STSLogoWebSmallAre you a professional caregiver considering furthering your education? The Sean Tease Scholarship can help you do that. Last year two local caregivers earned up to $1,000 in scholarships to help pay for educational opportunities. This year’s deadline for award application with two references is Monday, November 16, with the winner to be announced in late December. Application forms are available online – SeanTeaseScholarship.wordpress.com – along with more information on criteria for applicants.

The Sean Tease Scholarship was established at Monadnock Developmental Services to recognize and acknowledge those who choose to be caregivers for people with disabilities. This scholarship honors a person in southwestern New Hampshire with special qualities who has demonstrated sustained drive to make a positive difference in the lives of the people he or she serves.

Sean Tease was 17 years old when he sustained a traumatic brain injury from an automobile accident. He spent the next five years in a specialized rehabilitation facility far from his family and friends. Finally he was able to move into his own apartment in Keene where he lived for the rest of his life, thanks to supports and services from throughout the community, and care from family and direct support staff.

Living in his own home would not have been possible except for the direct support staff who provided Sean with personal care, socialization, respect and much more under very trying circumstances. It is to Sean’s staff, and those who serve as community-based caregivers today, that this scholarship is dedicated.

Find more details, criteria, application materials, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions online at SeanTeaseScholarship.wordpress.com. You may also call 352-1304 ext. 224 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Over the past six months, MDS has been working to develop a strategic plan to take us through the next five years. A committee of eight volunteers – representing individuals, families, Board, and staff – spent countless hours identifying priorities, based on information provided from more than 600 surveys submitted by MDS stakeholders last spring. As a group, the Strategic Planning Committee crafted a vision and strategies to ensure that, going forward, our organization provides individuals with developmental and related disabilities the most effective means to live as independently as possible in their communities. The overriding vision of the strategic plan is that all people are valued and will have opportunities to reach their full potential as productive members of society. The plan was approved by the MDS Board of Directors on September 28, 2015.

Click here to view and download a copy of the plan. Copies are also available at MDS offices in Keene and Peterborough.

Step2 MCM logo

OCTOBER 8, 2015: The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced that beginning November 1, 2015, Medicaid recipients who could initially opt out of Medicaid Care Management (MCM) will be required to enroll in the program and will receive their medical care through a Managed Care Organization (MCO) health plan, with coverage beginning February 1, 2016.

Questions? Call 1-888-901-4999.

The Medicaid Care Management program is being implemented in incremental steps. Step 1 of the program began on December 1, 2013 and included the enrollment of 90 percent of the Medicaid population into the care management program for their medical care, while others were allowed to remain in the fee-for-service program. Now, most of the remaining Medicaid population in the fee-for-service program will be required to enroll, benefitting from health plan services that afford improved care coordination and wellness programs.

“The Department recognizes and acknowledges the complex needs of people now enrolling in an MCO health plan for their medical care,” said DHHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas. “We are committed to ensuring that appropriate planning has occurred for this transition and will proactively support these people during the enrollment process.”

Individuals required to enroll in MCM will receive letters from DHHS informing them about the enrollment process and selecting the health plan that is best for the client and their family. The remaining enrollment population includes: Children in Foster Care, Medicare Dual Eligibles (people who have both Medicare and Medicaid), Home Care for Children with Severe Disabilities (aka Katie Beckett Medicaid), Children with special health care needs enrolled in Special Medical Services/Partners in Health and Children with Supplemental Security Income. 

As of mid-October, DDHS says that coverage will begin February 1, 2016. Enrollment packets are being mailed in late October to those not yet signed up. You will have until December 31, 2015 to select one of the two health plans (NH Healthy Families or Well Sense). If you don't choose by then, you will be auto-enrolled.

Questions? Speak with your MDS Service Coordinator or call 1-888-901-4999.

Click here to access NH Family Voices website, with a helpful tool and explanation of Managed Care.

Click here to access the August 2015 DHHS presentation: What Case Managers and Their Clients Need to Know About Enrollment

Enrollment packets will go out in the mail sometime soon for those not yet signed up. The easiest way to sign up is through the NH Easy portal (nheasy.org).

If you have any questions, contact NH DHHS or speak with your MDS Service Coordinator right away. More details are also available on the DHHS website.

Read update on Managed Care:  NH Expands Medicaid Managed Care Contracts to Enroll Individuals with Developmental Disabilities from Open Mind Market Intelligence website.

