STAY CONNECTED:
February 1, 2018
LEO'S LETTER leo
Ryan Horrigan: A Transition Success Story 
 
When Ryan was very young, he was hyperactive and although his parents and professionals knew he had some type of delay, it wasn't clear to what extent. To kick-off a series on adult life and supports, I spoke with Ryan's mother Nancy Norman Horrigan to learn more. 
 
Early on, Ryan learned that he wasn't the only "different" kid. He may have autism, but other children had their own challenges. The combination of diversity and acceptance where he attended school helped him develop with a strong sense of self. Plus, his parents' acceptance full of him was a strong message for him growing up.
 
Ryan's story
 provides a glimpse of how well transition can proceed. It also reflects the fruits of Ryan's hard work as he was supported by family and others to reach his goal. Nancy notes that there were plenty of bumps on the road where they questioned what they needed to do but the key was to keep working at it. Nancy attended parent sessions at the Northeast Arc, while registering Ryan in a range of activities such as Special Olympics, summer camp, and the high school running team. Today, Ryan works at U-Haul, is active with a running team, and races nearly weekly while living with a housemate in his own apartment.
 
I hope you enjoy Ryan's story as much as I did.
 
Sincerely,
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
FEATURED Featured
Expect Success: Celebrating Achievers - Tess's Story
In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing the stories of the six achievers we are recognizing at our 
Expect Success: Celebrating Achievers gala
on April 25. Our achievers are people with disabilities who have excelled in the arts, classroom, business world, and beyond. You can follow along with these stories  right here.
 
Social inclusion has been one of the most crucial aspects of  Tess Keijser 's success. For her entire life, Tess, a young woman with Down syndrome, has been in inclusive settings, whether in the classroom or the workforce. Now almost 22 years old, Tess is thriving as a Director for Pampered Chef, hosting her own parties and selling over $20,000 worth of products in the three years she has been with the company. And she has done all of this and more while managing celiac disease, dealing with chronic episodes and flare ups along the way.  Continue reading Tess's story.
New MassHealth Resources Now Available
Are you affected by MassHealth changes in program and service delivery? If you are under 65 years old and do not have other health insurance, you should be among the one million people to receive letters with a green stripe from MassHealth. Learn more on our resources page, where we are now providing general information including how you can get assistance on your MassHealth insurance.
TOMORROW: FY 19 Budget Fact Sheet Available

The Arc of Massachusetts' fact sheet regarding Governor Baker's proposed FY 19 Budget will be available tomorrow on our State Budget page. Stay tuned for updates!

REMINDER: Supporting Families Day!
We are now less than two weeks away from Supporting Families Day at the Massachusetts State House! Please join us on Tuesday, February 13, from 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM and share your stories with legislators.

 
These stories give legislators a window into the lives of your loved ones and the challenges your family faces, as well as concrete information about the types of supports that make a difference. These personal accounts are the most compelling way to advocate for needed services and supports.
WEBINARS & WORKSHOPS Workshops
RewardingWork.org Training Webinar
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00PM
Presented by Eleanor Parker, Director of Rewarding Work
and Kerry Mahoney, The Arc of Massachusetts
DDS families may use Rewarding Work's free Job Posting Board! Rewarding Work develops and manages online personal care and respite directories throughout Massachusetts and in seven other states. Funding for the Job Board was provided in part from a grant from the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey to improve access and opportunities for individuals with disabilities through the use of technology. Families may write a short description describing their hiring needs, and post it free.
Future Planning for Adults with ASD
Boston University is doing a research study to develop a new program to increase siblings' involvement in future planning for their brother/sister with autism spectrum disorder. They are looking for siblings, service providers, and adults with autism for this study. If you participate, you will either participate in a focus group or a one to two hour one-on-one interview. You will be asked to share your ideas about whether families (i.e., adults with autism and siblings) would be interested in participating in a program about future planning, what should be included in this program, and the best format in which to implement the program. Compensation is $20. Contact  forward@bu.edu or (617) 358-4293 for details. The study is also available in Spanish.
Advanced Legislative Advocacy Training
Monday, February 26, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by Maura Sullivan and Julie Heffernan

The Advanced Training will focus on: building and strengthening relationships with your elected officials; c ritical strategic planning and the budget; t elling your story; m easuring your effectiveness and success; i dentifying and understanding obstacles.

Presented by The Arc of Massachusetts: Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs and Program Director of Operation House Call and Julie Heffernan, Advocacy Alliance Coordinator. Register for this FREE webinar today!
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
Jane Ryder Appointed DDS Commissioner
Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders announced Governor Baker's appointment of Jane Ryder as Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) this week. Secretary Sudders stated, "It is a privilege to work with Commissioner Ryder, who is a strong advocate for the more than 38,000 adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Her leadership will ensure greater consistency across the agency and strengthen relationships with families."

With graduate degrees from Harvard's Kennedy School and UMass' McCormack Institute, Comm. Ryder has worked at DDS since 1995. Most recently, she served as Deputy Commissioner where, among other things, she oversaw improvement of consistency in practice across the state, the increase of federal revenue through waiver enrollment, and the promotion of shared living and self-direction.
Operation House Call Receives Grant from Bailey's Team for Autism
OHC is pleased to announce the program has been awarded a Bailey's Team for Autism grant for the second year in a row. OHC and The Arc of Massachusetts are fortunate to be included among the other exceptional Bailey's Team grantees for 2018.
 
OHC will use the grant funds to grow our programs. We will increase the number of students getting experiential learning, as well as grow and continue to diversify our family network. We will also train more co-teachers/self-advocates with autism.
Important: Facebook Changes Coming Soon - Stay in Touch!
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced forthcoming changes to the Facebook news feed
. Friends and family will be given immediate
priority, with businesses and organizations receiving less visibility in your feed. If you've liked The Arc of Massachusetts official Facebook page, please consider selecting the option
 "See First" on the "Following" drop down menu on our page. This will ensure that we're still reaching you with the latest news from The Arc. To further keep in touch, please follow us on Twitter, @TheArcofMass.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight
The Arc of Massachusetts  | (781) 891-6270 |  thearcofmass.org