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General Updates

As COVID-19, more commonly known as Coronavirus, continues to be a concern across our country and the world, we are taking these concerns very seriously and working diligently to prevent the spread of the virus at Advocates. Find the most recent updates and information here. 

Advocates Program Updates

  • Life Skills & Learning Center: Day services at Advocates Life Skills & Learning Center in Ashland are now open with limitations and we continue to provide some services and support virtually.
  • Brain Injury Day & Community Services: Day services at Advocates Brain Injury Day & Community Services in Lexington continue to provide some services and support.
  • Our Psychiatric Emergency Services are available. If you are experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis, please call (800) 640-5432 to speak to an Advocates crisis clinician. We are available to help 24 hours a day, every day. Learn more.
  • Advocates Community Counseling: Please visit our Counseling & Psychiatry page to find the most up-to-date information on all services, including therapy and psychiatric medication appointments, provided through Advocates Community Counseling in Framingham, Marlborough, Harvard, and Waltham. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, please call our intake line at (508) 661-2038. 
  • The Living Room: Our 24-hour crisis alternative program, The Living Room, is open for in-person visits from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. If you are planning to visit, please call (508) 661-3333. There will be no overnight stays at this time. We will continue to support individuals experiencing emotional distress or a mental health crisis by offering 24-hour phone support. If you are struggling, please call (508) 661-3333 to connect with one of our caring certified peer specialists. 
  • Residential Programs:  Jump to latest update for families below.
  • Virtual Support Groups: Advocates is offering several virtual support groups via Zoom. These include mental health support groups as well as social and recreational groups. Facilitated by members of Advocates Peer Specialist team, these support groups are open to anyone in the community, not just individuals served by Advocates, and participation is confidential. Learn more.
  • Adult Family Care: 
    • MassHealth has allowed flexibility in how we provide Telehealth services to Adult Family Care members. These changes allow us to continue to enroll, support, and provide care to caregivers and members during this difficult time. 
    • Jump to latest update for families below.
  • Shared Living:  Jump to latest update for families below.

Updates for Staff 

For the latest staff updates, FAQs, and resources, please check your Advocates email or login to The Connector.

Updates for Families

To receive updates via email, please subscribe to our email newsletters

Latest Updates 

7/1/22: Read EOHHS Guidance for Residential and Congregate Care Programs


8/10/21: Read DDS Commissioner Jane Ryder's Message to Families.

8/9/21: Visitation Guidance for DDS Residential Programs.

6/14/21: Read DDS Commissioner Jane Ryder's Message to Families.

5/28/21: Read COVID-19 Update for All Programs at Advocates.

3/25/21: Read COVID-19 Update for Developmental and Brain Injury Residential Programs.

3/24/21: Read DDS Commissioner Jane Ryder's Message to Families.

3/22/21: Read Updated Visitation Policy for DDS Residential Programs.

3/22/21: Read Updated Visitation Policy for DMH Residential Programs. 

3/11/21: Read COVID-19 Vaccine Update in Shared Living Newsletter. 

3/10/21: Read COVID-19 Vaccine Update in Adult Family Care Newsletter.


1/13/21: Read COVID-19 Vaccine Update for DDS Community from Commissioner Jane Ryder.


  • Read COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Residential Group Home Families (Congregate Care Setting).
  • Open Forum for Families: COVID-19 Vaccine 
    • View Full Recording.
    • Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Held by: Diane Gould, Advocates President and CEO, and Dr. Mark Viron, Advocates Chief Medical Officer
    • Family members and guardians of individuals living in an Advocates’ home are welcome to join us for an Open Forum regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Diane Gould and Dr. Mark Viron will provide the most up to date information and answer questions or concerns.

1/4/21: Read COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Advocates Life Skills and Learning Center, Adult Family Care, and Shared Living Families.


11/20/20: Read Update for Holiday Visitation in All Residential Group Homes. 

11/13/20Read Holiday Visitation Letter from Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

9/9/20: Read Update for All Residential Families.

8/25/20: Read Update for Advocates Life Skills and Learning Center Families.

7/13/20: Read Update for Developmental and Brain Injury Residential Services Families.

7/1/20: Read Revised Visitation Policy for DDS Residential Programs.


5/22/20: Read Update for All Advocates Families. 


5/11/20: Read Update for All Advocates Families. 

4/25/20: Read Update for All Advocates Families. 

4/14/20: Read Update for All Advocates Families. 

4/4/20: Read Update for All Advocates Families. 

3/27/20: Read Update for All Advocates Families. 


3/19/20: Read Update for All Advocates Families. 

3/16/20: Read COVID-19 Update from Commissioner Jane Ryder for DDS Individuals and Families.

3/11/20: Read Update for All Advocates Families.

Resources for Families

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

COVID-19 At-Home Tests

  • Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free and will ship in about 7-12 days. Your health insurance company will also cover you back for 8 at-home tests per month for each person on the plan. These are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR tests. Learn more or request your kits here:

Downloadable Tools

Community Resources

Daily Resources and Activities

Resources in American Sign Language (ASL)