Fenruary 2, 2017

Families are the foundation on which our society is built. However, access to assistance isn't always easy to find or receive. Child care programs for working parents vary in quality and are expensive, health care costs and premiums continue to rise, and a person can buy a house for the cost of a four-year university degree. 
Imagine what it's like for a family that has juggled their schedule for years and finds there is no funding for adult services for their son or daughter who turned 22 years old and is done with school. On top of all the "typical" juggling, they are faced with some tough questions. Some are forced to leave their jobs or work part-time; while others spend months trying to patch together solutions.  Turning 22, a law established in 1984 to "provide a planning process for young adults with severe disabilities as they leave special education and transition into the adult service system" has been formally adjusted just once. A lot has changed since that last adjustment in the mid-1990s initiated by Paul Haley, House Chair of Ways and Means.
The Governor has shared his proposal - one that we greatly appreciate - to right-size the formula for graduates. It is now in the hands of the House and Senate who have the responsibility for the final decision. We'll ask our friends in both branches to make the adjustment as they did in the 1990s, but this time for the nearly 1,000 young adults who graduate each year. It's an investment not only in their future, but also in their families.And since family is the foundation on which society is built, it's an investment that will return to all of us. 
Leo V. Sarkissian 
Executive Director

The Finish Line is in Sight!
We are nearing the finish line! Construction is starting to wrap up on The Arc of Massachusetts' new headquarters, as you can see from this photo. And, the Home for the Future Capital Campaign is approaching its goal of $1.6 million.

Three long-time supporters of The Arc of Massachusetts issued a fundraising challenge recently:  raise  at least $200,000 in new gifts and commitments for the Home for the Future Capital Campaign and receive an additional gift of $100,000!
You can essentially increase your gift by 50%, when you give during the challenge window; all commitments must be received by June 30, 2017 in order to count toward the challenge.
To date, we have raised just over $100,000 toward our $200,000 challenge goal.
You can help!
Give to the Home for the Future Campaign 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 x6105.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRSgovernmentaffairs
Bill Sharing Day
credit: MDDC
On January 31, The Arc of Mass joined many disability advocacy organizations at the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council's Bill Sharing Day. This event allows organizations and individuals to share information on bills of significance to the autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities community.  Advocacy organizations learn about each other's priorities, where they may overlap, and new important initiatives in terms of legislation.
The Arc shared our top ten priority bills for the 190 th session; focusing on areas of higher education, health care, and housing.  Please check out our bill priorities and if you can, contact your legislators before Friday and ask them to sign on as co-sponsors.  As we move through the hearings and committees, having as much legislative support as possible can make a difference in the life of the bill!
Please contact Maura Sullivan at sullivan@arcmass.org or 781 891-6270, ext 6113.
The 2018 Budget and Turning 22 
Monday, February 6, 12:00-1:00 PM, FREE
During this webinar, special attention will be given on the line items affecting individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities including autism and their caregivers.  Leo will explain the impact and highlight the landmark proposal to  fully fund the Turning 22 line item with $24 million; while addressing ongoing needs for this year's graduates.   The House and Senate will be making the final decisions on the budget as we move through this legislative session.
Join us and learn how to preserve these important services!
Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts will be presenting an overview of the governor's budget request.

Save the Date for our 39th Annual Legislative Reception!
Presented by The Arc of Massachusetts and MDDC

Monday, March 27, 2017
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Great Hall, State House

Learn The Basics of Self-Advocacy
with The Arc of Massachusetts and Special Olympics Massachusetts

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Yawkey Sports Training Center, 512 Forest St., Marlborough
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHTsponsorspotlight

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