May 31, 2018
In this week's Leo's Letter, The Arc of Massachusetts Executive Director Leo Sarkissian is joined by our Director of Outreach and Education, Kerry Mahoney, to go over the top five tips that will help sustain you in your personal advocacy.

The Spring 2018 issue of Advocate is now available to read online! In this issue, learn more about the work being done by our Becker Center for Advocacy, meet our new Board member, reflect on our 2018 Gala and Legislative Reception, see what our chapters have been up to, and more!

To join our Advocate mailing list, the cost is only $20/year for non-members of The Arc of Massachusetts. Learn more.
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Select the financial institution that manages your fund and enter the dollar amount you would like to contribute. Then click "next" to proceed to the sponsoring organization's website to complete your gift. The donor-advised fund sponsor handles the record-keeping, disbursements, and tax receipts. Neither you nor The Arc of Massachusetts pay any transaction fees. Once your request has been approved by your DAF, your gift goes directly to The Arc of Massachusetts. You can also remain anonymous, if you choose.
Senate FY 19 Budget Results
Last week, we found it very tough to make headway with the Senate amendments related to the DDS budget OR AFC in MassHealth. Given the size of the DDS budget, we obviously require more constituents in need to share their voice to their legislators. The Senate also stayed with the Governor's budget on AFC but proposed a higher figure for Mass Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) at $1.7 million.

The push and pull legislators experience from many areas is a reality. After conference we look forward to a full re-cap and a fall open session on the Budget. The only one of eight DDS budget amendments to survive is Transportation which now has an additional $500,000. A budget chart is posted on our State Budget page in the Senate section.

The next step in the budget process will be the House/Senate conference committee to reconcile the difference between the House and Senate budgets. We will share with you the 8 line items (not just DDS), 5 of which have substantial variances where you can ask your legislators for their support of higher amounts. Stay tuned for that information this week. The conference members include the Chairs (Sen Spilka/Rep Sanchez) and Vice Chairs (Sen Lovely/Rep Kulik) of the Ways and Means Committee and the ranking minority member (Sen deMacedo/Rep Smola) of each W/M committee.
Family advocacy training at CLASS, Inc.
On May 24, CLASS, Inc. held a workshop on Advocacy and Storytelling. Organized by Ana de la Cruz, Manager of the Adult Family Care Program, the training was very well attended by caregivers and CLASS employees, including Alfred Frugoli, the new President and CEO of CLASS / The Arc of Greater Lawrence. Julie Heffernan, The Arc's Advocacy Coordinator, gave a presentation which first outlined The Arc's current legislative goals and then illustrated how families can use their loved ones' stories as tools for advocacy. Ms. de la Cruz translated the presentation, to ensure that it was accessible to all those in attendance.
El 24 de mayo, CLASS Inc. tuvo una reunión sobre abogar y Narración de su historia. Organizado por Ana de la Cruz, Directora del programa Cuidado Familiar para Adultos, el entrenamiento estaba lleno de cuidadores y empleados de CLASS, entre ellos Alfred Frugoli, el nuevo presidente y CEO de CLASS Inc/Arc de Gran Lawrence. Julie Heffernan, Coordinadora de Apoyo del Arc de MA, hizo una presentación donde primero resumió las metas legislativas actuales del Arc y después mostró como las familias pueden utilizar las historias de sus seres amados como herramientas para abogar por ellos. Sra. de la Cruz estaba de pie al frente al lado de Sra. Heffernan y tradujo la presentación, para asegurar que la informacion fuera accesible a  todos los presentes. Translation by Evie Heffernan and Ana de la Cruz.
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
Don't miss the Beacon for Inclusion Award Ceremony on Wednesday, June 6!

ICI's director, Tom Sannicandro, will present awards to individuals and organizations who are advancing disability rights throughout Massachusetts. Five extraordinary awardees will be recognized. Lunch included with the program; program begins at 12:00 PM in the Great Hall, State House. Register here.

Free Screening of Intelligent Lives at UMASS Boston on June 7 at 7:00 PM

Intelligent Lives follows the stories of three pioneering young adults with intellectual disabilities - Micah, Naieer, and Naomie - as they challenge perceptions of intelligence while navigating high school, college, and the workforce. The themes in this film include family dynamics, self-determination, access to higher education and meaningful work for people with ID, the meaning of "intelligence," racial disparity, relationships, and more!

All are welcome to attend the free screening hosted by Think College and the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMASS. The event includes a post-screening panel discussion with the film's Executive Producers (the Academy Award-winning actor Chris Cooper and author/actress Marianne Leone Cooper), Director Dan Habib, and stars Micah and Emma Fialka-Feldman and Steve and Naomie Monplaisir.
Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Eligibility - Which Door to Enter?
Thursday, June 7, 2018 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Presented by Kristen O'Melia, Director of Family Support,
Intake and Eligibility and FIRST Team, Metro Boston region
Register today! | FREE thanks to the DDS and MPTE

Considering applying for services from DDS? This workshop will help you understand the eligibility guidelines, application process and know the types of services and supports you could receive.
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