August 31, 2017
Labor Day: A time also for Family Caregivers and Support Staff 
The end of summer coincides with the Labor Day holiday. While Labor Day became a legal holiday in 1894, the first workers parade was held in New York City with 10,000 marchers in 1882. 
With a formal title like "Labor Day," it's easy to forget family caregivers who often exhibit grace, resilience, and a steadfast commitment to those they love. More than 60% of adults with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities live with family members.  This is a good time for us to think about the support their caregivers need.  In 2016 we worked hard for passage of new family support funds; $5 million was allocated.  But we realize more has to be done. We believe the right mix of Medicaid long term support services and Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is the most effective way to meet that needs of a potentially vulnerable population and families.
To finish reading Leo's article here.  
Health Care Discussion Hosted by the Senate
The Senate hosted a Long-Term Care Discussion last Wednesday at the State House in preparation for health care cost containment legislation. Senator Jim Welch, Chair of the Health Care Finance Committee, was joined by Senate Majority Leader Harriet Chandler and Senator John Keenan for the discussion with invited panelists. (Senators are seated in front of the American flag in the photo.)  Leo Sarkissian was invited to be on the panel to represent The Arc.  

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Senator Welch recently wrote in an editorial that any change in MassHealth "must address the drivers of health care costs (such as pharmaceutical costs, overpaid and underpaid providers, transparency in pricing, and other dysfunctions in the market)." We are pleased that the Senate hosted one of the sessions on long term care or long term supports services.  Given the size of the health care industry, it is critical that we help keep policymakers focused on the key role long term supports play for those with disabilities. 

WEBINARS webinar
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
FREE, thanks to a grant from the Becker Center for Advocacy 
For parents of children with special needs:  Come draft your Memorandum of Intent with us, in this interactive webinar.  How will your trustee or relative know how to best care for your loved one when you are gone or incapacitated?  Create a document can be used to describe your child's health care and therapeutic needs, identify lifestyle preferences and provide contact information for doctors, therapists and teachers. It also can be used to convey insights into your child's personality, likes and dislikes, and history that future caregivers might not easily gain on their own.  At the end of this webinar, you will have a document that answers some of these questions, and that you can continue working on it in your own time.
At Margolis & Bloom, Karen B. Mariscal practices in the areas of special needs estate planning, guardianship, and disability law. Karen has been a highly-regarded lawyer in private practice for more than 30 years, half of that time in New York City and half in Boston at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, LLP, Peabody & Arnold, LLP, and White & Williams, LLP.
Karen is a passionate advocate for her clients, including people who have family members with special needs. She and her husband have a severely autistic adult son (now living in a group setting in Framingham), so she understands how to navigate the system and what parents go through. Karen has been very active in Special Olympics, founding Wellesley's Special Olympics track team (part of Wellesley S.T.A.R.S.).  She is the chair of the Housing Taskforce of AFAM (Advocacy for Autism Massachusetts), and is a member of the Housing Subcommittee of Massachusetts's state-wide Autism Commission.  In addition, Karen is a director of Camp Starfish, a camp for children with emotional and behavioral issues. She is an active member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.
In addition to estate planning and guardianship (including supported decision-making), Karen provides families with information, resources, and practical assistance regarding their children's adult day programming and housing and residential options and supports. Karen is a graduate of Indiana University, cum laude, and Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude.  Karen is a 2016 recipient of the The Five Star Wealth Manager award for her work as an estate planner.
Our Person Centered Transition Planning Webinar for 
Educators and School Administrators on Tuesday August 29 and our Financial Literacy for Students with Special Needs Webinar on August 30 are being rescheduled. New dates coming soon. 
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 TRENDING Whatstrending
Transition Conference Registration is Now Open!
Registration for the all-day Transition Conference on Saturday, November 4 is now open! 
Find out more about the day and our incredible line up of workshops at

The Becker Center for Advocacy Welcomes New Staff
We are excited to announce that the Becker Center for Advocacy will  roll out  the Advocacy Alliance in September!  The purpose is to build long term capacity for advocacy at both the state and local levels.  The Arc Affiliates and other partners will identify leadership teams consisting of a family member, staff, and a self-advocate. 

Two coordinators have been hired to coordinate grassroots advocacy efforts with local chapter affiliates and other partners.  The Coordinators will provide training on effective advocacy and issues important for people with I/DD, including autism and their families.  The leadership teams will evolve to influence policy areas such as self-determination, employment supports, family supports, residential services, etc.

Herb Cabral spent 40+ years in IT Services and has extensive experience in business development, staff management, P&L responsibility, and client success.  He has been an active advocate for his son Joe who has an autism diagnosis.  He is Co-Chair of the Department of Developmental Services Citizens Advisory for the Central Region.  Herb also is a special needs volunteer for Mass Advocates, HMEA and the East Coast Jumbos Special Needs Hockey Team.
For the last thirty years, Julie Heffernan has taught English in a variety of settings (public and private; urban and suburban; middle school, high school, and college).  Most recently, she was an adjunct professor at Boston College (where she earned her M.A.T. in 1990 and M.A. in English in 2011).  She and her husband Dan, a special education attorney, have three children: Brian (26), Maggie (23), and Evie (21).  Julie has been active in the disability world since Brian's birth in 1990 and has volunteered for a number of advocacy groups, including the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and Newton Public School's disability awareness program, Understanding Our Differences. In 2002 she and her husband received the Dr. Allen C. Crocker Award of Excellence by the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress She has also accompanied Brian to many of his speaking engagements at elementary schools, colleges, conferences, and legislative hearings and meetings, and has spoken with him on a number of occasions.  

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