Welcome to the new Notes from The Arc !

Make sure you read on for updates on the road ahead for Nicky's Law; a look back at all our Government Affairs team accomplished in FY18; an introduction to our newest SUPPORT broker ; and more!
Leo's Letter
Policy and Advocacy: A Year in Review

As we exit the "dog days of summer," it may be a good time to share the past fiscal year's advocacy work prepared by our Government Affairs team. It's a short digest and we invite you to dig deeper by looking at our website, including the Advocacy Page which includes the State Budget, Bill Priorities and Policy Issues.

We don't review here our federal level advocacy where we've worked to prevent elimination or cuts to the government programs which are critical to our constituents and state. We've remained active through The Arc's national leadership. 

Legislators of the Year:  This year,  Representative Denise Garlick  is The Arc's legislator of the year. Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery, she represents Dover, Needham, and parts of Medfield in the state legislature.  Senator James Eldridge  is the MDDC legislator of the year. Chair of the Committee on Financial Services, his seat is known as Middlesex and Worcester. Continue reading.

Many thanks to Harvey Yee for making a contribution from Cummings Properties possible. Yee, a long-time advocate and donor to The Arc of Massachusetts, recommended the $1,000 gift to Cummings’s new Client Directed Giving Program. We are thrilled and grateful to have received this contribution! 

The Arc of Massachusetts wants to hear from you ! Please tell us about your PCA services by completing this brief survey. We are interested in analyzing trends in hours approved.
SUPPORT brokers welcomes Ellen Heald!

Ellen Heald is a principal at the Northshore Education Consortium Transitions Programs of SOAR and Embark which are located on the campus of Salem State University. The SOAR and Embark programs assist special education students ages 18-22 with transition services. Ellen oversees all of the programmatic operations. She facilitates employment opportunities, access to college classes, social skill development, academic skills, independent living skills and collaboration with adult service agencies to facilitate ongoing supports for individuals with a wide range of needs. Read Ellen's full bio.
Vinfen Celebration of Family Partnerships

Each year, Vinfen honors families, advocates, self-advocates, and staff who have made a difference in the lives of the people they serve. At Vinfen, we transform lives together and families and other caregivers are an integral part of this transformation. Vinfen will host the 11th Annual Celebration of Family Partnerships on October 3, 2018 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood.

If you are interested in learning more about the event or would like to attend, please contact Amy Kabilian at 781-626-5080 or kabiliana@vinfen.org . The event is open to people Vinfen serves, their families and loved ones, and Vinfen staff.
Government Affairs
The road ahead for Nicky's Law

Nicky's Law continues to grow even more support with our House leadership and Republican leadership. We are speaking with their offices daily and asking constituents to call specific Representatives for additional support. Our original co-sponsors are stepping up as well. The coming September elections will likely take priority over bills moving to informal sessions in the next week or so, but we are pushing anyway and mid September is plausible.

Here is the best estimate of the process that Nicky's Law would take:
  • It must be reported out of House Ways and Means
  • Then it goes through the Committee of Steering, Policy and Scheduling (a formality)
  • It would then go to the floor and it would be ordered to a 3rd reading
  • Should the bill come out favorable, it would then be engrossed on the House side
  • Then it would go on to the Senate and it would go through the same process before being engrossed
  • If the Senate does so without amending the bill, then it would be able to be enacted and then...
  • It would go to the Governor for signature

There is a lot that can occur between now and the bill reaching the Governor, but first and foremost, House Ways and Means must report it out.

We are grateful to all of you for your dedication and advocacy. You all have the perseverance that it takes! If you have any questions about the bill or the process, please contact Maura Sullivan at  sullivan@arcmass.org .
Training Center
Is AAC The Right Choice? Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) for Adults with Disabilities
Presenter: Paul Simeone
9/13/18, 12:00pm, Free

Paul will discuss strategies for successful adaption of AAC systems for adults with developmental disabilities. He will also cover current AAC technology, the evaluation and implementation process, and coordination in AAC treatment during transition from school to adult placement.

Aging with Autism: Learning from the Life of Donald Triplett
Presenter: Beth Zwick
9/19/18, 12:00pm, Free

This webinar will discuss issues related to aging with autism by considering the life of Donald G. Triplett, a man with autism who turns 85 this year. We will look at his life course and quality of life as he ages, as described by journalists John Donvan and Caren Zucker.

Raising the Bar: Seeing Employment as Part of Our Children’s Future
Presenter: Sean Roy
10/10/18, 12:00pm, Free

This session is designed to help parents see that with high expectations, the right supports, and thoughtful preparation, employment is possible. Success stories will be shared and strategies offered to help youth prepare for employment through chores at home and work experience in the community.

Partnering with Families: Working Towards Employment Success
Presenter: Sean Roy
10/11/18, 2:30pm, Free

This session will highlight the importance of family involvement in the employment success of youth, while providing strategies for professionals to better engage families in the process. Topics will include understanding the family perspective, addressing apprehension in exploring community-based employment, and strategies for helping families play a key role in career readiness and the job search.

Agency Spotlight