December 17, 2020 | Issue #72
A New Year Brings a New Hope
The vaccine’s distribution this week gives us new hope that the isolation triggered by the pandemic should end sometime in the coming year. We are heartened that persons with disabilities and their staff in congregate living settings appear to be covered in "Phase One" of distribution.

The Baker administration has shared its timeline for the vaccine distribution on this page. But there are many persons with disabilities who may not be covered during this phase. Continue reading Leo's Letter.
Support The Arc
The CARES Act and Charitable Giving
Earlier this year, Congress passed the CARES Act, which provides new and expanded tax incentives for charitable giving. Even if you do not itemize your income tax deductions, you can reduce your taxable income by up to $300 when you make a gift of cash (not stock or other assets) to a nonprofit organization like The Arc of Massachusetts. If you itemize your deductions, you now can claim cash contributions up to 100 percent of your adjusted gross income on your 2020 returns; this is up from 60 percent.

Plus, if you are 70 ½ or older, you can make a contribution to The Arc directly from your IRA and completely avoid the income tax you would have paid on the withdrawal. Charitable distributions from an IRA are not eligible for a charitable tax deduction since they are exempt from income tax. The tax-free transfer lets you benefit from making a gift to The Arc of Massachusetts, even without itemizing.

You can make strong advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism possible. Please consider a gift today. For more information about the CARES Act, visit or see "Do You Qualify for a $300 Tax Deduction Under the CARES Act?"
Sponsor Spotlight
Meet One of The Arc’s Agency Sponsors: Road to Responsibility
For over 32 years, Road to Responsibility (RTR) has been devoted to Making Lives Better. Despite the current public health crisis, RTR remains focused on its mission to provide the means, the opportunity, and the support necessary to allow citizens with disabilities to take their place as productive members of the community. RTR operates programs in 110 communities, offering day programs, residential services, and employment services. Through these services, Road to Responsibility is proud to improve the lives of every individual, one person at a time. To learn more about their programs and how you can get involved, visit:
Pathways to Friendship
For some people, remote participation is a way to ease into an activity, providing an opportunity to gain confidence, competence and comfort that bodes well for future real connections. When shelter-in-place orders began in early March 2020, we first started hearing about “social distancing” practices. However, is not really about being socially distanced; it is about being physically distanced to prevent us from spreading the virus. We had to limit in-person interactions with those who live outside of our “bubble” or home. Continue reading.
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.
Tuesday, January 5 @ 2:00PM
Autism Housing Pathways has updated and expanded its companion website,, to provide an overview of the full range of affordable and subsidized housing options in Massachusetts. Step by step directions for completing many applications are provided, as is a spreadsheet to help track applications and keep them up to date. There is also a PowerPoint on site to help transition and family support professionals learn how to support families through the housing application process. This work was made possible by the generous support of a grant from CHNA 15. 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.