Pretty Good News
Today is one of those good days. Yesterday afternoon, we celebrated the positive news from the State House's Conference Committee led by Chairs Jeffrey Sanchez and Karen Spilka. The conferees gave us the highest funding possible from the two versions of the budget released earlier this session. At 7:57 pm last night, Mike Moore's office gave us word that the Senate had passed Nicky's Law - a registry bill which will prevent staff who have abused adults in the Dept. of Developmental Services (DDS) program or service to work in another DDS setting.

Yes, pretty good news.

These outcomes also demonstrate how collaborative our General Court can be. We'll use the Registry bill or Nicky's Law as an example. From the beginning, the bill has had the significant efforts from the Senate, the House, and the Administration. It is an essential disability rights bill. Lead sponsors Mike Moore and Linda Dean Campbell have worked together on ensuring similar bills through most of this legislative session.

Chair Kay Khan worked with House and Senate members on her committee to address early revisions in the House bill, giving it a strong endorsement. As the bill was going through one more set of changes over the past few weeks, Sen. Moore reached out to Sen. Pat O'Connor, who had sponsored another bill while still supporting Nicky's Law. Sen. Moore accepted some changes from Sen. O'Connor's bill as well as input from others.  Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka and staff made the changes needed to gain passage. 
As we go back to the House, the leadership from the Speaker, his leadership team, and continued collaboration will be essential. Even before Senate passage, Children, Families and Disabilities Chair Kay Khan was working with sponsor Linda Dean Campbell and Ways and Means to review the changes in the bill.

This is a bill where the branches have had a shared vision and investment. Its time has come. We hope to have another good day soon this month. Stay tuned.
To read more on the Conference Committee budget, visit our State Budget page.


Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director
The Arc of Massachusetts celebrates the Conference Committee Budget
The Arc of Massachusetts celebrates the release of the Massachusetts Conference Committee Budget. We are grateful to members of the Conference Committee who not only recognized the importance of DDS Family Support and Day and Employment Services, but also funded the higher numbers in the line items for Transportation and the Autism Children's Waiver. In each DDS line item included in conference, the committee funded the higher amount. Learn more.
Open Meetings on OneCare
MassHealth implemented the OneCare program in 2013 for adults under age 65 who have disabilities and who are recipients of Medicare and Medicaid (dual coverage). The OneCare program is being renewed as "Duals Demonstration 2.0." The demonstration will include OneCare and Senior Care Options (SCO). SCO is a program for those who are 65 years and older and dually eligible.

MassHealth has announced three public listening sessions in advance of the Demonstration and changes in the program. It would like to hear from stakeholders. A draft paper and the dates of the listening sessions are available here.
Volunteer with The Arc of Massachusetts Get Out the Vote campaign!
Do you want to help The Arc of Massachusetts Get Out the Vote? We have just added a volunteer button to our #TheArcVotes webpage. Just click on it, fill out the brief questionnaire, and we will share your information with your local chapter of The Arc. We are looking forward to many members of The Arc of Massachusetts community helping to get out the vote throughout our state. 
The Arc of Massachusetts Voter Rights Webinar
On Monday, to kick off National Disability Voter Registration Week, Marlene Sallo, Executive Director of the Disability Law Center, presented a webinar on voting rights. The 25-minute webinar was illustrated with photos of self-advocates from The Arc of Massachusetts Get Out the Vote campaign.  If you missed the webinar, you can view it on The Arc of Massachusetts YouTube channel and on #TheArcVotes webpage A Spanish version of the webinar also will be available in both places.
The webinar would be ideal to use for self-advocate and parent voter trainings, during which some time could be set aside to help attendees register online.  
M.A.S.S. Annual Self-Advocacy Conference: 20 Years Strong
Saturday, September 15 | 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
DCU Center in Worcester

The day will include keynote speaker Tia Nelis, exhibitor tables, arts and crafts activities, and more. Register for this annual conference today!
Help wanted: SUPPORT brokers
SUPPORT brokers of The Arc of Massachusetts is currently seeking applicants with extensive experience to assist families and individuals in Greater Boston, South Shore and Framingham.

SUPPORT brokers, independent of the Massachusetts system of state agencies, spend time with individuals and their families to learn about their needs and goals. Even though support brokers have experience working with a range of state agency services, they are primarily responsible to the consumer/family. Brokers develop person centered plans, which are based on the consumer's dreams, goals and support needs. After a plan is in place, brokers help consumers find those supports and put them in place. Support brokers know how to navigate the system and community to secure help and assistance as available.

SUPPORT brokers is a fee-for-service consulting group. Its mission is to assist persons with disabilities to achieve their vision. This is accomplished through planning, education, and advocacy. For more information, please visit our website.

To apply please send a resume and cover letter to: Kerry
The United Arc Job Fair 
Saturday, July 21, 2018 | 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
111 Summer Street, Greenfield 
The United Arc has multiple positions available and would love to meet you and tell you about their fantastic opportunities! Come meet the team, enjoy refreshments and interview on the spot! If you are not able to meet on this date, The United Arc still wants to hear from you! Please send your resume to
AGENCY SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight 
The Arc of Massachusetts  | (781) 891-6270 |