April 19, 2018
Senator Ed Markey on the Fight for Medicaid

Exciting Gala Auction Brochure Now Online!
Our exciting auction brochure - featuring one of a kind experiences, vacation getaways, autographed memorabilia, and much more - is now online! Take a look at what the live and silent auctions have to offer and see if anything piques your interest!

Advocate For The Arc Supported Budget Amendments!
On Friday, April 13, House of Representatives members submitted 1400 amendments to the recently released House Ways and Means Committee FY19 budget. We have actively encouraged House members to sign on as co-sponsors to seven of those amendments, which ask that funding be increased for budget line items affecting supporting families services and supporting adult services.

The House budget debate is slated to begin on Monday, April 23 so your advocacy and action is timely this week.

The Arc of the United States Launches Storytelling Initiative
Personal stories are one of the strongest advocacy tools we have - they educate, motivate, and empower. The Arc of the United States is excited to release a new toolkit to support chapters in growing grassroots advocacy capacity through stories. Tools for Building Power Through Personal Stories includes tips for finding the right story for advocacy efforts, building a story bank, interviewing storytellers, sample materials, and examples of stories in advocacy.
Advocate Today: Operation House Call Needs Your Support!
Operation House Call (OHC) has been training over 500 medical students and health professionals per year through 4 powerful teaching components of the course. OHC provides foundational knowledge (through lecture) and experiential learning (through home visits). 

200 families across Massachusetts have rallied for this program's expansion because of personal experiences and the strong desire to affect change for the ones we love.  The program uses real life to help grow understanding and shift bias that can affect treatment and assessment.

Operation House Call ensures quality of care for patients with I/DD.  The prevalence of autism and I/DD continues to rise with increased numbers of children developing autism and more babies surviving with developmental disabilities. 

Please join with us today and advocate to ensure quality of care for all. We have provided a pre-written letter for you that you may customize and personalize as you like. Take part in this quick advocacy letter campaign and tell your legislators why a program like OHC is so important to you. 
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
AFAM's Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day Success!
Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts hosted the 2018 Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day on April 12 in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House. Close to 300 families, professionals and legislators attended the event emceed by Heather Hegedus of Boston 25 News and Gyasi Burks-Abbott, a self-advocate.

The theme of the event was "Planning for the Future is Now." Timing for the event was excellent as the attendees were able to advocate with legislators for the House budget released just the day before.

AFAM presented the Distinguished Legislator of the Year award to Senator Mike Moore and Life Time Achievement Awards were presented to Senator Barbara L'Italien and Lisa Borges.
Intelligent Lives East Coast Premiere
Independent Film Festival Boston
Friday, April 27 | 7:30 PM
Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville
Have you heard the buzz about disability rights filmmaker Dan Habib's new documentary  Intelligent Lives? The film stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities - Micah, Naieer, and Naomie - who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce.

Intelligent Lives will be having its east coast premiere on Friday, April 27 at the Independent Film Festival Boston in the Somerville Theatre. Narrator and Executive Producer Chris Cooper and Marianne Leone Cooper will be joining Dan Habib for the screening, as well as film stars Naieer (of Dorchester) and Naomie (of Providence).
News from the State House:
Budget Updates and Next Steps

Monday, April 23, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director, The Arc of Massachusetts
Thanks to the Becker Center for Advocacy, this webinar is free! |  Register today!
Financial Wellbeing: Reframing the Benefits Conversation
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 | 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Presented by Rick Kugler and Cindy Thomas, Institute for Community Inclusion
How Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission Works with
Transition Age Youth
Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by Jennifer Stewart, Director of Transition,
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Thanks to a grant from Massachusetts Partnerships for Transition To Employment (MPTE), this webinar is free! | Register today!
Aging with Autism Community Forum
April 27, 2018 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA

Many adults with autism over the age of 50 have never been diagnosed and still reside with their family members. There is a scarcity of research on these individuals.  Panelists Lea Hill, Dept of Developmental Services, and Beth Zwick, Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, will provide information on the trends that are being discovered and what supports are available.  Register by April 25.

For more information, please contact patpakos@gmail.comSpecial thanks to the Dana Home Foundation for funding this forum!
An Introduction to Key Aspects of Supported Decision Making
Michael Kendrick and Anna Krieger, Center for Public Representation
Monday, May 14, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
FREE thanks to the Becker Center for Advocacy | Register today!

Individuals with disabilities, like all adults, should have the right to make their own decisions. They should be provided support and guidance rather than legal restrictions or guardianship. This webinar will provide an overview of Supported Decision Making - how it works and what the key elements are.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight
The Arc of Massachusetts  | (781) 891-6270 |