The following was submitted by Thomson Communications on behalf of Northeast Arc:
The Northeast Arc, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing lifelong support to people living with disabilities, recognized Dr. Wayne M. Burton, president of North Shore Community College, on Tuesday with its annual President's Award for his leadership in advocating at state and federal levels for post-secondary support of students with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
"The relationship between the Northeast Arc and North Shore Community College has grown over the past few years and we look forward to the continued strengthening of that partnership as we work together to best serve students with disabilities in our region," said Jerry McCarthy, executive director of Northeast Arc.
Dr. Burton is the co-founder and chairman of the Community College Consortium on Autism and Intellectual Disabilities (CCCAID). CCCAID was formed to facilitate advocacy and support for Community Colleges to serve students with autism and intellectual disabilities. Issues for young people as they age out of school systems include education, housing, life skills, vocational pathways, personal safety, and medical care.
While working with Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressman John Tierney, Dr. Burton played a key role in establishing a program in the Higher Education Act re-authorization bill for students with autism and intellectual disabilities. The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts-Boston received a grant of $330,000 through the program to fund a coordinating center to develop evaluation systems, standards and best practices around program components in academic, social, employment and independent living areas.
Dr. Burton was the founding director of the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development and past chair of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor's Small Business Roundtable and the Economic Development and Planning Council. He has served as President of North Shore Community College since 2000. Previously he served as Dean of the School of Business at Salem State University. His leadership and contributions to the community have been recognized with many awards, including a 2011 Essex National Heritage Commission Hero Award.
The North Shore Community College Program Council was also honored with a Distinguished Service Award. The Council has been actively involved with fundraising for the Arc through the Battle of the Bands concerts and by hosting parties for folks in the Day Habilitation program where they enjoy a day filled with fun crafts, lunch, activities, and take home personalized t-shirts and mugs.