About Us

The Charles River Center (formerly Charles River Arc) is a private, nonprofit human service agency in Needham, Massachusetts, providing employment and job training, residential homes, therapeutic day programs, and recreational programs for children and adults with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities.  Founded by a group of parents of children with special needs in 1956, the mission of Charles River has always been to improve the quality of life by helping each individual with a developmental disability achieve his or her highest possible level of independence so that he or she can fully participate, benefit, and become a contributing member of the community.
The Charles River Center serves over 600 families from many communities including Needham, Wellesley, Weston, Newton, Dedham, Cambridge, Brighton, Brookline, Framingham, Natick, Westwood, Dover, Waltham, Roslindale, Hyde Park, Roxbury, Watertown, Quincy, Norwood, West Roxbury and many more.