March 15, 2018
What Will It Take?

What will it take for us to achieve a truly inclusive society? We have come a long way, but we're far from inclusive. Just take a look at our community institutions: medical settings, schools, transportation systems, public safety services, and other services that are available to Americans.
In Governing, an online newsletter, we read that Nebraskan Kathy Hoell has continually been told she "isn't smart enough to cast a ballot." And "nearly two-thirds of the 137 polling places inspected on Election Day 2016 had at least one impediment to people with disabilities." Inspections in 2008 had discovered fewer impediments. 
The New York Times revisited the value of "asylums" or institutions for some people with disabilities. This isn't the first time there have been suggestions of a return. In response, Julia W. Robinson, a professor at University of Minnesota, wrote: "institutions are a recipe for subjugation. Isolated from everyday life, controlled by staff, housed in large numbers, shepherded in groups to prescribed activities, residents become institutionalized...they become unused to making decisions, and less able to create their own identity or stand up for themselves...segregated from the life of an active community."
Mimi and Dona, a movie which premiered in 2015, has been promoted recently. It tells the story of 92 year-old mother who is helping her daughter move into a new home after living together with her for decades. Will her new staff ensure that she continues to participate in her community, stay connected to her chosen faith community, and partake in other activities?  I hope so. But hope isn't enough.
The Arc wants to work collectively with you and others toward establishing a fully inclusive society. Think about what that would mean for you or your family member. Personal advocacy is vital - learning, growing, and enlisting 'volunteers' to help achieve goals that we all want in our lives. Collectively, however, we can change the way larger systems operate. 
As we've written before, it starts with us - so let us not take past achievements for granted, nor should we let the barriers of the status quo be accepted as permanent.

Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Ask the Broker! Turning 18
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | 1 2:00-1:00 PM
Kerry Mahoney, Director of Education, Outreach, and SUPPORTbrokers
The Arc of Massachusetts | Webinar fee: $25 | Register today!
Do you have questions about your child turning 18? What are the areas that you need to focus on and should be on your to do list? After a brief presentation, there will be time to ask questions about reaching this important age! 
Why the fee? We pay for attendees phone usage by the minute for webinars and these costs add up! Help keep expenses down by using your computer for the audio portion of the program! 
Northeast Regional Legislative Breakfast
Friday, April 6, 2018 | 9:30 - 11:30 AM 
Middlesex Community College 
591 Springs Road, Campus Center, CafĂ© East | Bedford

Many Northeast region advocates and consumer advisory boards are coming together on April 6 for a Legislative Breakfast hosted by LifeLinks, Inc. The following partners are participating: 
Committee:  LifeLinks. Inc.;  Merrimack Valley Citizens Advisory Board;  NE Citizens Advisory Board;  Metro North Citizens Advisory Board;  Central Middlesex Citizens Advisory Board;  North Shore Citizens Advisory Board;  Lowell Citizens Advisory Board

Breakfast Sponsored by:  Vaillancourt & Pescatore Financial Group;  Lowell Citizens Advisory Board;  North Shore Citizens Advisory Board;  Riverside Family Support Center;  Fidelity House;  NuPath.
RSVP by April 1 to Jeanne Osborn at 978-349-3006 or 
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
New Fact Sheet Available!
Be sure to download this newly released resource fact sheet put together by the Supporting Families Campaign on DDS Family Support: Frequently Asked Questions!
Operation House Call Needs Your Support!
Th e Arc's Operation House Call legislation has passed favorably through the Joint Committee on Public Health and is now in the Health Care Finance Committee. To help this medical student and health professional training program become a law, please contact your legislator and ask them to support the bill by speaking to the Chairs of the Health Care Finance Committee. If your legislator is part of the Health Care Finance Committee - please reach out to him or her directly.

Stayed tuned for more advocacy news on our pending legislation, o r contact Maura Sullivan at
Toll Free "One Care" Call On March 27
Are you or your family member on "One Care" through MassHealth?

If so, you can call in at  1:00 PM on March 27 at 1-877-300-1240 . This call will offer you the opportunity  share your opinion on your program experience.

Those on One Care are individuals who have both Medicare and Medicaid and opted into the "One Care" program run by Commonwealth Care Alliance or Tufts Health Unify (not to be confused with the present MassHealth Insurance changes that began on March 1 for Medicaid only members). To learn more, please consult this flyer.
Intelligent Lives Panel Discussion: With Director Dan Habib
As part of ReelAbilities: Boston Disabilities Film Festival 
Friday, March 23, 2018 | 4:30 - 6:30 PM 
Lesley University Amphitheater | Register now!
The Arc of Massachusetts is happy to partner with FCSN, Lesley University, and ReelAbilities: Boston Disabilities Film Festival to present this upcoming screening and Q&A of Intelligent Lives, a new documentary from Dan Habib ( Including Samuel, Who Cares About Kelsey?). Our very own Melanie Perkins McLaughlin served as a consultant on the film.

Intelligent Lives focuses on young adults with disabilities as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. The discussion features Elizabeth Stringer Keefe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Special Education Division at Lesley University and film subjects Micah Fialka-Feldman of Syracuse University, Naieer Shaheed from Henderson High School (in Dorchester, MA), and Henderson principal, Patricia Lampron.
Wings for Autism at Logan Airport
Saturday, April 7, 2018 | 9:30 AM

The Charles River Center's Wings for Autism program is designed for families with children with autism to help ease the stress of flying. At this half-day event, children and their families are able to familiarize themselves with airport and travel procedures. They experience: entering the airport; the check-in process and checking bags; security screening; boarding the plane; preparing for take-off; and exiting the plane. Registration is required.

For additional information, please contact
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight
The Arc of Massachusetts  | (781) 891-6270 |