April 14, 2017

The Arc of Massachusetts celebrates the release of the Massachusetts House Ways and Means FY2018 Budget announced by Chair Brian Dempsey. Chair Dempsey and the House Ways/Means Committee members not only have recognized the rising number of students requiring public support as adults, but ensure that all young adults who n eed Department of Developmental Services (DDS) funding will receive it. For The Arc, this is a landmark decision. The 2018 budget addresses costs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
The Turning 22 line item increased by nearly $17 Million to $24.2 Million in the DDS budget as part of a new formula to reach the nearly 1,000 students who graduate from high school annually and require adult services.  
Other related accounts such as day and employment supports, residential, and transportation also received formula increases to address ongoing costs into 2018 of those students helped by Turning 22 services this year (FY17). 
A big thank you and appreciation to the Ways and Means Committee and its leadership! 
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Extending The Legacy: 
The Arc of Massachusetts 
Celebrates the Becker Family

On April 6, a standing room only crowd gathered at the Sheraton Framingham to celebrate the enduring legacy of Dan and Angela Becker and their son Michael. Hosted by Alex Moschella, the Beckers' attorney and trustee of their estate, the program featured many wonderful memories about the Becker family, a keynote address by Elin Howe, Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services, and two major announcements.
A long-time advisor to the Becker family, Alex has specialized in elder and disability law for more than 35 years and currently is Senior Legal Counsel at Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin where he is head of the firm's Estate Planning, Elder Law and Special Needs Group. He has spent decades as a volunteer in our field and has represented some of our movement's founding mothers and fathers.
After sharing several warm memories of Dan and Angela, Alex issued a challenge to attendees and supporters of The Arc of Massachusetts. "Who will be the next Dan Becker to carry on the legacy of advocacy?" he asked. "Who will step up to be the next philanthropists to take The Arc to the next level? We need to make sure that there will be volunteers, advocates, and staff, resources, and funding available to keep up the fight until people with disabilities have the save opportunities and rights as those without."
Alex then asked Cynthia Haddad to speak about the Beckers. Cindy, who is a Lead Wealth Advisor and Co-Founder of Special Needs Financial Planning, a specialty practice to Shepherd Financial Partners in Winchester, helps families like the Beckers in planning the lifelong care for their family member with special needs. Cindy gave attendees a very personal glimpse into the Becker family. "Behind Dan and all his passion for his son Michael, was his cherished wife, Angela. She was the love of his life. He was always so loving and gentle and kind when they were together. This mighty man at the State House was indeed a true gentleman to his bride." Continued...  
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRSgovernmentaffairs
Join the Nicky's Law Group
Nicky's Law will create an abuse registry, which will protect the safety and dignity of people with disabilities. Persons substantiated of abuse or neglect of an individual with autism or other intellectual or developmental disabilities will be listed on this registry and this will prevent re-hiring.
The bill, which was filed by Senator Mike Moore and Representative Linda Dean Campbell, is S 64 H 80.
Nicky's Law will require all provider agencies to check the regist ry through inquiry before hiring a new employee. The Arc has worked closely with the appropriate agencies and stakeholders, including Nicky's family. We are grateful to Nicky's family for coming forward to initiate this bill and for their long time contribution to this effort.
Please help us advocate for this important legislation - our goal is to pass this bill during this legislative session!
Contact Maura Sullivan, Dir. of Gov. Affairs (sullivan@arcmass.orgat The Arc of Mass for information on how to get behind this initiative.
Request to join the group: 
What's Out There?

May 4, 2017 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Do you have a son or daughter with an intellectual and/or developmental disability including autism under the age of 22?  

Many services and supports are available to families that include a child or children with developmental disabilities and special health care needs. This presentation will review publicly funded services and supports that your family can utilize, regardless of income. We'll review eligibility criteria, application processes, and points of contact for programs through the Department of Developmental Services, MassHealth, the Department of Public Health, and more. The information provided will be relevant to families with children of all ages, from immediately after diagnosis up through age 22.  
Sophia Johansson serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Massachusetts Organizing for Change and works directly with families to develop their leadership skills in her role as Northeast Regional Coordinator. She is both a child and parent to an individual with disabilities and is passionate about empowering families to navigate the system while also "imagining better" for their loved ones.
  Financial assistance is available.  Contact Kerry  Mahoney@arcmass.org  
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."
"Choice and Control" FREE Workshop
Hosted by MDDC and MASS

Content is on making good decisions to have more control of your life. Designed for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
1:00 - 3:00 pm

Cary Library
1874 Massachusetts Ave | Lexington

RSVP by April 17 to Louise Gorham (617-872-4169)
or Lee Larriu (617-770-7676 ext 118)

Study from Boston University is Looking for Participants

Examining the perspectives of individuals with disabilities and their siblings regarding independent living, employment, and self-determination.

Webinar: The ABLE Act: A Tool for Financial 
Stability and Employment Outcomes
Hosted by The LEAD Center and ABLE National Resource Center

Thursday, April 27, 2017
3:00 pm-4:30 pm

Partnering with Families Across Cultures:
 More Than Just an Invitation & Translation
Hosted by MFOFC and TASH

Thursday, May 11, 2017
10:00 am-4:00 pm

Cooperative For Human Services
420 Bedford Street, Suite 100 | Lexington, MA

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHTsponsorspotlight

The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 |   arcmass.org