January 4, 2018
"The Ultramarathon of Social Change"

"We're halfway on the ultramarathon of social change." So says Canadian Rick Hansen, who has done much to advance disability rights and opportunities. I happened to catch a podcast with him on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting) in December. The fall of 2017 marked the 30-year Anniversary of his "Man in Motion World Tour" that raised $26 million and greatly advanced disability awareness. He traveled to peaks across the world with the use of a wheelchair.

But Hansen's big goal is an inclusive society, a goal that we at The Arc share. Our goal is making our communities, our country, and our world totally inclusive. In America, one in five people have a disability; and in Canada, that number is one in seven. With the aging of baby-boomers, Hansen believes that number will rise drastically. It will require a change toward inclusive settings and technologies.  You can learn more about Rick's vision to be completely accessible   here.

Handicapped ramps are vital and perhaps obvious first steps, but other accommodations for both physical and mental conditions are lagging far behind. Nowhere is this more obvious than in public transportation, where individuals with mental impairments could benefit from technological guides at stations to help them stay on track to their destination. Schools and teachers continue to struggle with accommodations in  their educational techniques as well.

Given the tools and the opportunity, both children and adults with disabilities can achieve and excel. Our Gala on April 25 will feature such achievements.  Soon, we will be sharing some inspiring stories with you. But the work of social change is year round, and we need you on that journey, too. 

Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Thank You For Your Support!
As we enter 2018, The Arc of Massachusetts would like to thank everyone who supported us and our mission by making a contribution in 2017. Thanks to the generous donations from our supporters, we have been able to continue our work of enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities within Massachusetts. All people with I/DD, including autism, deserve equal rights and treatment, and with your help, we have been able to work to ensure a world in which they can be part of the community.

For nearly 65 years, The Arc of Massachusetts has worked to enhance the lives of the 200,000 people with I/DD, including autism, across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our work has been made possible by the support of our hundreds of passionate supporters, our chapter affiliates, countless human service agencies, foundations, and corporations who have supported The Arc's mission through gifts, sponsorships, and grants. Thank you all for your support!

Operation House Call Families: Hosts For Students Needed!
Operation House Call will be educating over 200 students just this winter! If you are an Operation House Call family and can volunteer to host students, please contact Kim Walsh, our Program Coordinator at
OHC is fortunate to partner with Simmons Graduate College of Nursing and Health Science this January to teach 120 Nursing, Physical Therapy, and Nutrition students about autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities through our four module program, which includes experiential learning as well as an interdisciplinary learning opportunity.
If you want to learn more about Operation House Call please contact Maura Sullivan, Program Director at
Transition to Adult Services Webinar
What Educators and School Administrators Need to Know
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | 2:30 - 4:00 PM
Presented by Pat Pakos and Kerry Mahoney, The Arc of Massachusetts
Registration fee: $40

The transition of students leaving their schools can be difficult for themselves and their families. Educators and School Administrators can be helpful in making this transition seamless.  Participants will learn:  What are the basics to know about this transition?  What are the available services?  How are they organized?  What can Educators and School Administrators do to help? Register today!
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The Arc of Massachusetts appreciates the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council's support through their participation in many of their projects and grant funding. Both MA21 Alliance group activities and Supporting Families have received MDDC support.
If you have ever attended a webinar; event at the state house; or have visited our Supporting Families, The Arc of Massachusetts, or Connecting Real Lives Facebook pages, please take a moment to complete this 5 minute survey by January 8. Let us know how you were impacted by attending these activities.  Thank you!
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 01752

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.
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