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The Office for Persons with Disabilities (OPD) provides advocacy, mediation, and resolution around basic needs, education and SPED (special education) law, ADA (American with Disabilities Act of 1990) law, and conflicts with state services for all-age persons with disabilities and their care takers. Additionally, we provide education, resources, training, and service referrals for clients with disabilities and disability issues. The OPD specializes in servicing marginalized clients with lack of services and a wide range of ages, disabilities, and functioning levels. We specialize in IEP advocacy, turning-22 advocacy, and early intervention and assessement advocacy. We also have a breadth of knowledge of the services available to you. We provide help and assistance with SSI/SSDI applications and appeals. In addition we also provide workshops in areas regarding Estate Planning for Persons with Disabilities. We also provide medical equipment in the case of emergencies. Also we do surrogacy for PCA services, occasional guardianship if needed, and for some clients, complete service coordination and case management.

One of our disability advocates is also a board member of: Spiritual Connections in Fall River; Bridges to Faith in New Bedford and Spiritual Explorations in Taunton. These programs connect individuals with developmental disabilities with a "Faith Companion" in the religious community of their choice. CSS also serves as a resource to our Parishes in providing information and ideas for inclusion of the disabled in the active life of the Parish and in assisting teachers so that individuals may be instructed for receiving the Sacraments. We also network with other Diocesan groups in getting help for disabled clients.

Our services are free of charge.

For more information contact:

Matthew Dansereau
Coordinator for the Office for Persons with Disabilities
New Bedford Office
(508) 997 - 7337

Dennis Canulla
Disabilities Advocate
Fall River Office
(508) 674 - 4681


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