February 15, 2018
Opportunity Time
Sometimes we just need resources to take advantage of opportunity. That's true of all of us. Last week, I shared some of Ryan Horrigan's story. He and his parents persistented at building avenues for success. Similarly, Jonathan Huggon, one of our six "Expect Success" Achievers, worked throughout his youth with the support of his family to achieve. Ryan, Jonathan, and their families did their homework, sometimes sacrificed, and learned what they could about opportunities.

But Ryan and Jonathan needed the educational system as youth and assistance from the Department of Developmental Services or MassHealth as adults to fully realize the opportunities ahead of them. Our advocacy for funding is not some vague goal about which we can be indifferent. We are off to a great start with Governor Baker's Turning 22 and Adult Omnibus accounts showing the levels needed for our high school graduates.

But more needs to be done as the House and Senate membership review their priorities. We still have a ways to go to see the integration promised in the previous administration come to fruition in employment, day, and transportation services. We also have people who are older with unmet needs with intellectual or developmental disabilities. And there are the Supporting Families priorities, such as Family Support, that make a difference and recognize the caregiver role of parents or siblings.

Please don't be indifferent to resources that allow families and individuals to make the most of the opportunities they have worked hard toward receiving. Please contact your representative and senator today with the fact sheets we have posted. You can download our budget request now. If the legislator or aide wants a budget chart, you can find that here as well.

As legislators talk to their respective Ways and Means Committee Chairs, the time is now to share your story, your family's story, or even a friend's story.

Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Expect Success: Celebrating Achievers - Helen's Story 
In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing the stories of the six achievers we are recognizing at our  Expect Success: Celebrating Achievers gala 
on April 25. Our achievers are people with disabilities who have excelled in the arts, classroom, business world, and beyond. You can follow along with these stories

Communicating has been a struggle for
Helen Coppenrath her whole life. Helen, a 14-year-old with autism, often speaks in a more reactive way, commenting on her emotions more than anything. She struggled to take care of herself, and her behavior grew increasingly aggressive. Upon enrolling in the Higashi School, however, things began to change, as one important outlet was added to her life: music.   Continue reading Helen's story.
Attainable Savings PlanĀ® - Resources to Learn More
Fidelity offers a variety of resources to learn more about the Attainable Savings PlanĀ® and how it can help benefit individuals and families affected by disabilities. Fidelity's new Viewpoints article, How special needs families can save, showcases examples of how families can use the Plan to help navigate the eligible individual's needs and plan for his or her future. Additional information about how to open and manage an Attainable account can be found online at, or by calling
Attainable Savings Plan Specialists at: 844-458-2253 (TTY/TTD: 800-544-0118).

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

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.
Save The ADA: Contact Your Legislators NOW
Congress is moving quickly on a bill that would weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act and threaten the civil rights of individuals with disabilities in their communities. The vote could occur as early as this week. The ill-informed HR620 requires people with disabilities to jump through many hoops before they can protect their rights. Contact your legislators now to say #NoHR620 and #SaveADA.
Advanced Legislative Advocacy Training
Monday, February 26, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by Maura Sullivan and Julie Heffernan

The Advanced Training will focus on: building and strengthening relationships with your elected officials; c ritical strategic planning and the budget; t elling your story; m easuring your effectiveness and success; i dentifying and understanding obstacles.

Presented by The Arc of Massachusetts: Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs and Program Director of Operation House Call and Julie Heffernan, Advocacy Alliance Coordinator. Register for this FREE webinar today!
Innovation and Mobility Exchange
April 10-11, 2018 - featuring Mobility Workshops on April 11
7:30 AM - 4:00 PM, DCU Center, Worcester, MA
Visit for more information or to register.
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
Supporting Families Day Success!

The Supporting Families Campaign held its third annual Advocacy Day at the State House, on Tuesday, February 13. The day began with a crowd of over 50 families meeting to review the day's agenda including the budget priorities of Supporting Families. Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs for The Arc of Massachusetts, explained the importance of the DDS Family Support line items, Turning 22, and Autism Omnibus. Families were given materials with the line item budget "asks" and narratives, plus family stories to help illuminate the gaps in funding.

Next, attendees heard from Representative Linda Dean Campbell about the  importance of family advocacy and her own commitment to the campaign. Last, the group heard from Claire Manning, the Director of Advocacy and Mobilization, from The Arc of the United States. From there, families disseminated throughout the building to visit their legislators and share their stories - the goal of the day!

Special thanks to Senator Barbara L'Italien, Representative, and Kerry Mahoney and the Supporting Families Coalition for making the day such a great one!  We are truly grateful to all the families who took the time to come and share their stories with legislators. Their efforts make the most impact on our lawmakers, as their stories make the budget line items real and meaningful.
Stay tuned as the budget process unfolds. For more information on the Supporting Families Campaign, contact Maura or Kerry at or
Advocate Winter 2018 Is Now Available! 

The Winter 2018 issue of our quarterly newsletter, Advocate, is now available online! In this issue, learn more about The Arc's position on the Governor's budget; our Gala Achievers; the latest happenings in Operation House Call; our new staff members; and so much more going on at our chapters!
FY 19 Budget Documents From The Arc Now Available!
The Arc's summary of the Governor's FY 19 budget proposal, including our additional requests, has now been posted for download on our website!
REMINDER: Please Send All Mail To Our South Street Address
As of January 2018, our P.O. Box is no longer in use. Mail should be sent directly to 217 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453 to prevent the risk of any mail being lost.
SUPPORTbrokers Welcomes Karen Mariscal to the Team!

SUPPORT brokers is pleased to announce that Karen Mariscal has joined the team as our newest Broker! To learn more about Karen, please visit our Who Are The Brokers? page.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight
The Arc of Massachusetts  | (781) 891-6270 |