December 10, 2020 | Issue #71
The Coronavirus Vaccine Is Coming. Our Community Must Get It.
During my weekly webinar, I shared a piece from the Boston Globe’s Hanna Krueger, who described the disillusionment of “many infectious disease experts.” Their emotions reflect frustration with so much of the public who have ignored warnings or guidelines.

Over the next several months, we’ll have the opportunity to take the vaccine so the spread of this pandemic can decrease. Experts say a minimum of 75% of the population needs to be vaccinated in order for there to be adequate resistance to the spread of COVID-19 within our population.

We know that our constituents are at particular risk due to this virus. Thus, we hope you will join us in encouraging everyone to get the vaccine as it becomes available throughout 2021. This is one thing we all can do to advance the health of our loved ones and friends.

Stay tuned for more facts about the virus, its safety and the protection it offers!
It’s been months since Congress last passed pandemic relief legislation – and we need action now that includes people with disabilities and those who support them! The critical needs of people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support professional (DSP) workforce must be included in the next coronavirus relief bill. Take action.
Support The Arc
While we are all looking forward to better times ahead, there is no doubt that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism and their families will face many more challenges in the weeks and months to come.

The Arc of Massachusetts will continue to help families navigate the pandemic and to advocate for our community. The pandemic is still a rapidly-evolving situation and are working diligently to ensure that the people who are counting on us – the voiceless, the vulnerable, the overwhelmed – will be heard.

We cannot do it without you.

This holiday season, can we count on you to make this work possible? Please consider making a gift today so that all people with disabilities can live a good, safe life.
Thank you, Agency Sponsors!
The Arc of Massachusetts Agency Sponsorship Program is crucial to our work and continued success. By being a sponsor, agencies and schools that provide services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism are making advocacy and The Arc’s programs possible. The Arc of Massachusetts thanks the following members of the Agency Sponsorship Program for recently renewing their support!

Government Affairs
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is encouraging individuals with disabilities and their family members or other caregivers to contact their DDS area offices if you are unable to receive adequate assistance from the Commonwealth during the pandemic. Please find your DDS Area Director here.

After you have reached out to your DDS area office, we encourage you to fill out our short survey to determine whether or not you received adequate services in response to your request.

The Arc will use this information in our outreach to DDS to better serve our families during this pandemic and beyond.
Friday, December 11 @ 12:00PM
The Arc’s Operation House Call program uses families and individuals to teach doctors how to provide better care for people with I/DD and autism. In this webinar, we are going to flip the focus! How can families and individuals do their part to improve medical care, partner with doctors, and make sure their needs are met? We will explore how individuals and families prepare for healthcare transition. We have some great tips! Register.
Monday, December 21 @ 12:00PM
In the midst of the holiday season and the continued uncertainty created by the ongoing pandemic, it’s a great time remind families of available support. Rewarding Work, an affiliate of TILL, Inc., partners with DDS to help individuals and families hire caregivers – including in-home and community support, and respite workers. Theresa Driscoll, Communication Specialist at Rewarding Work, explains how to find and hire support using Rewarding Work’s online directory and job board, and offers tips for interviewing and hiring during the pandemic. Register.

The work of The Arc of Massachusetts is made possible by generous donations from people like you, friend. None of our advocacy, education, and outreach would be possible without your continued support. Please consider giving today.