Petalworks is an adult day program that provides support to adults with multiple disabilities. Individuals attending Petalworks are typically funded through day habilitation funding and many do have a portion of their day funded by the Department of Developmental Services.

Petalworks is dedicated to maximizing the skills of all individuals who attend the day program through a comprehensive interdisciplinary team approach. A wide range of daily activities is offered along with the appropriate support to achieve maximum participation. These supports provide an opportunity for people to develop, enhance and maintain their competence and confidence in:
Independent living skills • Social skills • Communication development • Self help • Sensorimotor skills • Community based instruction for recreation
Supports provided are based on individual preferences with an emphasis on informed choices. The focus of daily programming is to provide support services and opportunities for people with disabilities to enrich their lives, develop personal skills and enjoy a full range of activities while developing a network of meaningful relationships. This program uses the concept of partial participation – that is that every individual can be part of any activity when appropriate supports and adaptations are provided. If an individual is funded through Day Habilitation then the Interdisciplinary Team, which consists of:
Registered Physical Therapist • Occupational Therapist • Speech Therapist • Developmental Specialist • Program Administrator • Nursing • Physical Therapy Aide • Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Vocational Ventures

Vocational Ventures is a combination of two programs serving individuals ages 22 through adulthood with mild to moderate developmental disabilities. The program receives funding through the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services and Day Habilitation. The Mid-Vocational Ventures program provides support for individuals with more support needs but who can actively benefit from the Vocational Ventures model.

The Vocational Venture programs offer a unique blend of services for the individuals including; functional academics, current events, fitness, social-emotional skills development, self advocacy, personal health skills development, safety skills, communication skills, independent living skills and career development. In support of the mission of Coastal Connections which promotes our mutually beneficial presence in the community, most individuals either work or volunteer in the local community. Other program options include a shopping trip, fitness at the local Planet Fitness, cooking class and arts and crafts. All of these opportunities enhance the skills needed to grow more independently within a community setting.

Employment and Day Supports

CCI offers a full continuum of employment supports for individuals with funding from DDS. This continuum starts with interest inventories, job site visits, a speaker’s series, development of a vocational portfolio and resume writing. Volunteer work in the community may be the first step to explore interests. Individuals are provided small group and individual support to find competitive work in the local community. Our Employment Specialist works closely with our Outreach Coordinator to seek partnerships in the local community that demonstrate Coastal Connection’s commitment to the individuals’ presence in the local community resulting in a mutually beneficial outcome. CCI seeks to support the Employment First initiative set forth by the Department of Developmental Services.


Maker’s Studio

Maker’s Space is a national model of innovation designed to create a place where people with common interests can collaborate, innovate and socialize. Two years ago Coastal Connections established a Maker’s Studio based on the concept of Maker Spaces. The decision was made to start with wood projects, so a room was transformed into a woodworking shop. CCI then hired a retired architectural woodworker to lead the projects with small groups of individuals. One of the original goals of this program was to help individuals develop skills in the use of hand tools and simple home repairs. What has resulted has been many projects and collaborations with community partners. Individuals participating in Maker’s Studio designed and built a podium for the City of Amesbury and partnered with Anna Jacques Hospital to design and build a tree donated to the Sea Festival of Trees.

Dance and Theater Arts


Sheriff’s Outreach Academy

Two times per year Coastal Connections is invited to attend the Special Outreach Academy sponsored by the Essex County Sheriff’s Office and is geared to adults with developmentally disabilities. This five week session is held in Middleton and Danvers and the individuals attending have an opportunity to visit Middleton jail, see a K-9 demonstration and attend sessions on Respect and Self defense. All participants received certificates and were sworn in as Honorary Deputies during a graduation ceremony.

Lifelong learning

CCI was established by women with Master degrees and experience in Special Education. This directly impacted the mission of a commitment to lifelong learning. While attending CCI all individuals have the opportunity to enhance their academic growth based on their needs and interest. There is a specific curriculum in place that focuses on functional academics which promote more independence in life. As educators our purpose is to prepare people for adult life - specifically designed for each individual’s unique needs. This educational approach to the daily program results in an environment that promotes and celebrates learning.


CCI supports self advocacy and the development of experience and knowledge of human rights. There are weekly lessons in human rights, how rights and responsibilities go together, how to speak up, when to speak up and how to assure your rights are respected. CCI will also visit the State House in Boston each year to advocate for specific needs of people with disabilities. CCI will also attend public hearings and advocate for support of programs for people with disabilities.

Culinary Arts

CCI has developed a vibrant culinary arts program that focuses on healthy, simple meals. One staff person leads a group each week. These groups rotate throughout the year. Cooking the meal is a process that involves selecting the meal, creating a grocery list, shopping, prepping, cooking and of course cleaning. The purpose of this program is to enhance the skills of individuals who may seek a job in the culinary arts field as well as teaching independent living skills of how to cook healthy meals.