March 22, 2017

School years: Connecting your child with kids in the school and community
Our family topic this week is about how you can connect your child with others in school and in the community. The "Friends at School" toolkit makes this topic much more accessible; you can find it on our website . It was developed by Zach Rosetti, with assistance from Jim Ross, Mary Ann Brennan,  and others.
Zach's interest was sparked by his brother Todd. Throughout his school years, he was included in general education classrooms. As Zach notes, Todd was accepted by caring classmates. In fact, he was possibly the most popular or well-known student in each of his schools. Whenever Zach went out in the community with his family or with Todd, people would come over and say hi to him and they would explain their connection. Read more

Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  

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The Arc is on the Move
We are happy to report that we are scheduled to move back to a former address, but to new offices on Thursday, March 23. This transition may affect communication this week, especially on Thursday when our main phone lines will be transferred back to 217 South Street. We apologize in advance for any delays in our emails or phone responses.
We are fortunate to have received such generous and kind support over the years and specifically for the new offices. We look forward to welcoming you in our new space in the near future.

Make a Difference
Advocacy - both personal and systemic - leads to positive results for people with I/DD. The Arc of Massachusetts does both.
Daniel Becker, a leader in the Arc movement, espoused the benefits of advocating on both levels. It is critical, he said, for families to tell their stories and to fight for laws, funding, and services at the State House. But so too is making sure that your family member has what they need to thrive.
A fierce advocate for his son Michael, he trained parents to speak up, whether they were convincing legislators to increase funding or they were negotiating with school administrators. The skills are transferrable, he would say.
The Arc of Massachusetts advocates relentlessly, seeking to enhance the lives of the 200,000 people in the state who have autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or other I/DD.
Since our founding 62 years ago, we have taken this battle to the State House, to Capitol Hill, and beyond; this past year has been no different. This approach pays off. For example, in January, Governor Charlie Baker released his proposed budget for 2018. It reflects a landmark policy change: Turning 22 finally would be fully funded with the $24 million it needs.
This would not have happened without The Arc's continued pressure and the support of thousands of concerned Massachusetts residents like you.
Systemic advocacy . It is making a difference, but it does not happen without people like you making it possible. You can keep this advocacy strong by giving to The Arc of Massachusetts today.
Empowering people with I/DD and their families to be personal advocates is equally important. The Arc of Massachusetts offers several programs to help families and self-advocates be more effective in their own advocacy. Low-cost webinars to address urgent, real-life topics with which families struggle; SUPPORTbrokers  helps people with disabilities achieve their vision; and the biennial Transition Conference.
These services and programs help thousands of families across Massachusetts not just manage or get by, but to thrive. Hopefully, your own family or loved one is among them.
Your dedication makes all the difference. Please consider making a gift today.
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
Vinfen Moving Images Festival
Vinfen will hold its 10th Annual Moving Images Film Festival, Progress from Prejudice, on Saturday, April 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School.

This year's event will explore prejudice and discrimination faced by people with psychiatric conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and behavioral health challenges through five touching and inspirational films: The Anonymous People, Brooklyn Love Tales, Life Animated, Perfect, and This is Crazy.
The event features films followed by interactive and educational panel discussions comprised of stars from the films; experts in psychiatry, medicine, and nursing; and people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers.  

Strategic Storytelling Workshop
Co-hosted by The Arc of Massachusetts and MFOFC
state house
April 6, 2017 
9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
The Arc of Massachusetts
217 South Street, Waltham

Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change in partnership with The Arc of Massachusetts will hold a workshop on strategic storytelling in Lexington. In these lean budget times, legislators need to hear from us! This is an opportunity to hone your communication and advocacy strategy to make an impact on the upcoming state budget. 

Questions can be directed to Mandee Spittle, Statewide Coordinator, at
Seniors With Autism Spectrum Disorder
The Autism Research Institute invites you to complete a survey on quality of life issues associated with senior adults on the autism spectrum. They hope the results from this survey will provide much insight about the needs and challenges faced by seniors with autism (ages 50 and older) and their support providers.  They anticipate that this study will also inspire others as well as better inform the autism community, government agencies, and other welfare and health-related organizations about such quality of life issues.  

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

Supported Decision Making Workshop

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mass Down Syndrome Congress
Lower Level Conference Room
20 Burlington Mall Road

RSVP by sending an email to  O. Sophia Johansson at

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

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The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 |