June 1, 2017

On May 14, New York Daily News published a story about volunteers with developmental disabilities delivering Meals on Wheels to home-bound senior citizens. The writer noted that the volunteers "bring food - and a lot of comfort." One volunteer said, "I love my job. It makes me very happy," as she led a team of two other volunteers who were bringing food to the elderly.
This is a common activity for persons with disabilities in Massachusetts, too. There aren't enough volunteers to ensure meal deliveries; people with disabilities, supported by agencies, are both filling the gap and getting an opportunity to participate in community service. The volunteers, who have a range of developmental disabilities, learn key life lessons as they navigate their route each day, program supporters say.

What I liked most about the Daily News story is the connections the three adults are making with seniors to whom they deliver meals and others in the community. The activity led to new relationships that went beyond the meals program. We hope that's happening more in Massachusetts, too.
But all of this is at risk.
If the budget proposed by President Donald Trump passes as is, funding for Meals on Wheels across the country will be gutted. The budget also will significantly impact Medicaid, which our constituents depend upon. We will keep you informed about the budget negotiations and other developments here in Notes from The Arc as well as on our website.
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director    
The Challenge Countdown  
June is the Final Month to Meet the Home for the Future Campaign Challenge

The Home for the Future Capital Campaign challenge is entering the home stretch. The Arc of Massachusetts has just 30 days to reach our goal of raising $200,000 to receive an additional $100,000 gift for the new headquarters building. Every gift we receive between now and end of June will count.
You still have time to make a difference! Give today and make sure we meet the challenge. Please visit arcmass.org/campaign to learn more about the building and the campaign. You can also contact Katrin Aback, Director of Development at aback@arcmass.org or 781-891-6270 x105 to discuss giving and naming opportunities.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRSgovernmentaffairs
Hearings are Underway  at The Mass State House 
The Arc is getting ready to testify for our top priority legislation at the Joint Committee Hearings. The Arc's bill platform is a compilation of legislation that reflects our current policy and program priorities. A few of our bills are returning from last session, some that were very close to the finish line and we hope to pass them through during the current session. We also have new legislation as well as bills that we have been working on for years and we won't give up.
Our top three priorities include Nicky's Law, Operation House Call, and Accessory Unit Housing. To help us advocate for any of these bills, please be in touch with Maura Sullivan at sullivan@arcmass.org . We can use your stories, your in-person testimony, your calls to committee members, your written testimonies, and letters.
For more information on Nicky's Law, please join the Nicky's Law Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/284125382009278/

To learn more about Operation House Call click here: http://thearcofmass.org/programs/operation-house-call/

For more information on Accessory Units bill click here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S729
To see The Arc's full legislative platform take a look at our website here : http://thearcofmass.org/advocacy/bills/
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Benefits for Students in Transition from School to Adult Life

June 8, 2017 | 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Do you want your student to work but are concerned about losing benefits?  Be sure to attend. This presentation will provide information about:
  • Basic Information about Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • The impact work may have on benefits
  • Social Security Administration  (SSA) Work Incentives
  • Student Benefits Counseling
There is no fee to attend this webinar thanks to a grant from the Department of Developmental Services, Massachusetts Transition Partnership for Employment
Presented By:
Kathleen Kelly MPA, CWIC

Student Benefits Counselor/ North Region 
Kathy has significant experience developing programs that become models for success. Kathy currently works for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission as a Student Benefits Counselor and is available as an Independent Transition Consultant providing consultation for families, schools and agencies. She previously served as Director of Transition Services for the Northeast Arc. Her passion is helping individuals to reach their full potential. Education: BS Salem State College; Certificate in Non-profit Human Service Management with Advanced Studies in Administration and Finance from Suffolk University Moakley Center for Public Management; Master's in Public Administration from Suffolk University School of Business.
Financial assistance is available. Contact Kerry  Mahoney@arcmass.org 
Did you miss a webinar ?

 It is not too late! You can view the recorded webinar using The Arc's on demand feature.  To view click here and select "view session recordings."
WHAT'S TRENDINGwhatstrending
Self-Directed Services: Taking Control of Your Future
Facilitated by: Betsy Eaton-Irwin, Metro Region 
Self Directed Supports Manager 
Parent Guest Speakers: Rich Robison and Karla Murphy  
Individuals and families formulate a vision and realize that vision by customizing their own individualized supports. This presentation will provide an overview of Self-Directed services as well as traditional service options.  Stories and experiences illustrating the Self-Directed approach will be shared by Rich Robison, whose son participates in Agency with Choice services through the Charles River Center of Needham, and Karla Murphy, whose son is enrolled in the Participant-Directed Program. Betsy Irwin, DDS Metro Region Self-Directed Supports Manager will also present information and answer questions. Please come and hear about the innovative ways in which people have taken control of their services and determined the direction of their own lives. 
For more information about the presentation call Ellen Kilicarslan at 781-972-1048 or Dan Sullivan at 781-762-4001.
June 20 at 6:00 pm
Charles River Center
59 East Militia Heights Drive | Needham   
27th Annual Legislative Breakfast
Presented by The Arc- Center of Hope Foundation, Inc., The Central Mass Providers, and The South Valley Citizens Advisory Board 

Commissioner Elin Howe and Justin Bernard, a member of The Arc's Steering Committee on Policy and Advocacy and Center of Hope

Honoring DDS Commissioner Elin Howe

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
8:30 am Registration with complimentary continental breakfast
9:00 am Program 

College of the Holy Cross, Worcester | Hogan Campus Center
RSVP to Pauline at 508-764-4085 or pdavis@thecenterofhope.org

Learn about Self-Direction Service Models 
at The Arc of Opportunity in Fitchburg!
Individuals and families are invited to a forum on June 15 from 6PM - 8PM to learn about self-determination and options for non-traditional services. They will share information about self-directed service models including our new Agency With Choice partnership program. This service model focuses on expanding choice and control over the services and supports individuals need to live in the community. Learn about how you can oversee your own services and use The Arc of Opportunity as the employer. 

Peter Van Voorhis, Vice President of Home Supports & Jodie Balaguer, Division Director of Individualized In-Home Supports & AWC/DESE will lead the training session. Pamela Hickey DDS Regional Self-Directed Supports Manager will also be present to answer questions. 

Contact Peter Van Voorhis to RSVP: p.vanvoorhis@arcofopportunity.org
Input Is Needed!
The Housing subcommittee of the Massachusetts Autism Commission is conducting a survey. Find information about the three forums scheduled for June 5, 6, and 7 here.
Study: Future Planning For Adults 
with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Boston University is doing a research study to develop a new program to
increase siblings' involvement in future planning for their brother/sister with
autism spectrum disorder. They are looking for siblings, service providers, and
adults with autism for this study. If you participate, you will either participate
in a focus group or a one-on-one interview. You will be asked to share your
ideas about whether families (i.e., adults with autism and siblings) would be
interested in participating in a program about future planning, what should be
included in this program, and the best format in which to deliver the program.
  • Who? Adult siblings, adults with autism, and service providers
  • What? An interview or focus group
  • How long? 1-2 hours
  • When? At a time convenient for you
  • Where? At a community location
  • Cost? There is no cost if you participate. You will be compensated for your participation in the study.
For more information please contact  Kristin Long, PhD at  (617) 358-4296 or  KALong@bu.edu
Self-Direction Informational Forum

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 | 6-8 PM
Charles River Center
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHTsponsorspotlight

The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 |   arcmass.org