The individuals and families who make up our community come from all walks of life and backgrounds. This means that their expectations vary and the information which they have (regardless of education) ranges from minimal to comprehensive.

Our field is a "service" industry, and the word "services" is often used - disability supports or services, human services, etc. "Touchpoints" are all the ways you connect to your "customer" from start to finish. Sticking with individuals and families, "touchpoints" connotes all the contacts starting with a request for help to the point when the need is met - or when a new path must begin! Continue reading.
Final Days of the Legislative Session
The formal legislative session (190th) ended Tuesday at midnight. Although the Senate passed S2606, the abuse registry bill ("Nicky's Law"), we were not as fortunate in the House. Given the volume of bills, the veto override actions and the short amount of time, "Nicky's Law" (H4026) did not get out of the House Ways and Means Committee to be placed before the full House for a vote. Several larger bills that demanded much time like healthcare, economic development, energy, opioids, education, and housing.
We are encouraged that there does not seem to be controversy over the registry bill. During the last few weeks, we made a huge push with members of the Senate and House Ways and Means Committee along with leadership in both chambers. Special thanks to all the members of the GA committee, along with Maura Sullivan and Leo Sarkissian who reached out to everyone.
We feel confident that The Arc will make progress during the informal sessions between now and the end of the year. There did not seem to be any resistance to the bill, and with a quick review of the Senate vote (36 yeas, 0 nays), there is hope that the House will concur. We will continue to work closely with legislative leadership as we move forward.
The Arc of Massachusetts Bill Results
Operation House Call (S1222/H1954) remained in the Ways and Means Committee. The Arc will be working with the Sponsors to request the legislation be heard through informal sessions.

Housing (Accessory Apartments S2132) remained in the Senate Rules Committee. There was also an effort to insert "accessory apartment" language in a larger housing bill and that legislation did not make it to the floor for a debate and vote.

Dental Therapist Expansion (S1169/H2474) was also caught in the logjam at the end of the session and didn't get approval from the legislature. The language for this legislation was included in the bigger healthcare bill but both bills ran out of time. The Dental Therapist bill may also have a chance through informal sessions given there is wide support for the bill.

Criminal Justice Training regarding Autism (S1313) as well as
Hospital Training - Autism (S1221/H3236) also suffered the same fate as other bills that had support but the legislative session ended before any action could take place.

Higher Education Opportunities for Students with I/DD (S698/H634) had tremendous advocacy efforts and support but the bill did not get reported out of the Ways and Means Committee. The Arc will work with our partners and our sponsors to get the bill through in informal sessions.

Loan Repayment Program for Human Service Workers (S42/H116) was in good shape with the language added to the opioid legislation but at some point, the language was stripped and the bill suffered the same fate as other bills where time ran out before the legislature could take any actions. The Loan Repayment bill remained with the respective Ways and Means Committees.

The message is that  we are not giving up after a session of wonderful progress moving so many of our bills through committees and garnering great support throughout the legislature. Thank you to all who spoke, testified. and wrote to your legislators in hopes to brings these bills through to fruition. There is still work to be done,  so stay tuned to The Arc . If you have any specific questions about any of The Arc's priority legislation, please contact Maura Sullivan at .
Health Bill Filed by Congressman Seth Moulton in the US House 
On July 26, Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Gregg Harper (R-MS) introduced the Healthcare Extension and Accessibility for Developmentally Disabled and Underserved Population (HEADs UP) Act of 2018. This bill would declare people with DD a medically underserved population (MUP). People with DD face a shortage of primary care providers, as well as higher infant mortality rates, higher poverty rates, and shorter life expectancy than the general population. 

The MUP designation comes with increased access to resources from 25 different government programs including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Community Health Centers, loan repayment and training programs under Health Resources and Services Administration Workforce Development and Training Programs, and preference in research within agencies such as the National Institutes of Health. 

The Arc supports this bill. Leo Sarkissian noted, "We are happy that a Congressman from our own state is a leader in addressing health inequities for our constituents. This issue is a priority for us, as demonstrated through Operation House Call and systemic health care advocacy along with our research in 2008 on health disparities. We appreciate Seth Moulton's leadership." We also appreciate the recent filing of Disability Employment Incentive Act by Sen. Bob Casey, which if passed, will increase the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for employers.
Have you included The Arc of Massachusetts in your plans with a bequest or other gift?  Join Advocates for the Future
The Arc of Massachusetts wants to celebrate and honor the individuals who have made a commitment to support our mission and work through their estate plans or will. These gifts will ensure that the work of The Arc will continue for years to come. Advocates for the Future, The Arc of Massachusetts planned giving society, recognizes people who have made a commitment to ensuring that everyone with intellectual and developmental disabilities will have the opportunity to be full members of the community.
If you have already included The Arc of Massachusetts in your will or estate plans, please let us know! We would like to thank you for your foresight and generosity. Plus, with your permission, we would like to recognize your dedication to people with disabilities. As an Advocate for the Future, you will receive our quarterly newsletter Advocate, be included in our annual report, and receive invitations to special events.

If you would like to learn more about bequests, please visit our information page.
Please contact Katrin Aback, Director of Development, at or 781-891-6270 x105 to discuss your plans and to join the Advocates for the Future.
Hosted by The Arc of the United States
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM

Sexuality is a natural part life. However, people with developmental disabilities, family members, and professionals often feel unprepared to discuss this subject with each other. This webinar explains why it is important for people, parents, and families to talk about sexuality and healthy intimate relationships. Our presenters will also discuss ways you can start discussing this subject with people with disabilities in your life.
Landmark Kendall Square Cinema
Friday, August 3 and Saturday, August 4

The Landmark Kendall Square Cinema will be hosting a screening of Far From the Tree, the upcoming documentary based on the New York Times bestseller by Andrew Solomon. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Rachel Dretzin.
AGENCY SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight 
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