kennedy anne webFor many years Kennedy Information employees have worked tirelessly to help those with disabilities contribute to their communities. Anne Griffin, Kennedy’s Director of Human Resources, has been instrumental in coordinating the creative and unique ways Kennedy employees have raised money – ice cream socials; basement flea markets; DVD, CD and book sales; hot dog Fridays; and pot luck lunches are just a few. Upon Anne’s retirement this past summer, Kennedy employees made a very special contribution to Children’s Service Coordination at MDS as a tribute to her good work.

Even as their offices have moved from Fitzwilliam to Peterborough to Keene, folks from Kennedy have continued to provide an abundance of holiday gifts for numerous families in need in our region. These employees work year round to raise money in creative ways. Their determination and innovation in making it possible to provide gifts for families served by MDS has been an inspiration. In 2008 they were honored with the MDS Citizen of Honor Award. The recent donation in Anne’s honor will be used to foster health and wellness for children with disabilities, including an event at the Keene YMCA.

Over the years, quietly but effectively, Anne and her colleagues at Kennedy have made lives better for children and their families. Their good work continues to help MDS families. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

The Governor’s Medicaid Managed Care Commission, led by Donald Shumway, held its monthly meeting in Nashua on Thursday, December 5. A large group of families and agency representatives were on hand to make known their deep concerns about care management for long-term care services (Step 2).

Click on titles below to read coverage in the December 9, 2013 online edition of the Nashua Telegraph:

For more information, visit the CSNI website.

December 9, 2013: Attorneys for the plaintiffs (individuals, families, guardians, Area Agencies) filed the final motion for Summary Judgment re: Step 2 Managed Care in Hillsborough Superior Court on Friday December 6. The State of NH response to this motion is due on January 6, 2014. The judge will likely decide the motion by late February or sometime in March. Click here to visit the CSNI web site to view the:

- Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment

- Memorandum of Law in Support of the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment


Court Rules that Declaratory Judgment Action Will Proceed, Dismissal Not Granted

November 14, 2013— Hillsborough Superior Court North Judge Gillian Abramson ruled this morning that the Declaratory Judgment action filed by plaintiffs, including the Area Agency developmental services system and individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, will proceed and setDecember 6, 2013as the deadline for the plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion. The Declaratory Judgment action was filed by nine of the ten area agencies and a number of individual plaintiffs last summer. The State ofNew Hampshirerequested that this case be dismissed maintaining that long term services are not currently included in Managed Care and that the “Commissioner is taking into account stakeholder engagement.”  Click here to read the full story on the CSNI website.

Judge Abramson denied the state’s motion to dismiss and allowed the plaintiffs’ request to file a summary judgment motion by December 6. This decision is important since it gives the plaintiffs legal standing to challenge whether they are subject to Medicaid managed care for their long-term care services as the state moves forward with its plan.

MDS families and staff can now visit the new Cheshire Children’s Museum, thanks to the Museum’s recent donation to us of a family pass. This MDS Family pass (for up to six people) is limited to one family per day and must be reserved in advance.

Deb Ganley, the Museum’s director, describes the space on the second floor of the Colony Mill Marketplace in Keene: “This is a place where children can play while learning, where all children can explore at their own pace in a safe, clean and welcoming space, and where children begin to learn that anything is possible!”

Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The MDS Family Pass is limited to one family per day (up to six people) and must be reserved in advance by calling the MDS Receptionist in Keene at 603-352-1304.

ddcouncilwebMembers of the Peterborough chapter of ABLE-NH – Kathy and Brian Manfre, Bob English, and Marie Primeau – have been chosen to receive the Developmental Disabilities Council’s 2012 Virginia Bowden Advocacy Award, also known as Advocate of the Year. Rep. Peter Leishman and Sen. Bruce Marcus were also presented Outstanding Legislator Awards. These honors are given annually in December by the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council for extraordinary leadership and commitment to the cause of dignity, equal rights and full participation of people with disabilities in New Hampshire.

mikeforrest mds webAt its annual meeting in late November, Monadnock Developmental Services’ Board of Directors elected a new Executive Committee to take on leadership in 2013. Michael Forrest of Keene has been elected President of the Board. Mr. Forrest succeeds James Craiglow who will now serve as Immediate Past President. Donald Hayes will serve as Vice-President; Shelley Viles will act as Treasurer, and Terry Manahan of Harrisville will serve as Board Secretary.

At the meeting, James Schofield, Manfredo Torelli and Ms. Manahan were re-elected for three-year terms. Other MDS Board members who will continue in 2013 are Elizabeth Kenney, Beth Provost, Sand Seligman, and Adele Remillard who serves as Family Council liaison.

