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BHMA Residential Life provides a structured environment that fosters personal development and independence. Each student is assigned an advisor who focuses on delivering individual instruction of core skills. This transformative experience also includes resident-driven activities, outings, and clubs.

Core Skills

Increasing independent living skills is central to the mission of the BHMA Residential Department. Advisors help students with the following core skills:


Students use on-campus washers and dryers, giving them the time and space to learn each step of the laundry process. Weekly practice allows for skill building and mastery.

Hygiene & Grooming

Residents at BHMA have basic self-care skills, but may receive support completing their personal care routines. Verbal prompting and limited physical assistance are offered to ensure thorough task completion.

Room Maintenance

Daily and weekly cleaning is built into the residential schedule to establish the importance of maintaining a healthy living environment. Students may utilize visual checklists to help them keep a tidy and organized space.

Student-Made Dinner

The Residential Department offers regular opportunities for group meal preparation. This allows individuals to enhance the skills they learn in cooking class and create a variety of meals from start to finish.

Leisure Planning

Students are encouraged to research and select activities of interest for their weekends. Building a budget for upcoming plans informs the money management process and teaches students how to structure their free time.

Self Advocacy

Self-Advocacy Group educates individuals about their human rights and empowers them to speak or act in support of their goals and values. Information is presented about issues as they relate to adult life––bringing awareness to the resources available and the means by which to access them. Using a discussion-based approach, students have an outlet to talk about their interests and gain the confidence to advocate for themselves.

Collegiate Partnerships

Located in the heart of the Pioneer Valley, BHMA’s proximity to the Five College Area has proven to be highly beneficial for our students. In addition to campus concerts and athletic events, we offer more formalized, regularly scheduled opportunities for engagement with neurotypical, college-aged peers.

Social & Recreational

Best Buddies matches each resident one-to-one with a college student, and together they attend regular events and enjoy community outings. Participants from the Boltwood Project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst come to BHMA on a weekly basis and offer a rotation of group enrichment activities. These programs provide a platform for developing connection and companionship.

Exercise & Fitness

At the UMass Amherst Body Shop, students 

are assigned a personal trainer who tailors 

a workout plan to support their individual 

fitness goals. The Mount Holyoke College pool and track are also frequently used, just a 

short walk from the BHMA campus. Our 

collegiate partnerships help to reinforce the importance of exercise as it relates to overall health and well-being.

Activities & Clubs

There are numerous offerings for recreation, fitness, and fun—some are fixed, while others fluctuate based on student interest. Popular options include:

Baking Club

Fishing Club

Gym Trips

Hiking Club

Rock Climbing

Spanish Club

Special Olympics
Therapeutic Horseback Riding

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