end of the week.

  • Ages 9-17
  • Week 1: July 31-August 4
  • Drop-off: July 31, 8-9 a.m.
  • Week 2: August 7-August 11
  • Drop-off: August 7, 8-9 a.m.
  • Tuition: $998/week, financial aid available


Scholarship for College Student Pursuing a Career Related to Assistive Technology, OT or PT

Applicants Wanted for the Jennifer Baker Memorial Scholarship

Do you know a student interested in assistive technology (AT) and durable medical equipment (DME) reuse?

The REquipment Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program, Inc. is pleased to offer its second annual $1,000 Jennifer Baker Scholarship to help fund a student in a program related to DME/AT who also values reuse.

The scholarship was established in 2022 by the REquipment, Inc. Board of Directors to honor former Program Director Jennifer Baker. Baker died unexpectedly in January 2022 and was an Assistive Technology (AT) Professional who prized lifelong learning.

The scholarship supports a student pursuing a career related to assistive technology and durable medical equipment who values reuse to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and older adults.

The successful candidate will be enrolled in a degree or certificate program in occupational therapy, physical therapy, adaptive technology, or a similar field. Applicants residing in Massachusetts or Connecticut will be given preference, as that is where Jennifer Baker lived and worked.

The 2023-24 academic year application process closes on June 30, 2023. A one-page essay explaining why they have chosen their field of study is required.

Interested? For more information, please contact Karen Langley at klangley@dmereuse.org.

Have a great weekend!


Please share your own resources and questions with Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org.

Helpful Links
Family Resources Dashboard
2022-2023 School Year Calendar
Cotting Admissions Information
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