The Board of Directors directs MDS’s general management as the governing body of this $28 million area agency that provides services for individuals with developmental and related disabilities in the 34 towns of the Monadnock region. The Board (whose size can range from 9-25 members) is required to include at least a third of its membership as people with developmental disabilities or as parents/siblings/guardians of those with developmental disabilities. Each Board member must reside in one of those 34 towns.

The work of the Board is done by seven Committees, made up of Board Members, staff and community representatives. These committees are: Executive, Fiscal, Human Rights, Advocacy, Nominating, Personnel, Development.

A dozen beautifully restored chairs are on sale for this holiday season from Wednesday, December 5th until Friday, December 14th at the Savings Bank of Walpole on Marlboro Street. Proceeds from these sales will benefit Monadnock Developmental Services.

These chairs, each one unique, have been restored by Richard Clason of Hancock, N.H., who has a special talent for this work. Bill Lynch and Tracey Lynch Clason worked with Mr. Clason and with folks at the Savings Bank of Walpole to bring this Holiday Chair Sale together. We thank them for their support of the work of MDS.

Holiday Chairs

This workshop has been postponed until Spring 2013.

MDS and Keene High School present a Special Needs Trust workshop has been postponed (Tuesday, January 15th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.) at Keene High School on Arch Street. Attorney Judith Jones will provide basic information and strategies for families regarding special needs and estate planning.

Family members, educators, guardians, advocates, caregivers and counselors are encouraged to attend this evening workshop to get information on special needs and estate planning, including powers of attorney for finances and health care, wills and special needs trust.

For information, contact Sandra Metivier at 603-352-1304 ext. 290 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Linda Quintanilha of Bennington, NH has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Virginia Bowden Advocacy Award, also known as the Advocate of the Year.

This honor is given annually in December by the Developmental Disabilities Council to a person with disabilities or family member for extraordinary leadership and commitment to the cause of dignity, equal rights and full participation of people with disabilities in New Hampshire. Linda was honored on December 8th in Concord.

The NH Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders is asking individuals and families to take advocacy action by contacting their Senators and Representatives to support an important national effort to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act (CAA). Details and additional information are available at

In the recent past, NH has directly benefited from CAA funds, which have enhanced the state's Leadership Education in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) program.  Moreover, as a state that has not yet received any federal funds for the implementation of its state improvement plan for services and supports to individuals with ASD, NH stands to benefit by a renewed round of grant-making. Surveillance (tracking how many children are diagnosed) and the coordination of research made possible by the CAA is also crucially important.

For more information, contact Kirsten Murphy at the NH Council on ASD or visit the Autism Votes website.


Read our archives of newsworthy items about Monadnock Developmental Services and people with disabilities in southwestern New Hampshire.

News Archives:


MDS Welcomes New Staff in Keene and Peterborough (Nov 09)

MDS Welcomes Sandra Metivier as Client Benefits Coordinator (Oct 09)

Directly Involved: Local Workers Help People with Disabilities (Oct 09)

Keene Sentinel Reader Opinion: Support Professionals Deserve Our Gratitude (Oct 09)

MDS Honors Unsung Heroes, Naming DSP and Home Providers of the Year (Sep 09)

First Course Cooks Up Choice (Sep 09)

Unity Housing Plan Gets OK from Keene Planning Board (Aug 09)

MDS Welcomes New Staff in Keene and Peterborough (Aug 09)

Unity Housing, Affordable Housing for People with Disabilities, Faces Critical Meeting of Keene Planning Board Monday, August 24th (Aug 09)

Special Sept 15th Performance of Peterborough Players' SantaLand Diaries to Benefit MDS (Aug 09)

Disability Doesn’t Slow Down This Keene Woman: Hollie Lynch doesn't lose sight of goals (Jul 2009)

Keene Sentinel Editorial: MDS Celebrates Big Birthday (Jul 2009)

Agency Marks 25 Years of Helping Disabled (Jun 2009)

Special Olympics Summer Games video by Sentinel's Steve Hooper (Jun 09)

MDS 25th Annniversay Celebration Evening at the Movies (May 2009)

Local Food Producers Get a Boost from First Course (May 2009)

First Course Culinary Program is a Model for Social Services (Mar 2009)

Young Photographer Sees Life in Unique Way (Feb 2009)

DSPs Spring Into Action During Ice Storm (Jan 2009)

Weather Doesn't Dim Holiday Spirit for MDS Families (Jan 2009)


James Craiglow Elected President of MDS Board of Directors (Dec 2008)

Honoring Everyday Heroes: DSPs (Sep 2008)

Hardworking Support Provider Recognized (Sep 2008)

Tarr Assists Developmentally Disabled Kids (Sep 2008)

Special Performance of Belle of Amherst to Benefit MDS (Sep 2008)

Profile: David Jackson (Jul 2008)

Alan Greene on Civil Rights and Disabilities (Jun 2008)

