Support 3LPlace

Welcome to 3LPlace!

We’re building exciting opportunities and a warm, diverse community for adults with developmental disabilities, across the lifespan.

At the center of our community is 3LPlace Life College, our unique post-secondary residential transition learning experience in Somerville, Massachusetts.

The year-round program welcomes young adults ages 22 to 32 with a mix of developmental disabilities. Potential members might be living with autism, or Down’s syndrome, or another diagnosis. What they all have in common is their readiness to explore a path to a meaningful, gratifying, healthy and connected adult life, within the community.

3LPlace Life College, located near vibrant Davis Square, came about through the efforts of a group of parents seeking more options for their own maturing children. These parents knew first-hand that for too many young adults with developmental disabilities, reaching the age of 21 means losing the support and services that make continued growth possible.

3LPlace’s vision is that a successful transition to adulthood begins with a thorough understanding of each individual, particularly about their interests and passions in life. We believe that those personal interests can be harnessed to accelerate the development of self-direction, independence skills, friendships and social behavior. Most members will spend two or three years at the Life College.

3LPlace Life College is based on the 3LPlace Transition Curriculum, a comprehensive and ground-breaking blueprint for change. The Curriculum was developed by a collaborative writing team guided by experts from Tufts, Lesley and Harvard universities as well as educators, clinicians and agency staff, and people living with disabilities.

The program is qualified by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services to provide both day and residential services. The Life College Residence is newly renovated to provide a spacious, well-lit, and allergen-free living environment for our members.

The Life College is planned as the center of a developing, sustainable community that will help support and maintain appropriate housing choices as well as providing lifelong education, activities, and social and employment support over the lifespan.


In this video, 3LPlace co-founder and President Deborah Flaschen talks about the motivation behind creation of the Life College, and its unique strategy of harnessing interests and passions to drive learning.

You can apply here or download a brochure.

Check out this great article about 3LPlace Life College in the Somerville Beat!

Boston is a center for learning, with colleges and universities around nearly every corner. But the opportunities for young adults with developmental disabilities to continue their education and gain independence are limited. That was until 3LPlace opened its doors at 50 Whitman St. just outside of Davis Square.

[read more]

As you order for the holidays,
please keep us in mind! If you start at, and identify 3LPlace as your favorite charity, we’ll receive 0.5 percent of your purchase price! An easy way to support our mission of creating opportunity for young adults with developmental disabilities.

So yes, we have news, and it’s really big news this time!
Our 3LPlace Life College has opened in Somerville. We’ve hired a really talented multidisciplinary staff (see our team). The transition learning experience at the Life College is 24/7, seven days a week, and members are exploring work and educational options, and working on life skills such as travel planning, self-care and fitness, as well as a range of creative and recreational pursuits. You can find more about the Life College on our Living page, download a brochure, or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

We did it!
We’re thrilled to report that with all of your help we have met Global Giving’s spring Open Challenge and even exceeded our goal. Our Global Giving campaign raised $5,780 in 30 days through contributions from 47 individuals, guaranteeing us a permanent spot on the Global Giving fundraising platform. Funds raised will help us buy interactive white boards and other communication tools for our young adults with developmental disabilities. If you were among our supporters, thank you ever so much! We will be launching another Global Giving drive in coming months, so stay tuned …

This just in:
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Margaret Bauman will be joining the 3LPlace Life College as our Medical Director.

Dr. Bauman, a child neurologist, was for many years the Founding Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital LADDERS program in Lexington, a multidisciplinary program designed to evaluate, treat and advocate for children, adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum (see more info here).

3LPlace recently signed a Good Neighbor Agreement for our Life College residence in Somerville. Check it out here.

3LPlace has received word that we’ve been approved as a service provider by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. That means that Life College students can receive DDS funding to help defray the cost. We’re also working with the MassHealth program to cover other parts of the Life College.

Breaking through myths
about fitness and autism

Crossfit is a strength and training program used by police and military teams as well as by top martial artists and professional athletes. Check out this article about a Crossfit Athlete of the Month ... with autism.

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Food for Thought

"If we are to achieve a richer culture, we must weave one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place."
~ Margaret Meade

"We know that equality of individual ability has never existed and never will, but we do insist that equality of opportunity still must be sought."
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt