March 16, 2017

In the mid 1960s, my father's cousin delivered a baby son with Down syndrome. I was 13 years old and it was my first exposure to disability. Although we lived far from one another, I would see cousin Armen at extended family events during the year. Yes, there was a sense that Armen was different, but it was clear that he was part of the family. During his youth, Armen's family moved to California, so I don't know how I would have behaved with him as he got older. But he did get to be near his first cousins who, from all accounts, were happy to have him close.
If a child with a disability is going to feel accepted, it seems three environments are significant beyond the immediate family: the extended family, the neighborhood in which he or she lives, and the child care or school setting depending on the age of the child. These also are the settings in which you can begin the journey to social inclusion.
I asked Evelyn Hausslein - past board member, founding director of SupportBrokers, and a thoughtful mentor - to share some of her experiences about extended family and her past role overseeing FCSN's Early Intervention training center for staff and families. She has great insight on the topic. Evelyn made her comments around two themes: communication and participation. I hope you'll appreciate the ideas and insights she shares with us.
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Advocacy Day Rescheduled
Due to Tuesday's storm, Supporting Families Advocacy Day has been rescheduled to:
 Tuesday, March 21  
10:30 AM -1:00 PM
State House, Room 222

If you are not able to attend in person please call your representative and senator on that day.
Autonomy, Decision Making Supports, 
and Guardianship 

April 11, 2017 7:00 - 8:00 PM
What options are available to help protect your children in adulthood? Attorney Misilo will walk you through the types of protection; benefits and processes.  You will learn about the court proceedings and requirements for guardianship, as well as, the new benefits of supported decision making.    
Presented by Attorney Frederick Misilo, Group Chairperson, Special Needs Practice, Fletcher Tilton, PC.  
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
State House Celebration

state house

Presented By Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services and The DDS Statewide Advisory Council 

Community inclusion and membership provide opportunities for individuals to be fully accepted, engaged and active participants in all aspects of community life. It is about people being accepted for who they are as individuals beyond their disability, with the focus on their interests, gifts, talents and ways they can contribute to community life. 
Help celebrate successful experiences to promote inclusive communities and recognize the individuals, families, staff, and community members who helped make these opportunities a reality.

Wednesday, March 22


   The Great Hall, State House

COO Position at The Arc of South Shore
The Arc of the South Shore is recruiting for a Chief Operations Officer (COO).  Reporting to the CEO, the COO is responsible for planning, directing and monitoring the corporate culture and all general business operations of the agency including: Corporate Compliance, human resources and payroll, information technology needs for the agency, facilities management, and vendor contract functions. The COO takes the lead ensuring agency compliance with MassHealth managed care changes. We are looking for an experienced human service leader who is energetic, focused, and outcome oriented.
The Arc of the South Shore is a private nonprofit agency located in Weymouth, Ma with revenue of $11M annually with 210 employees and 2000 individuals and families served.  Requirements: Master's degree in a relevant field and several years of general and financial management experience with a minimum of 3 years in a senior management position.  Read  more here.
UMass Study on Employment
Are you a parent of a student with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities between the ages of 14-24? Are you interested in how Facebook Messenger might be used as a tool to coach families on planning for employment?

The Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass is conducting a study to test the impact of an individualized motivational communication strategy on planning for employment in the community and  exploring how individuals with I/DD and family members use information and supports to develop an employment vision, and move from that vision to an employment outcome. All participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card in appreciation of their time and effort in participating in this study. To register, or to get more information, please contact John at  or 617-287-4345.

2017 Special Education Conference & 7th Annual School Fair

Thursday March 23, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center
181 Boston Post Road W.
Marlborough, MA  01752

Register 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

Protecting Disability Benefits:
Advocacy Strategies In These Uncertain Times

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
6:45 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.

Minute Man Arc for Human Services, Inc.
35 Forest Ridge Road, Concord
Register by Friday, March 31 by contacting  
Michele Klein at  or 978-287-7910. 
Please include your phone number when registering.  
If the weather is questionable, call 978-287-7900 to check on event status.
Sponsored By: 

Massachusetts Community Transportation Coordination Conference

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross
1 College Street, Worcester

SAVE THE DATE: The 24th Annual Shared Living & AFC Conference

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Best Western Royal Plaza
Hotel & Trade Center
181 Boston Post Road W, Marlborough, MA 01752
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHTsponsorspotlight

The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 |