November 12, 2013 Followup:

The Medicaid Managed Care Commissioners, responsible for oversight of the transition to Managed Care, heard from various constituencies re: Step 2 and disabilities services at the November 7th meeting in Concord. Governor Hassan attended the meeting and addressed her own involvement as a mother; NH Public Radio issued a story entitled, Managed Care Transition Puts Governor Hassan in Difficult Position (click here to read/listen). Susan Cambria, CSNI Executive Director, spoke on behalf of the Area Agencies. Here is Ms. Cambria's statement:

"Good afternoon. I am Susan Cambria, the Executive Director for Community Support Network, CSNI, the member association of the Area Agencies.

I appreciate the opportunity to speak before you today and to initiate a public dialog on Step 2 of managed care with this Commission, Governor Hassan, Commissioner Toumpas, and importantly the people with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders and their families here today. In our great state families almost exclusively care for their loved ones in their homes. The Area Agencies could not do the work they do without the support and hard work of our families.

I want to be clear ... we are not opposed to managed care. We are opposed to commercial managed care for the long term supports and services that the Area Agencies provide. There are significant concerns, at both a local and national level, about the implementation of commercial managed care for long term supports and services for those with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders.

That being said …, CSNI fully supports both Step 1 of Medicaid Managed Care and Medicaid Expansion. We believe that the individuals we support could potentially benefit from Step 1. We see significant value in better coordinating care for those we serve. We want to work collaboratively to evolve the Area Agency system and are prepared to take the lead to better integrate medical, behavioral, and long term care for those we serve.

To do this effectively, we will build on our system strengths -- a system that is ranked #2 in the country for quality care.

We delivered a progressive, savings-based plan to the Governor and Commissioner earlier this year and want to move this forward. We acknowledge that the current system must change to one that is more cost efficient and maintains high quality individualized services. Over the past year, we have worked diligently on this plan and now have an updated version to discuss.

As I stand here today with so many people united in resolve to support people with disabilities, I assure you we want to engage in a collaborative process to develop a meaningful relationship with the Governor and Commissioner, their staff and the members of this commission. We are available at any time to move this process forward, establish a productive partnership and develop a thoughtful and detailed plan that best serves the needs of our citizens and our State."

 

October 31, 2013: Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas will lay out his road map for Step 2* of the Medicaid Managed Care program to Governor Maggie Hassan and her Commission on Medicaid Care Management. This meeting will take place in Concord on Thursday, November 7 at 1:00 p.m. at the Legislative Office Building in Concord (click here for map).

Governor Hassan formed the Governor’s Commission on Medicaid Care Management in April 2013 to ensure providers and patients are protected as New Hampshire moves to a managed care model for the state’s Medicaid program.

It is hoped that at least 10 people from the Monadnock region will attend this public meeting to show support to and for the Area Agencies to the Commissioner and Governor.

If you are able to attend, or have any questions, please contact Chris Coates either via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at: 313-9002.

*Step 2 currently includes developmental disabilities services and long-term care, and is slated to begin one year from the start of Step 1 (acute health care services).

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For up-to-date information, visit the Medicaid Care Management page on the DHHS website.

Check out this very helpful instructional Tool Kit put together by NH Family Voices and DHHS.

Please contact your MDS service coordinator if you have any questions or need assistance.

Families and individuals who have received letters from DHHS for sign-up with a Medicaid Care Management (MCM) plan need to choose a Health plan soon. Help is available. Those affected are encouraged to attend a Client Information Session in Keene on October 17 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Cheshire Medical Center. RSVP to Teri Jones by Monday, October 14 at 603-271-9404 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The following overview is intended to assist you in understanding DHHS correspondence and following through with their requests.

Please note: What is presented here is strictly about New Hampshire Medicaid Care Management (MCM). This is not about the Health Marketplace/Affordable Care Act/aka Obamacare that is also being 'rolled out' at this time.

Please also note: Your long term disabilities services will continue to be paid by Medicaid in the same way. This MCM change is for acute health care services only, Step 1.

Enroll or Opt Out:

The correspondence you have received from DHHS will tell you if you are Mandatory or Voluntary. (Please note if you do not receive any correspondence, this means you are Exempt and you do not need to do anything.)

