April 27, 2017

Thank you to the House for moving forward a landmark budget for Turning 22!  Speaker Robert DeLeo, leadership, and rank and file provided reassurance for the thousands of our constituents who will turn 22 over the next five years with their approval of the Ways and Means report.
The house also supported other key issues including the AFC program mentioned in last week's article.  
Now the budget moves to the Senate. Chairperson Karen Spilka, Vice Chair Sal DiDomenico, and the Ways and Means Committee will finalize their budget report to the Senate. Please reach out to your senator if you haven't already.  A fact sheet for the Senate is located here . Please scroll down to the Senate Ways and Means Request. You can find your legislator here .
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director    
More good news from the House debate!
The House passed an amendment filed by Representative Sean Garballey to increase funding for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (ICEI) by $300,000 - bringing total funding for the line item to $1,416,235. ICEI allows students ages 18-22 with intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism the opportunity to experience public higher education through partnerships with the local high schools and institutions of higher education. This program allows individuals to be fully included in all aspects of academic and residential life. We are grateful to our leadership in the House of Representatives for valuing young adult constituents with disabilities and believing in their capacities. Now on to the Senate... 

For more information about the ICEI, and related legislation, email Maura Sullivan at sullivan@arcmass.org.
Capital Campaign Challenge: 
The Deadline is Approaching
With little more than two months to meet the  Home for the Future Capital Campaign challenge , The Arc of Massachusetts is asking you to help us secure an additional $100,000 for the new headquarters fund. Every gift we receive between now and the June 30 deadline will count to the goal of raising $200,000.
To date, we have raised $108,800 toward the $200,000 we need to raise in order to receive an additional gift of $100,000 that has been put forward by three generous supporters. Imagine:  your gift will be increased by 50% if you give in the next two months .
Executive Director Leo Sarkissian said The Arc is very grateful for this opportunity and is working to make sure we meet the goal by the deadline. "These supporters recognize that the next several years are going to be very difficult for advancing disability policy and having the capacity to meet those challenges will be very important. Completing the campaign and being able to ramp up our work is of highest importance. I think that people who have been thinking about giving to the campaign will be encouraged to do so, and quickly!"
You can help! Give today and make sure we meet the challenge. Please visit arcmass.org/campaign to learn more. You can also contact Katrin Aback, Director of Development at aback@arcmass.org or 781-891-6270 x105 to discuss giving and naming opportunities.

What's Out There?

May 4, 2017 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Do you have a son or daughter with an intellectual and/or developmental disability including autism under the age of 22?  
Many services and supports are available to families that include a child or children with developmental disabilities and special health care needs. This presentation will review publicly funded services and supports that your family can utilize, regardless of income. We'll review eligibility criteria, application processes, and points of contact for programs through the Department of Developmental Services, MassHealth, the Department of Public Health, and more. The information provided will be relevant to families with children of all ages, from immediately after diagnosis up through age 22.  
Sophia Johansson serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Massachusetts Organizing for Change and works directly with families to develop their leadership skills in her role as Northeast Regional Coordinator. She is both a child and parent to an individual with disabilities and is passionate about empowering families to navigate the system while also "imagining better" for their loved ones.
  Financial assistance is available.  Contact Kerry  Mahoney@arcmass.org  
First Circles: The Power of Community in Your Hands

June 1, 2017 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Imagine a mobile app that makes it easier to support those with special needs and their families - an app that creates a virtual support network ready to assist anyone who needs extra help from time to time. This app is First Circles.
First Circles creates a unique, on-demand network or "circle" ready to support any person with special needs. It is a free download in the Apple and Google app stores. A user simply creates a circle and then invites trusted family members, friends, or caregivers to join it. When help is needed, a member sends a help request to their circle. Other members of their circle receive the request and then volunteer to help. Users can also post messages, reminders and locations or upload photos and files. Users can create as many circles and invite as many members as they need. First Circles has unlimited flexibility. 
Michael Pepe is a distinguished business executive with a background in media, information technology, and busiiness services. In addition to serving as the CEO of Acacia Road Ventures, he is an associate of the  Harvard University Psychology Department and a member of Professor Ellen Langer's Mindfulness Research Lab.  

At Harvard, Michael is conducting a study on police officer well being, correlating stress with policing activity, and investigating the impact of mindfulness instruction on sports performance.
  Financial assistance is available. Contact Kerry  Mahoney@arcmass.org  
Did you miss a webinar ?

 It is not too late! You can view the recorded webinar using The Arc's on demand feature.  To view click here and select "view session recordings."
WHAT'S TRENDINGwhatstrending
New Advocates Guide
Advocates' Guide 2017: A Primer on Federal Affordable Housing & Community Development Programs is this year's edition of NLIHC's comprehensive manual on virtually every affordable housing program and policy. The Guide, written by NLIHC staff and other leading experts in the field, contains synopses of housing and community development programs, laws, and regulations, as well as tools that could be used to communicate effectively with legislative and executive branches of government and to mobilize advocacy campaigns. The Advocates' Guide is an invaluable resource for anyone involved in or concerned about affordable housing and community development.

You can  download  a PDF version of the Advocates' Guide or you can
purchase  a  print copy. Members receive a discounted price. 

Partnering with Families Across Cultures:
 More Than Just an Invitation & Translation
Hosted by MFOFC and TASH

Thursday, May 11, 2017
10:00 am-4:00 pm

Cooperative For Human Services
420 Bedford Street, Suite 100 | Lexington

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHTsponsorspotlight

The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 |   arcmass.org