January 18, 2018
"Things That Matter"

This week we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. His legacy is great: expanding civil rights for all citizens and the initiation of a Poor People's Campaign shortly before his death. Today's efforts to establish equity for many groups, including those with disabilities, can be traced to his efforts.

King spoke to the hearts of all who would listen. In November 1967, he announced the Poor People's Campaign, which some in his leadership group questioned. But he persisted with his vision, one that was not achieved due to his assassination on April 4, 1968. But his words are moving: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

This is a good week to touch on some of The Arc's efforts in Massachusetts to expand the reach of supports and advocacy to diverse communities. We often talk about big picture achievements for our entire constituency. Over the past two decades, these initiatives included:
There is much more we can do for diverse communities and others. King inspires us today as we aspire to address the needs in all our communities! 

Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Announcing Our 2018 Gala: Expect Success: Celebrating Achievers!
Expect Success: Celebrating Achievers
The Arc of Massachusetts 2018 Gala
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 |  6:00 PM
Boston Marriott Newton, 2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA

For more information on the event, please visit our announcement, as well as the Gala's official page.
Supporting Families Day At The State House
On Tuesday, February 13, join us for Supporting Families of Massachusetts Advocacy Day at the State House!  There will be an info session at 10:30 AM in room 428, featuring special guest Representative Denise Garlick. Families will be able to access support to guide you in visiting with legislators between 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM.

The Arc's Center for Future Planning Webinar
Planning for and Using Technology Across a Lifespan
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM

We can use technology to pay our bills, to keep in touch with friends and families, to receive healthcare and medical support, and to get to and from work, school, and other activities in the community. Making sure that people with disabilities have skills and support to access technology is an important part of future planning.

In this webinar presented by The Arc of the United States, we will review the steps that people with disabilities and their families should take to evaluate how to use technology to provide support and advance the person's goals. We will provide tips and resources to find technology that fits the person's needs and explore ways that people with I/DD and their families can build skills to use different technology.
MassHealth Updates Webinar With Leo
 Webinar on MassHealth Updates: Understanding the Changes Ahead
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director,  The Arc of Massachusetts

MassHealth will be implementing new changes on March 1! These changes could affect your doctors and services. BE INFORMED! Register for FREE today!
Transportation: Expanding the Possibilities Webinar
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 | 2:30 - 4:00 PM
Presented by David Hoff (ICI) and Rachel Fichtenbaum and Jenna Henning (MassMobility)
Rewarding Work Instructional Webinar
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
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!
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
Supported Decision-Making Panel Discussion
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | 8:00 - 10:00 AM
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center
181 Boston Post Rd W, Marlborough, MA

Take advantage of this great panel discussion being offered by the Massachusetts Guardianship Association (MGA). John Ford, Bob Fleischner, and The Arc of Massachusetts' Executive Director Leo Sarkissian will be  discussing topics relating to supported decision-making.
If you are a member of the MGA, attendance is free. If you are not a member, but wish to attend, please fill out this form and select "Annual Meeting $10" via the Type of Membership drop down before completing payment via PayPal.
A Spotlight on The Arc of South Norfolk's "Our Club"
Pictured: John O'Connell (vice-president), Michelle Arundale (advisor), Kate Sally, Karen Powell, Jennifer Price, Kenny Souther, Colleen Cummings, Leslie Cusack (secretary), Karen Norton (president), Susan Kagan (advisor), Mike Foley (potential Our Club member), and Brian Clark (Director of the Family Autism Center). Not Pictured: Doloris Carew (Treasurer) and R oger Walsh (Our Club Member) .
Advocacy Alliance Coordinator Julie Heffernan attended the January 10th meeting of "Our Club," the South Norfolk Arc's self-advocacy group. The group meets from 6:30 to 8:00 PM every Wednesday and, in the words of one of the members, it is a chance "to get together with great friends and have a social event." The group members, who range in age from 24 to 63 years old, talk about issues that concern them and discuss ways that they can advocate for change.

Among the concerns mentioned at this meeting were frustrations about medical care (difficulty getting a prescription filled, dismissive treatment in an emergency room, the complexity of the MassHealth application process); lack of access to transportation in the suburbs, especially at night and on the weekends, which causes problems getting to work and medical appointments on time and limits the ability to get to and participate in social opportunities; worry about aging family members and, therefore, about the future; anxiety about safety, from crossing the street at busy intersections to abuse; bullying; and the scarcity of programs that match adults with I/DD, including autism, with life and business mentors.

Our Club holds fundraising events, such as a monthly Hip Hop Café, Polar Plunge, and an annual event at The Chateau Restaurant. They hope to raise enough money to send some members to The Arc National Conference in Nashville in November.
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