If your DHHS letter states that you are Voluntary, this means that you can either Pick a Plan or Opt Out. There are no negative consequences to Opting Out. Your medical coverage will remain the same because Medicaid will continue to cover your medical needs. However you must let them know that you wish to Opt Out if this is your choice; otherwise you will be automatically enrolled in a Managed care plan.

If your DHHS letter states that you are Mandatory, then you must pick a plan.

Pick a Plan:

First make a list of all your care providers - especially your Primary Care Physician. Go on-line to the DHHS provider directory (click here) or call the Enrollment Center 1-888-901-4999 to find out which plans your care providers have signed up with.

There are three convenient ways to Opt Out or Pick a Plan:

  • NH Easy Account at www.nheasy.nh.gov

  • Call the Enrollment Center 1-888-901-4999

  • Send In Your Choice by Mail

Many providers have signed up with all three plans. To make a decision on which plan, you should consider what the plans are offering and how their services best fit your needs. Click here for a comparison of plans provided by DHHS.

Please remember the three plans available cannot offer fewer services than you were receiving with Medicaid. This means that you can expect the same or more coverage.

Help Is Available:

If you would like to contact your Service Coordinator here at MDS, he or she can help you with this process.

For more information, visit the DHHS website where there are a number of helpful informational links for client resources, including Frequently Asked Questions for clients.

Please Be Alert!

With all the changes happening with health care coverage here in New Hampshire and nationally, scams are being reported. Please do not give out personal information over the phone to anyone who calls you saying they are from any government or insurance agency wanting you to sign up for health care coverage.

Please feel free to contact your Service Coordinator or Sandra Metivier, MDS Benefits Specialist, 352-1304 ext 290, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, at 6:30 p.m., ABLE NH will host a free screening of Restraints and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories, a new documentary by Dan Habib, Filmmaker at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. The film will be shown in Peterborough at the Unitarian Universal Church, 25 Main Street. Click here for an event flyer.

In the film, Jino Medina, Brianna Hammon, and Peyton Goddard describe the restraint and seclusion they experienced while students in public schools and the devastating physical and emotional injuries they suffered as a result. Carolyn Medina and Wil Beaudoin describe how the restraint and seclusion their children endured had an impact on them as parents.

The film (27 minutes) was produced through a partnership of the National Center on Trauma Informed Care, TASH, and the UNH Institute on Disability’s National Center on Inclusive Education. Support for this film comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

After the screening, ABLE NH will lead a discussion on the practice of seclusion and restraints, its effect on students and their families, teachers, school staff, and on the community at large.

“Many schools in our local community are shining examples of how supports can be applied without the practice of restraints or seclusion. Many schools are working toward changing their practices, and a few schools have not addressed the issue at all. Ultimately when our children are educated in a school where they feel safe and where they can learn and grow, the tax payer benefits. Students require less support, and long term care costs are reduced. Unfortunately there is much to be done to make all of our schools safe for every child.” says Linda Quintanilha, President of ABLE NH.

ABLE NH is a growing, grassroots, member-driven community organization led by people with disabilities and their families working to impact policies and institutions for the greater common good.

Update on Complaint Filed by Families against the State Regarding Step Two of Managed Care
General Information Session and Update
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
5:45-7:30 p.m.   RSVP Lurleen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 603-352-1304)

MDS Keene, 121 Railroad Street – 2nd Floor Conference Room or

MDS Peterborough, 12 Depot Square – Large Conference Room

What: The Declaratory Judgment has been filed to stop Step 2 of Medicaid Managed Care for people needing long-term disabilities services. Find out more about what that means for you at this statewide Video Conference session which brings together plaintiffs and their attorneys Thomas Quarles, Esq. and John D. Macintosh, Esq.

Who: People with developmental disabilities, their families, guardians, and Area Agencies –specifically R. Stuart Wallace and Ethan Wallace et al., Plaintiffs, v. State of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Defendants

How: Find out how this suit affects you and your loved one who has a developmental disability or acquired brain disorder.

When & Where: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 starting at 5:45 p.m. – a statewide Video Conference session for individuals and families hosted by MDS at its Keene and Peterborough offices.

For more information about the declaratory judgment, please go to www.csni.org

RSVP: Lurleen Morin – 603-352-1304 ext. 243, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Local artists and craftspeople come together to display their work for the MDS Arts & Crafts Show on Saturday, November 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Hellenic Hall at St. George’s Orthodox Church on West Street in Keene. Refreshments will be served, and those who attend will have an opportunity to meet the artists and experience their creative work.

