August 10, 2017

Collaboration: A Necessity, not just Good Practice
When the US Senate decided NOT to end the National-State partnership in Medicaid, I was reminded again that collaboration is essential for any successful activity on a broad scale. The vote was very close, but a different decision would have let state decide what would be covered and not covered in health care and lead to major adverse changes in the Medicaid program. 

Jon Meyers-Arizona, Marijo Rymer-Colorado, Kim Dodson-Indiana - all fellow leaders of their state affiliate of The Arc 

This week, the National Conference of State Legislatures held its annual summit in Boston.  Leaders of state affiliates of The Arc flew in to help educate legislators about our community and needs. The national office organized our activities so that we could outreach to 6,500 legislators, aides, and administration officials. Along with AARP, health advocates, utilities, census bureau, alcohol distillers, and many others, The Arc was there informing and educating.
Our main theme at The Arc's booth was preserving Medicaid as we know it and making sure the legislators appreciate the value it provides to citizens with disabilities. We asked them to help us make sure their federal delegations were aware. 
Collaboration among The Arc and within our field is essential if we are to succeed in state and federal level advocacy! 
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director    
The Arc of Massachusetts is Hiring!
We are seeking to fill an opening for a Development and Digital Media Associate, which is a key position on The Arc of Massachusetts staff. Reporting to the Director of Development, this is a full-time, entry-level position responsible for managing social media and electronic media; assisting with development and program activities; and acknowledgements and donor database management. We are seeking someone with a high level of computer competency, excellent written and verbal communications skills, and strong organizational skills.
The job description and information on how to apply can be found at

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRSgovernmentaffairs
Testimony from CBDS Hearing
Dan Burke (C), President & CEO of The Arc of South Norfolk, Sharon Smith (R), Sr VP, COO of WORK Inc. and Maura Sullivan (L), Director of Gov Affairs for The Arc of Massachusetts testified last Friday at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) public hearings on Community Based Day Support Services. The Arc is concerned about inadequate rates and is advocating for increasing staff ratios to allow for safe and meaningful community inclusion. Together with our partner organizations, affiliates and other stakeholders, we hope to influence the regulations to better serve individuals in CBDS. Read the full testimony here. 
MA Pediatric Home Care Nursing Campaign on 
the Jim Braudy Show
Photo Credit: The Boston Globe
Angela Ortiz and Noelia Ferreira, who was featured in this week's Sunday Globe, spoke with Jim Braudy about the unavailability of nurses to care for their daughters because of low reimbursement rates. 

Accessory Housing Units Bill Passed
Through Join Committee
S 2132, a bill to allow Accessory Housing Units has been passed favorably through the Joint Committee on Housing. This bill has been a priority for The Arc, as well as Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts. This legislation will allow the creation of long-term affordable housing options for people with I/DD and for seniors in the form of two-bedroom accessory apartments. The Arc will continue to advocate with other stakeholders through the legislative process.  Senator Barbara L'Italien is the sponsor on this legislation and we are grateful for her continued dedication to issues of housing for people with intellectual and development disabilities including autism.
For more information please contact Maura Sullivan at
New Grant to Fund Pilot Program
The Dana Home Foundation in Lexington has awarded a grant to The Arc of Massachusetts, Supportbrokers to conduct a one-year pilot program called Supporting Seniors with Autism in Lexington. The Arc is in the process of identifying 10 possible participants over the age of 50 who reside in the town.
Supportbrokers has years of experience helping individuals with disabilities thrive in their communities.  One of their primary services is the implementation of Person-Centered Planning, a process used to help people with disabilities create a vision and a plan for the future based upon the person's unique interests, needs and dreams.
The goals of the year-long pilot are to:
  • Identify the needs of individuals as they age
  • Conduct Person-Centered Plans on each individual
  • Identify and develop collaboration with town services and support organizations
  • Promote integration into the Lexington community
  • Create a plan which incorporates Life Domains such as:  Daily life, Safety and Security, Healthy Living, Social and Spirituality, Citizenship and Advocacy, Service and Supports, and the Needs of the Family Unit
If you think your loved one would benefit from participating in this pilot or would like additional information , please contact Pat Pakos at or 978-440-7609.
Person Centered Transition Planning Webinar for 
Educators and School Administrators
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
This webinar will focus on the use of Person Centered Planning in creating seamless transitions to adult services for students ages 14-22. Participants will look back at the historical perspectives of student planning, learn why a person centered approach makes sense and view methods of person centered planning. This workshop will provide examples of student outcomes and highlight best practices.   
Financial assistance is available. Contact Kerry 
Fees underwrite webinar expenses
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 | 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Teachers, are you looking for some new curriculum?
Representatives from PwC will discuss financial literacy education for individuals with disabilities.  The discussion will focus on how these skills contribute to long-term independence and dignity, and available resources for teaching.  We will explain the role that saving, budgeting, purchase decisions, and financial safety play in the lives of individuals with disabilities.
Financial assistance is available. Contact Kerry 
Fees underwrite webinar expenses
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."
WHAT'S TRENDINGWhatstrending
Save The Date: Transition Conference 2017
Plans are underway for the all-day Transition Conference on Saturday,November 4 at College of the Holy Cross. The day will be packed with information on the essentials of transition and best practices. Registration opens at the end of August. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor at the conference, contact Kerry or 781 891-6270 x 109.
Jim Brett Honored for Disabilities Advocacy
Jim Brett, New England Council President and CEO, was recently honored by the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry with the organization's 2017 Katie Beckett Award. Jim was presented with the award at the Academy's Annual Conference in Houston, Texas.
The Katie Beckett Award is presented annually to the person who best personifies the spirit and passion of the Beckett Family.
Jim is pictured here at the conference with Dr. Steve Perlman of Swampscott, Massachusetts.
REquipment Gets New Wheels!
With funding from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, REquipment, Inc. has purchased a new-to-us lift-equipped van! The van means they can collect and deliver donated equipment faster than their current-turn-around cycle and overall more people will get what they need to live better in their communities.

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHTsponsorspotlight

The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 |