Kennedy Information Employees Receive 2008 MDS Citizen of Honor Award (Jun 2008)

Peterborough Diner Gift to MDS and CHESCO (Apr 2008)

MDS Welcomes New Board Members (Mar 2008)

MDS Welcomes New Staff in Keene (Mar 2008)

MDS Approved for CDIP Tax Credits (Jan 2008)

Jeff Cohn Elected President of MDS Board (Jan 2008)

Holiday Spirit in Monadnock Region (Jan 2008)

Lynn Yeiter appointed Supervisor of Childrens Service Coordination (Jan 2008)


First Course Students Graduate (Nov 2007)

MDS Featured on NHCF-NHPR Giving Matters Series (Nov 2007)

Listen to the segment on NHPR!

Program provides a First Course in learning about food (Nov 2007)

Family Conference Announced (Oct 2007)

Direct Support Professionals Recognized (Oct 2007)

MDS Welcomes New Staff in Keene (Oct 2007)

MDS Thanks Direct Support Professionals (Sep 2007)

MDS Appoints Two New Board Members (Sep 2007)

People with Disabilities in the Workplace (Sep 2007)

Mary-Anne Wisell Named Director of Operations (Aug 2007)

Program Manager to be Published (Aug 2007)

Cameron Tease Recognized as MDS Citizen of Honor (Jun 2007)

MDS Welcomes New Staff (Apr 2007)

Wait List Funding (Apr 2007)

Respite Camp (Apr 2007)

Fund the Waiting List (Mar 2007)

Walking Tall (Feb 2007)

Holiday Spirit Continues (Jan 2007)


Jennifer on NH Public Radio (Dec 2006) Listen to the segment on NHPR!

MDS Welcomes New Staff (Sep 2006)

Disabilities in the Workplace (Jul 2006)

MDS at Peterborough Fireworks Celebration (Jul 2006)

Keene Lawmaker Realizes Efforts (Jul 2006)

Dennis DiTullio Recognized as MDS Citizen of Honor (May 2006)

Local Employers Win R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Awards (Mar 2006)

LifeArt Community Resource Center Moves to Roxbury Street (Mar 2006)

Volunteers Provide Help in a "Fast World" (Feb 2006)

MDS Collaborates with Big Brothers Big Sisters (Feb 2006)

MDS Hires Service Coordinators (Feb 2006)

Family Council, MCST and MDS to Recognize Area Businesses that Show R.E.S.P.E.C.T (Jan 2006)

Holiday Spirit is Alive and Thriving in the Monadnock Region (Jan 2006)

MDS Hires Three Service Coordinators (Jan 2006)


Holiday Giving Tree at Armadillo's (Dec 2005)

MDS Expands its Peterborough Offices (Dec 2005)

Opening Up Families to Create Sustaining Circles of Support (Oct 2005)

Seeing the Glass Half-Full - Making Stronger Communities (Sep 2005)

Area Educators Shown a Little R.E.S.P.E.C.T (Jun 2005)

Agency Works to Make Life A Little Bit Easier (May 2005)

January 2010: Christmas 2009 was much brighter for a number of people in our region, thanks to the kindness and generosity of a group of individuals, businesses and organizations who truly made a difference for dozens of families supported by Monadnock Developmental Services.

For the tenth year in a row, the remarkable employees of Kennedy Information in Peterborough sponsored a number of area families, providing toys, clothing, books, certificates and gift cards to make Christmas brighter for them.  Other companies whose employees sponsored families and children were FirstTracks Marketing Group of Peterborough, SunBridge/Harborside Healthcare of Sharon, the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, PSNH, United Natural Foods, and WKS-Residential Resources Inc. Wally Reney and Toys for Tots donated dozens of stuffed animals, toys and sleds for MDS children. The staff of the Community Kitchen provided nutritious food baskets for both Thanksgiving and Christmas for MDS families in need. We also want to thank the the Blais family, the Broad-Vigneault family, the Messier family, Norma Leach, Dennie Wheeler, the Family Council, MDS employees, and the many other wonderful community members who gave gifts and donations to help make a better Christmas for families in need in our region.

Especially during these difficult times, this generosity touched every family in so many ways.  One mother wrote:  “As I left the MDS office, I was attempting to get to my car without anyone seeing the tears in my eyes. But these tears were not like the ones I shed last Christmas. These tears were tears of Joy.” We heard from another family:  “Because of you, my children awoke on Christmas morning to see that Santa had come.” Another comment: “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

On behalf of everyone at MDS and the individuals and families we work with, we thank all of you for your generosity and good will. If you have any interest in sponsoring a child or family for next Christmas, please call us now at 352-1304 and we’ll put you on our list for 2010.


