March 29, 2018
Tackling Transportation

Everything we do outside our home requires transportation: shopping, visits to family or friends, work, religious observance, and school. Historically, parents play the major role in transportation even as the child becomes a teen and then an adult. How much a parent does varies with each family. Expectations are rising as new generations of families realize the barriers faced by their youth and adult offspring.  Continue reading Leo's Letter.
Achievers Tess Keijser, Isaiah Lombardo, Bruce Butler, Riley Easley, and Jonathan Huggon talk about their experiences in the workforce.
Positions Available: Pathways to Friendship Facilitators
Pathways to Friendship is a collaboration between the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), The Arc of Massachusetts, and DDS providers. To further social inclusion, Pathways assists agency staff to help their participants develop long term relationships - hopefully friendships - with other members of their communities who are not paid to be with them, not family members and not also receiving services. 

Presently hiring part-time (20 hours per week) team members for a one to two year period. Potential team members must have a good background in our field and experience mentoring or consulting to staff. Learn more about the position here.
Janet Rico Honored
Chair of The Arc of Massachusetts Steering Committee on Disability Policy and Advocacy Janet Rico was presented with the 2018 Allen Crocker M.D. Heath Services Award at the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) State Wide Advisory Council Celebration.  Janet, the Assistant Dean of Graduate Nursing at Northeastern's LaBouve School, has had two different tenures on The Arc's Governing Board.  She serves on the Board of Fallon Health and on the PCA Workforce Council.

The award is named after Dr. Crocker, who directed the Developmental Evaluation Center at Children's Hospital for many years, and who offered care and hope to generations of children with Down syndrome.  In 2006, Dr. Crocker was quoted in a Children's Hospital news publication: "Our success is symbolized by the way both pediatrics and the public feel about children with special needs.''

The award for Janet recognized her work as a health professional with energy, exuberance, and passion through her advocacy for and tenacity in developing a partnership with Northeastern University and the DDS/IS community.  A nurse practitioner with a doctorate in law and policy, Janet's work is a concrete example of Dr. Crocker's legacy.  A number of others received awards at the celebration, including Maureen Gallagher of the MDSC, who received the Gunnar Dybwad Leadership Award.
Budget Updates Webinar
News from the Statehouse - Budget Updates and Next Steps
Monday, April 23, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director, The Arc of Massachusetts
Thanks to the Becker Center for Advocacy, this webinar is free! |  Register today!
Massachusetts Rehab Commission and Transition Webinar
How Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission Works with
Transition Age Youth

Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by Jennifer Stewart, Director of Transition,
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Thanks to a grant from Massachusetts Partnerships for Transition To Employment (MPTE), this webinar is free! | Register today!
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day 
The annual Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day event at the State House, sponsored by Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts, will take place on Thursday, April 12, from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM. No registration is required.

Heather Hegedus, TV25's weekend anchor, and self-advocate Gyasi Burks-Abbott will serve as Emcees for the program, whose theme is "Planning for the Future is Now." State Senator Michael Moore will be recognized as Distinguished Legislator of the Year, State Senator Barbara L'Italien will receive AFAM's Autism Champion Award, and Lisa Borges, former Executive Director of the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation, will be given a Lifetime Achievement Award. Self-advocate Conor Farrell, a student at Salem State University, will answer the question "Can I attend college?," and Bedford Chief of Police Robert Bongiorno will discuss police training for autism.

Following updates on budgetary and legislative issues by Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs for The Arc of Massachusetts, attendees will have an opportunity to visit their own legislators to lobby for their priorities.
Summit on Accessible Transportation
On March 27, a Summit on Accessibility was held at the Boston Public Library.  Organized by Mayor Walsh's Commission for persons with Disabilities, the Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA (AACT), and the Boston Region Planning Organization (MPO), the summit was an opportunity for people of all abilities who travel in Boston to provide input on accessible transportation needs; to learn about new innovations and speak with transportation professionals, including staff from the MBTA, the Ride, wheelchair accessible taxis (WAV), Uber, and bicycle and pedestrian planners; and to help shape the Boston Region's MPO Long-Range Transportation Plan. Read the rest of Advocacy Alliance Coordinator Julie Heffernan's report on this informational summit.
Jim Brett On Dental Health And Access
Jim Brett, President and CEO of the New England Council, recently wrote an op-ed on Dental Health. In it, he discusses the challenges faced by people with I/DD when it comes to receiving adequate dental care. Read Jim's full op-ed in the Boston Herald here. Learn more about The Arc of Massachusetts bill priority for dental therapist expansion here.
Survey of Families of Adults with Disabilities

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is conducting a survey of families of adults with disabilities to explore the factors associated with different types of residential placements and respite care services for adults with disabilities. They've asked us to share this survey with families of adults with disabilities. This completely anonymous, voluntary, and confidential survey takes less than 30 minutes to complete. A raffle will be held for ten $25 gift cards at the close of the survey. Surveys are due by April 30, 2018.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight
The Arc of Massachusetts  | (781) 891-6270 |