The Arts & Crafts Show includes the work of a number of artists who live in the Monadnock region. Visitors will find artwork, photography, hand-crafted ornaments, knitted items, hand-made soaps, jewelry, note cards and much more. Stop by the Hellenic Hall on Saturday November 2 for this annual show where you can to meet the artists and their work, enjoy refreshments and do a little holiday shopping. For more information on the MDS Art Show, call 352-1304.

Families and individuals who have received letters from DHHS for sign-up with a Medicaid Care Management (MCM) plan are encouraged to attend a Client Information Session in Keene on Thursday, October 17 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Cheshire Medical Center.* Representatives from the three health plans - Well Sense, Meridian and NH Healthy Families - will be available at this session along with DHHS personnel. RSVP to Teri Jones at 603-271-9404 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Help is also available via MDS Evening Call-In Hours from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday 10/14, Wednesday 10/16, Friday 10/18, Monday 10/28, Monday, 11/4 and Wednesday 11/13. During these hours, call 603-352-1304. When prompted dial either 235 or 290 and someone will assist you. If the line is busy, leave a message and your call will be returned within one day.

NH Family Voices and DHHS have put together a Tool Kit, a suggested process for making an informed decision on Medicaid Care Management. Click here to access this Tool Kit.

Please feel free to contact your Service Coordinator or Sandra Metivier, MDS Benefits Specialist, 352-1304 ext 290, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please Be Alert!
With all the changes happening with health care coverage here in New Hampshire and nationally, scams are being reported. Please do not give out personal information over the phone to anyone who calling who say they are from any government or insurance agency wanting you to sign up for health care coverage.

*For those in the eastern Monadnock region, a Manchester session is scheduled for Friday, October 18 from 9-11 a.m. at the Manchester Health Dept, 1528 Elm St. Click here for map. RSVP per above.        

The latest statewide Bureau of Developmental Services (BDS) Employment Data Report was released in mid-September, covering the period ending June 2013. The report shows a small upward trend in the number of people employed since last reporting period, with slight overall improvement in employment outcomes for individuals supported by the developmental services system in New Hampshire.

Compared to the previous quarter, the employment rate for people with disabilities was up slightly from 35.6% to 36.2%, with the number of people employed up from 1,335 to 1,368 (33 more people working). Average hourly wages were just slightly up from last quarter from $7.93 to $7.94, but are up almost 19 cents an hour from a year ago. The average number of hours worked per week is down slightly from 9.22 to 9.16.

Among the 10 Area Agencies, MDS ranked in the top tier in average hours worked per week and average weekly earnings. Of the more than 400 adults MDS serves, as of this summer 148 between the ages of 21-64 are employed. We want to add more people to this group. Starting this year, we have added employment goals to our contract with the State of New Hampshire’s Bureau of Developmental Services. We will measure progress based on certain statistics and outcomes, and will be compared with our peer agencies.

Overall, employment outcomes for people with disabilities are improving slowly, but there is still room for improvement on both a local and statewide basis. The average number of hours worked has remained steady at nine hours per week, with the greatest number of people working five hours or less per week. If you know of an employment opportunity, please contact Heather Prieto at MDS.

The full report is filled with valuable information for those interested in employment for people with disabilities, and is available on the DHHS website (click here).

Sep 30, 2013: The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announces information sessions about NH’s Medicaid Care Management (MCM) program. The sessions are for Medicaid clients who are eligible to participate in MCM when it begins on December 1st. Enrollment materials were mailed to eligible clients earlier this month. MCM Open Enrollment (the period of time during which clients pick their health plan) is now underway in preparation of the December 1 start date.

“We are reaching out to our Medicaid clients,” said DHHS Associate Commissioner Mary Ann Cooney, “and offering these information sessions so that our clients can come and learn about MCM, how to enroll in a Health Plan, and what they can expect beginning December 1. This is an opportunity for our Medicaid clients to get their questions answered by members of our own enrollment and eligibility staff, and there will also be representatives from each of the 3 Health Plans at these meetings.”

There will be four information sessions held during October. Seating is limited so DHHS is asking anyone planning to attend to RSVP by email to Teri Jones at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling Teri at 603-271-9404. Please indicate any needs such as ASL, Large Print or alternative formats when you RSVP.