Ten Area Employers Recognized for Excellency in Disability Employment Practices

December 2009: Ten employers in the Monadnock region have been recognized for excellence in disability employment practices and policies.  The Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions (MCST) and Monadnock Developmental Services (MDS) will honor all of these exemplary companies at a special ceremony in Keene on December 14th.

At the top of the list of honorees is Keene State College, who received the prestigious Employment Leadership Award, one of five companies statewide to earn such a distinction in October. These Leadership Awards, sponsored by the Granite State Employment Project, spotlight employers who not only recognize the skills and contributions that people with disabilities bring to their workforce, but who also have adopted inclusive policies and hiring practices that allow people with disabilities to fairly compete for employment.

“We’re so honored to receive this award,” says Helen Giles-Gee, President of Keene State College. “Our approach to hiring, for people of all abilities, is not accidental; rather it’s part of how we do business. Diversity, civility and respect are core values at KSC.”

Of the more than forty nominees statewide for the Employment Leadership Award, ten are from the Monadnock region:  Armadillo’s Burritos, E.F. Lane Hotel, Hannaford Supermarket, Keene Food Services, Keene State College, The Keene Sentinel, NH Ball Bearing, Red’s of Jaffrey, TD Bank and the Home Healthcare, Hospice, & Community Service Meals on Wheels Program.

The recognition event at Keene State College on Monday, December 14th  is tagged “We Are Success,” which is the theme of a new public awareness campaign aimed at changing perceptions people may have about the types of work that individuals with disabilities can do. Several local people and companies, in fact some of the above-nominated, are featured as employment success stories.

“Barriers often exist that don’t allow people to demonstrate their abilities, and sometimes even lead people with disabilities to believe they can’t work,” says Sheila Mahon, Project Director for MCST.  “MCST and its partners are working hard to debunk those myths — aiming their efforts at businesses, individuals, families, schools and service agencies.”

MCST is a project of Monadnock Developmental Services and is funded by the Centers for Medicaid and federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with the goal of improving employment outcomes for able workers with disabilities. For more information, please visit or call Sheila Mahon at 603-352-1304.

Bill Lynch Receives Lifetime Achievement MDS Citizen of Honor Award

December 2009: Bill Lynch of Keene has received the MDS Dennis DiTullio Citizen of Honor Award, with very special recognition of Lifetime Achievement for his work over the past 25 years. This award recognizes his enthusiastic support, dedication and tireless work in assisting individuals and families with developmental and other disabilities.

Bill Lynch was honored on December 8th at a special ceremony at Papagallo’s Restaurant in Keene. In addition to proclamations from the New Hampshire House, Senate and from Governor Lynch, Dennis DiTullio, MDS’s first Citizen of Honor, presented this very special lifetime achievement award to him.

Bill’s efforts on behalf of MDS families began more than a dozen years ago when he found out about a four-year old girl with complicated disabilities who had survived a stroke but still struggled with limited mobility and near-blindness. The young child was confined to a small area of her house where she could use her pony walker.

Bill wanted to find a way to allow that little girl a breath of fresh air and sunshine, so he went out into the community on behalf of MDS and found a group of folks willing to donate resources, time and materials to build a special roofed deck for the family.

“It was simple. I saw a need, a critical need, for things that don’t fit the usual guidelines set by the State and the Feds,” Bill explains. “I found out there were people out there who were suffering and barely making do because they couldn’t get something as simple as an adaptive wheelchair or a special lift to help move from wheelchair to bed or van.”

From that project, the MDS 600 Club was born. Bill’s efforts blossomed over the next dozen years. Bill and Dennis DiTullio together have raised tens of thousands of dollars for critical projects like this one, providing equipment, home modifications, and other items not covered by Medicaid.

“It’s particularly exciting for us to be able to give this award to Bill Lynch, as part of our 25th anniversary celebration,” says Alan Greene, Executive Director of Monadnock Developmental Services. “This is a man who has played such an important role in the lives of people with disabilities here in the region.”

Dennis DiTullio agrees: “Bill was the force behind much of the fundraising and development work that has been done for families over the past 15 years. He has always been there, raising funds for special projects, creating the 600 Club, even masterminding the Citizen of Honor award itself.” Dennis exclaims: “Bill Lynch is the epitome of the MDS Citizen of Honor, and I’m so proud to be able to present this Lifetime Achievement Award to him.”

Every year Monadnock Developmental Services honors an outstanding member of the Monadnock community with its Citizen of Honor Award. Dennis DiTullio, who lives in Keene, received the first award in 2006 at which time he was doubly honored by having the award named after him. In 2007 Cameron Tease of Harrisville was honored as MDS Citizen of Honor, and the employees of Kennedy Information in Peterborough were recognized in 2008. There are many families and individuals in the Monadnock region who have directly benefited from the creative thinking and hard work of Bill Lynch, and from his generosity.