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NSB Supports NE Arc's Touch to Talk initiative

03  April 2017
NSB changes lives for local children with gift to NE Arc's Touch to Talk initiative

From left to right are Jodi Houghton, North Shore Bank’s Danvers Branch Manager, Gloria Ricardi Castillo, Co-Director of the Northeast Arc Autism Support Center, and George Harrington, Chairman of the campaign for Northeast Arc’s Touch to Talk initiative.


PEABODY, MASSACHUSETTS ( – For more than 25 years, Northeast Arc’s Autism Support Center has been a lifeline for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, providing information, support and services. Recently, representatives from North Shore Bank visited the Support Center to present a $1,600 check for the Northeast Arc’s Touch to Talk Program.

Touch to Talk helps non-verbal children and adults with Autism, as well as other communication challenges, make connections they may have never made before. Using an iPad equipped with TouchChat software, users are able to communicate with family, friends and teachers. The software provides them with a computer voice which allows them to communicate immediately and often supports development of their verbal skills as well.  

NeArc’s Autism Support Center works with local schools to identify students who could benefit from the program. A speech and language pathologist programs the devices to meet the specific needs of each child. The parents and school personnel who support the selected children are then trained in the use of the devices in order to provide ongoing support for the students.

Susan Ring Brown, NeArc’s Chief Development Officer said:

“Communication is a basic and vital human need. Thanks to North Shore Bank’s generous support, we are able to ensure that this need is met for local children.” She went on to say, ”North Shore Bank is a great community partner.”

Kevin M. Tierney, President and CEO of North Shore Bank stated:

“Northeast Arc’s Touch to Talk initiative is a wonderful program that’s helping children with disabilities in our community.” He continued, “This is a unique program that helps these non-verbal children communicate with their families and friends, sometimes for the first time ever, and we’re proud to be able to help.”

In the communities served by Northeast Arc it is estimated that there are about 3,000 families with nonverbal children on the Autism Spectrum.

About Northeast Arc
Northeast Arc (NeArc) changes lives for people with disabilities — and children at risk of developing them — and their families. The agency serves more than 9,000 people in 190 Massachusetts cities and towns each year. NeArc is the largest Arc in the state of Massachusetts and the 2nd largest (of 700) in the country. Services include: Adult Family Care, the ArcWorks Community Art Center, Autism Services, Breaking Grounds Café, Day Habilitation, Deaf Services, Early Intervention, Employment Services, Family Support, First Steps Childcare & Preschool, Fiscal Intermediary, Personal Care Assistance, Recreation, Residential, Shared Living and Transition. Learn more at

About North Shore Bank
North Shore Bank is a full-service community bank based in Peabody, Massachusetts and serving the personal and business banking needs of the North Shore, eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Established in 1888, the bank operates out of twelve area offices, located in Beverly, Danvers, Merrimac, Middleton, Peabody, Salem, Saugus and Newton, New Hampshire.


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