January 25, 2018
Turning 22 and Adult Omnibus strongly supported in Governor's Budget - Initial Report from The Arc
January 24, 2018
Governor Charlie Baker's proposed budget for FY 2019 again keeps pace with the DDS Turning 22 program as more than 1,000 students graduate into adult services. In addition, a $5 million increase is budgeted for Autism Omnibus, which addresses those newly eligible with developmental disabilities.
These increases carry forward the Governor's commitment to support our young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism as they need adult services such as day and employment, transportation, and housing. HHS Secretary Marylou Sudders commented on the investment, referring to "Turning 22 as a priority for the administration" in her conference call today with stakeholders.
Currently, 1,463 individuals are on the DDS caseload for the Omnibus program and of those, 763 are 22 years or older; many of these individuals are waiting for services.
The Arc's priority areas for advocacy include gaps in Community Residential, Day and Employment, Family Support, DESE and Transportation line items. These line items did increase but didn't meet The Arc's full request for maintenance funding.

To read The Arc's complete analysis of the FY 2019 budget, please visit our website. A printable version is also available here. For more information and a line item analysis, please visit our Stage Budget page in our Advocacy section.
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Important: Facebook Changes Coming Soon - Stay in Touch!
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced forthcoming changes to the Facebook news feed
. Friends and family will be given immediate
priority, with businesses and organizations receiving less visibility in your feed. If you've liked The Arc of Massachusetts official Facebook page, please consider selecting the option
 "See First" on the "Following" drop down menu on our page. This will ensure that we're still reaching you with the latest news from The Arc. To further keep in touch, please follow us on Twitter, @TheArcofMass.
Mark Your Calendars for Our 2018 Gala!
The Arc of Massachusetts 2018 Gala, Expect Success: Celebrating Achievers, will be held on April 25! For more information on tickets, sponsorship opportunities, and more, please visit the official gala webpage.

In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing the stories of
our six inspiring achievers with you. Stay tuned for more details!
40th Annual Legislative Reception At The State House
MDDC and The Arc of Massachusetts present
Honoring 40 Years of Success: Facing an Uncertain Future
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 | 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Great Hall, Massachusetts State House

You are invited to attend our annual legislative reception on March 7. This is an ideal opportunity for persons with disabilities, family members, advocates, state agency heads and their staff, and legislators to interact and catch up on legislative priorities and other important issues.
Invited guests include Governor Charlie Baker, State Senators and Representatives, State Cabinet Secretaries and Commissioners.  Please do set up appointments with your legislators in advance and encourage them to attend the legislative reception.

The reception will be emceed by Lauren Beckham Falcone.

Lauren Beckham Falcone is an on-air personality ("LBF") on WROR 105.7 FM's "Loren and Wally Morning Show." Before chatting about current events on the airwaves, she wrote about them for 17 years for the Boston Herald, where she was an award-winning reporter and columnist.  Falcone is an honorary board member of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and a graduate of the MA Families Organizing for Change Family Leadership series. She lives in Canton with her husband, Dave, and their daughter, Lucy.
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!
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
A Big Night for OHC at Simmons: Experiential and Inter-Professional Learning
On January 24, Operation House Call (OHC) had a great evening with Simmons Graduate Nursing, Physical Therapy, and Nutrition students. 140 students filled the lecture hall to hear Program Director Maura Sullivan and parent instructor Ann Bersani teach the OHC course. Next, students spent an hour with a wonderful panel for an open question and answer session. The panel included: Sue Loring, RN and parent; Mark Corr, Police Chief and parent; Isaiah Lombardo, co-teacher and self advocate; and Gillian Buckley, Simmons student and sibling.

All 140 students will make a 2 hour home visit to an OHC host family who have a child/children or an adult family member with autism or intellectual/developmental disability and then write about their OHC experience in our OHC privacy protected forum. The students are also given access to rich resources and parent instructor support.

To learn more about OHC, contact Maura Sullivan at
Supporting Families: Telling Your Stories
We're less than a month away from Supporting Families Day at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, February 13, 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM. Advocacy efforts are underway and we need your help  to make an impact on the 2018 and 2019 DDS, MRC, and other budgets.

These stories give legislators a window into the lives of your loved ones  and the challenges your family faces, as well as concrete information about the types of supports that make a difference.  These personal accounts are the most compelling way  to advocate for needed services and supports.
January 24: the Council of Executives of the affiliates of The Arc in Massachusetts held one of their regular meetings at our Waltham office. Pictured: Council of executives members Rob Spongberg (The Arc of Cape Cod), Anne-Marie Bajwa (Charles River Center), Al Frugoli (CLASS, Inc.), Leo Sarkissian (The Arc of Massachusetts), Luis Bachman (The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport), Mary Valachovic (The Arc of Greater Plymouth), Mary Heafy (The Arc of Opportunity), and Jay Lynch (Brockton Area Arc)
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