The schedule is as follows:

Session 1: October 15, 2013 - Portsmouth, NH
RSVP by October 10th

9:00 am – 11:00 am
Families First of the Seacoast, 100 Campus Road, Portsmouth, NH

Session 2: October 17, 2013 - Keene, NH
RSVP by October 14th

9:30 am – 11:30 am
Cheshire Medical Center, Court Street, Keene, NH

Session 3: October 18, 2013 - Manchester, NH
RSVP by October 15th

9:00 am – 11:00 am
Manchester Health Department
1528 Elm Street (please use back entrance)
Manchester, NH

Session 4: October 22, 2013 - Littleton, NH
RSVP by October 17th

9:00 am – 11:00 am
North Country Health Consortium
262 Cottage Street
Littleton, NH

On Sunday, October 23rd, CBS’s 60 Minutes did a segment on how people with autism whose condition prevents them from speaking are making breakthroughs with the help of tablet computers and special applications that allow them to communicate, some for the first time. Go to 60 Minutes site to see the piece.

The procurement process is underway for the state's Care Management program for Medicaid services. The  NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is now seeking proposals from Managed Care Organizations (MCO) who will be responsible for  coordinating health benefits for New Hampshire's Medicaid population. The release of the Medicaid Care Management Services Request for Proposal (RFP) follows the passage of  SB 147, legislation that requires DHHS to transition from its current Medicaid fee-for-service system to a Care Management Program. Forums and focus groups were held around the state, and an online survey was conducted to get input from stakeholders.

Bids are due back from interested companies by mid-December, with a narrowing down to two to three providers anticipated in January, and then implementation of the first phase starting in July 2012. The first phase of the conversion covers acute medical care and mental health services, with a setup similar to HMO coverage. Step two, scheduled for July 2013, will cover the more complex issues of long term care and disabilities services – including residential programs, day and vocational services, early supports and services, respite and service coordination.

Articles and comments related to this RFP release include:

Care Management RFP can be found at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/business/rfp/index.htm.

“How Will Managed Care Affect Us?”  article by Bob James, One Sky Community Services

Check back in to the MDS website for updates and information.

Income guidelines for the 2011-2012 Fuel Assistance Program (FAP) have been released by Southwestern Community Services. For those having trouble paying for heating costs, this program provides benefits on a funds-available basis to qualified households in New Hampshire to heat homes or apartments during the heating season.

The Fuel Assistance Program may be able to help in a heating emergency by securing an emergency delivery of fuel, delaying a shut-off notice, or referring clients to other sources of assistance. Fuel Assistance benefits are a grant and do not have to be paid back. Eligibility and benefits are determined by gross household income of all household members and the total energy cost of the household. For those not eligible for Fuel Assistance, Neighbor Helping Neighbor may be able to assist. Details on these guidelines are available on the SCS website: http://www.scshelps.org/energyassistance.htm#Fuel.

The Fuel Assistance Program is administered in Cheshire and Sullivan counties by Southwestern Community Services at 1-800-529-0005. For Hillsborough County, contact Southern New Hampshire Services at 1-800-322-1073.

You may also call your MDS Service Coordinator for more information and assistance.

billkoonswebThe nature photographs of William A. Koons will be on display at the Harris Center in Hancock, NH from October 25th to November 21st. An opening reception on Saturday, October 29th from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. will give visitors a chance to meet the photographer and experience his creative work. Ongoing exhibit hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A portion of all sales will benefit the Harris Center.

William A. Koons was born in Newburyport, MA, but he has lived in the Monadnock Region for the past three decades. He has been taking photographs since childhood, recording people, events and the natural world around him.

Currently living in Keene, Bill enjoys the many amenities that the city provides. However, when Bill ventures out into the quiet corners of New England, whether on a hiking trail or country road, his love for “nature” comes alive. His photography skills enable him to capture and explore the natural world around him; with his artistic vision he sometimes portray them in a mysterious and unusual way.

Bill enjoys all four of New England’s seasons with frequent hikes at nearby Goose Pond, Robin Hood and Ashuelot River Parks. With his affinity for birds, many a great blue heron has crossed his path.

With a deep concern over the loss of natural spaces to man’s development, it is very fitting that Bill’s premier photo exhibit is at the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock. The exhibit will feature more than two dozen of his nature photographs, taken the past few years in the greater tri-state area. In addition there will also be a selection of his new "nature cards" for sale. For more information, contact Jeff Saari at 603-352-1304, extension 274.

