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I worry sometimes about the shape of disability services to come.  I'm heartened by stories, uplifting ones about individuals who have succeeded in their journey. Their drive and skills were supported by family and good staff along the way.

But there are those other stories that should worry us -  one I read just recently about artist Teresa Pocock of Vancouver.  A middle-aged woman with Down syndrome, she was forced to enter a nursing home against her wishes five years ago in Ontario. This happened in Canada, a country known for its progressive disability policies. Now back in the community, she is sharing her art and an apology from the Ontario government.  Continue reading.
FEATURED
Rollover balances from a 529 College Savings Plan 
You can now roll balances from 529 plans owned by a family member into an Attainable Savings PlanTM account. Rollovers from 529 accounts into an Attainable account are counted against the annual contribution limit, which is currently $15,000 (more if the designated beneficiary has income from employment), but this rollover ability provides a good way to fund your Attainable account and keep your benefits protected.


Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC
900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917
809621.3.0

The Attainable Savings Plan is offered by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority and managed by Fidelity Investments. Qualified ABLE Programs offered by other states may provide state tax benefits to their residents or taxpayers that are not available through the Attainable Savings Plan. If you are not a resident of Massachusetts, you should consider whether your home state offers its residents or taxpayers state tax advantages or benefits for investing in your home state's qualified ABLE program before making an investment in the Attainable Savings Plan.
Units of the portfolios are municipal fund securities and are subject to market fluctuation and volatility. You may have a gain or loss when you sell your units.
 
Please carefully consider the Attainable Savings Plan's investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information, contact Fidelity for a free Disclosure Document or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
Autism Welcoming Community in MetroWest
Advocates and Autism Alliance are working to create an "Autism Welcoming" community in Framingham and beyond! Our goal is to collaborate with community businesses in an effort to create a culture of understanding and sensitivity surrounding individuals and families living with Autism. We're going to help businesses become sensory responsive by educating staff and assisting with simple, but impactful accommodations including sensory friendly events.

In addition, we're creating a Caregiver Corps to address the respite needs of families. The Caregiver Corps will partner with families to develop an ongoing respite-relationship - either on an individual basis or through group respite. Advocates has received a grant from The Becker Family Trust to partner with businesses and create the Caregiver Corps. Continued here.
The Arc of Massachusetts wants to hear from you!
We are interested in analyzing trends in hours approved.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Self-advocates discuss MassHealth and SNAP with Congresswoman Clark's office
L-R: Janice Smith, Jay Higgins, Valerie Lessa, Yah-Bleelay Gaye, Julie Heffernan, and Nora McShane 

On August 14, Minute Man Arc self-advocates Janice Smith, Valerie Lessa, and Nora McShane, along with staff member Yah-Bleelay Gaye, traveled to the Woburn Senior Center to meet with Congresswoman Katherine Clark's Constituent Services Representative Jay Higgins. Mr. Higgins specializes in social security, medicaid, and medicare benefits (often referred to as "senior issues," even though this group of benefits is important to the disability community, as well).

He was interested to hear the group's concerns regarding MassHealth and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Mr. Higgins pointed out that Congresswoman Clark, who represents the 5th District of Massachusetts, holds regular office hours throughout her district (in Framingham, Waltham, Sudbury, Belmont, and Malden), which provide a great opportunity for her constituents to ask for guidance procuring these benefits .
 
Thank you, Minute Man Arc self-advocates, for sharing your stories and telling Mr. Higgins why MassHealth and SNAP are important lifelines for our community.
#TheArcVotes: An interview with Senator Richard J. Ross
On August 1, self-advocate Opal Geminiani from The Arc of Bristol County met with Senator Richard J. Ross to discuss The Arc of Massachusetts's Get Out the Vote campaign, #TheArcVotes. Julie Heffernan (Advocacy Alliance Coordinator) and Katerina Daley (Development and Digital Media Associate) also attended the meeting.

Opal interviewed Senator Ross about why it is important for everyone to vote; why people with disabilities should be allowed to vote; and how personal stories and experiences can inform voters' choices.

Thank you to Senator Ross and his team for making this wonderful interview possible, and for helping to raise awareness about this important issue.
TRAINING CENTER
The Arc of Opportunity's Primary Election Workshop
Wednesday, August 22 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM
564 Main Street, Fitchburg

We invite self-advocates, families, caregivers, and community members to join us for a workshop about the candidates running in the primary election for the House of Representatives. Learn where each stands on the issues in the upcoming election this fall. RSVP to Madeline Merchant by Monday August 20: (978) 343-6662 x1011, or m.merchant@arcofopportunity.org.
Free webinars coming this Fall!
Thursday, September 13, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by  Paul Simeone, MA, CCC-SLP, ATP,  a licensed speech-language pathologist and a certified assistive technology professional. 
 
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by Beth Zwick, a Program Officer and Director of Community Relations at the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, where her portfolio includes developing recreation programs for older adults with autism and the study of issues related to aging and autism.
 
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Thursday, October 11, 2018 | 2:30 - 3:30 PM
Both these webinars will be presented by Sean Roy, a Training Associate with TransCen Inc. In this position, he works to provide training and technical assistance, leading to improved success for youth with disabilities who are transitioning from school into life in the community.

These webinars are FREE thanks to a grant from MPTE and DDS!
AGENCY SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight 
The Arc of Massachusetts  | (781) 891-6270 |  thearcofmass.org