Listen to a podcast of the 9/29/2010 discussion on NHPR's The Exchange about the Laconia State School. Laura Knoy welcomes filmmakers Gordon DuBois and Bil Rogers for a discussion of the new film Lost in Laconia, and takes listeners' calls on the subject.

lol_posterThe new documentary film, Lost in Laconia, Looking Back to Understand the Road Ahead, will have its Monadnock region premiere at the Peterborough Community Theater on Monday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m. with an additional showing on November 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Keene State College Alumni Center. This landmark film traces the history of the Laconia State School from its beginnings as the New Hampshire School for the Feebleminded until it closed in 1991. Sponsored in part by Monadnock Developmental Services, these showings are free and open to the public, with a discussion following.

Alan Greene, Executive Director of Monadnock Developmental Services, comments: “It’s hard to imagine that only 25 years ago an institution like the Laconia State School existed. There are people living in our area, people you and I see on a regular basis, who spent some part of their lives at the Laconia State School. Their stories are now being told, thanks in part to this film. We think their lives are much improved because they’ve come back to live fuller lives in their communities.”

Greene continues: “We’ve come a long way from that era…but there’s still much to be done, on a daily basis, to be sure that people with developmental disabilities are included in the communities in which they live.”

Concord film maker Bil Rogers of 1LMedia teamed up with Gordon DuBois, Laconia State School historian, to produce this film which follows the history of the Laconia State School from its initial beginnings in 1901 as the New HampshireSchool for the Feeblemindeduntil it closed in 1991. January 2011 will mark the 20 year anniversary of the closing of the institution.

Using archival footage, interviews with former residents of the institution, families of former residents, and people who worked at the institution, along with an extensive collection of photos, state documents and newspaper articles, this documentary examines the social values and cultural ideals of the twentieth century.

In 1903 58 children living in almshouses throughout New Hampshire were admitted to the New Hampshire School for the Feebleminded. This was during a time when certain individuals and entire families were stigmatized as “feebleminded”. They were considered a danger to society and sentenced to a life of isolation and total segregation in the name of creating a better society, safe from the presumed dangers posed by this segment of the population. Over the course of the next 80 years, thousands of New Hampshire citizens, children and adults, were segregated and isolated in this large state operated institution, often rejected by family, friends and the community. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the role of the institution was questioned and in the 1980s an array of community services was established to serve individuals with developmental disabilities.

In 2008, the idea of making a documentary film about the Laconia State School was born through the inspiration of participants in the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability-Family Leadership Program. Mr. DuBois was inspired by their vision and the project commenced under the auspices of the Community Support Network, Inc. of Concord. The film was produced through funds contributed by many organizations and citizens throughout the state. The film is dedicated to Ms. Frieda Smith, a tireless advocate for people with disabilities.

For information on the November film showing, call David Yeiter at 603-313-3041 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about the film and the Laconia State School History Project go to www.csni.org.

The Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions (MCST) and Monadnock Developmental Services (MDS) have been awarded a grant through the Monadnock United Way from the Citizens Bank United Way Community Development Fund. This grant will be used to support Project SEARCH, a new community-based vocational training program at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene designed for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Project SEARCH program is built on workplace immersion: participants receive skills training through a series of internships, and they become part of the hospital/clinic team, while receiving individualized training and job placement support. Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene, a project partner, will hold a pilot training class beginning January 2011 through the end of the school year in June. The next class will be a full school-year long, beginning in September 2011, ending in June 2012.

Each year, the Citizens Bank Foundation targets its funding to address community needs and works with all NH United Ways in locating the agencies that are making a difference. Local grants are awarded through the Monadnock United Way. This year’s focus is on programs that address financial stability in the areas of increasing income, building savings, and gaining and sustaining assets.

“We’re so pleased to receive this timely funding from the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Monadnock United Way,” explains Sheila Mahon, MCST Project Director. “Project SEARCH, with its focus on workforce development, particularly for citizens with developmental disabilities, was selected as an ideal program to receive this support.”

Project SEARCH partners are Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene, the Keene School District, Monadnock Developmental Services, Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions, and NH Vocational Rehabilitation. For more information on Project SEARCH, contact Sheila Mahon at 603-352-1304.