October 19, 2017
Both Sides of the Stare 
Have you ever been stared at?  When it happens to me, I wonder if something is out of place, like my hair or maybe something worse. But if you have a disability that's obvious, or if you're walking with someone who does, the stare may register more intensely, stirring deep emotions. 

A recent op-ed in The New York Times about "the stare" stirred me up a bit. It was enjoyable to read, but it got me thinking about two points.  The stare may signal an out of sight-out of mind mentality. This is reflected in people who are not interested in becoming more aware. For example, despite the increased acceptance of disabilities, inadequate knowledge among medical professionals and first responders may suggest that same disinterest in awareness.

But stares can also reflect interest. The person staring may be reminded of an incidence in his or her life, and perhaps they are open to an interaction. You can treat a stare as an opportunity to connect and educate.

The headline of the op-ed got me thinking, too. We teach best with specific stories, but this story is part of a larger truth. I thought the headline in this case should have been "Parents of Kids with Disabilities, etc." and avoided the specific reference to the stare altogether. The subject of the story, Sophie, is identified early as someone who "has Down syndrome" and the photo makes that clear. But the truth in the story applies equally to many other disabilities, including cerebral palsy, autism, and Williams syndrome. 

These are all relevant to our broader community. The larger truth may not be as personal, as deep, and surely not as emotional as when one thinks of their particular loved one or friend. But to advance significantly, we need to advance as a community for each other.
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Transition Conference 2017: Register today!
There's something for everyone at this year's conference! Check out the lineup for Workshops!

Keynote: Michael Wehmeyer, PhD, Beach Center, University of Kansas, National Expert on Self Determination

Visit with over 20 Exhibitors to learn about programs and services!

Thank you to our sponsors!
The Guild for Human Services
Mass Down Syndrome Congress
Skills for Life
Northeast Arc
PLAN of Mass and RI
Charles River Center

Chapters of The Arc
Northeast Arc
The Arc of South Shore
The Arc of South Norfolk
The Arc of Bristol County
The Arc of Greater Plymouth
The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport
For more information, please contact Kerry Mahoney at  mahoney@arcmass.org or 7 81-891-6270 x109. Don't delay: register today!
The Arc of Massachusetts is Hiring a Policy Officer
The position requires excellent organizational skills; strong communication and collaboration skills; some experience in government affairs, civic process, and/or a personal connection to disability; someone who is proactive and resourceful at addressing tasks; and social media competency. Bachelor degree with professional background required; graduate degree preferred.This is a part-time position, reporting to the Executive Director. Qualified applicants are encouraged to send their résumé, letter of interest, and the contact information for three professional references to sarkissian@arcmass.org.
The full position description can be seen HERE! No phone calls please.
Working With People With ID Conference At Brandeis
Zale Conference
Hosted by Brandeis University
Saturday, October 21, 2017 | 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Hassenfeld Conference Center, Brandeis University
415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453

On Saturday, October 21, Brandeis University is hosting its inaugural Zale Conference. Co-sponsored by the Department of Community Service, Waltham Group, Greater Waltham Arc, and You're With Us!, and funded by the M.B. and Edna Zale Foundation, this event will work to increase the effectiveness of working with individuals with intellectual disabilities.

On the Brandeis campus, the Hassenfeld Conference Center is located directly above Sherman Function Hall. The conference will feature facilitation from Steve Slowinski, National Inclusion Manager from Partnership for Youth with Disabilities, and a keynote speech from former MA State Rep. Tom Sannicandro, Director of the UMass Boston Institute for Community Inclusion.

Register now! For more information, please visit the Zale Conference website.
Upcoming Interactive Workshop
Getting Involved in Local Government: 
An Interactive Workshop on Title II of the ADA
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 |  2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Boston City Hall, 5th Floor, 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA

This event is free and open to all, although it will be especially valuable for i ndividuals with disabilities; elders; family members; immigrants; new residents of Boston; professionals in the disability field; and anyone else who is involved with the disability community.

Some of the interactive activities will include r egistering to vote; t rying out a voting booth; l earning ways to testify at a hearing; a pplying to serve on a City Board or Commission; a nd much more!

The event is Wheelchair Accessible, ASL and CART.  For other accommodation requests, contact disability@boston.gov  or call 617-635-3682 / 617-635-2541 TTY.
Seminar On Special Needs Trusts
How to Administer a Special Needs Trust:
An Essential Seminar for Parents, Current Trustees and Future Trustees of
Special Needs Trusts and OBRA '93 Trusts
Saturday, October 28, 2017 | 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Courtyard Marriott, Marlborough, MA

This seminar provides comprehensive and in-depth practical information on the administration of special needs trusts. The information will be a blend of important legal issues coupled with real life examples. Attendees will come away with a basic understanding of the complexities and responsibilities involved in the administration of a special needs trust.

Presented by  Fletcher Tilton attorneys Frederick Misilo, Jr., chair of the Special Needs & Elder Law Practice Group and Trust & Estate Department, and Theresa Varnet, co-chair of NAELA SNT law section, along with other members of the Special Needs Practice Group.

Training Opportunity Available!
Promoting Self-Determination in the Transition to Adult Life
Featuring Dr. Michael Wehmeyer, University of Kansas
Friday, November 3, 2017 | 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sturbridge Host Hotel, 366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA

Who should attend?
  • Educators and transition specialists working with transition-age youth (ages 18-22) with ID/DD
  • State agency staff (DDS, MRC, MCB) who work with transition-age youth with ID/DD
  • Service providers offering employment services to youth with ID/DD
For more information, please   consult this flyer.
Statewide Conference About FASD Youth
W hen the School Bus Stops: Transition Issues for Youth
with a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 | 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
DoubleTree Hotel,  5400 Computer Drive, Westborough, MA

Register now for this statewide conference for families, human service providers, and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) professionals, which will address the challenges and resources for youth with a FASD.  Sponsored by the MA Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, and AdCare Educational Institute, Inc.

Parents of children with a FASD may contact Enid Watson for a discount code at enidwatson@healthrecovery.org.
Webinar On Sharing Personal Stories
Telling Your Story
Presented by Herb Cabral and Julie Heffernan, 
Advocacy Alliance Coordinators, The Becker Center for Advocacy
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
FREE thanks to the Becker Family Foundation
The most powerful thing our legislators can hear 
are the life experiences of families like yours.
This training will teach self-advocates, family members, and service providers how to effectively tell their personal stories.  It is based on the belief that a well-told story is the best way to communicate our ideas, connect with others, and advocate for our needs.  Participants will learn how to talk about who they are, what they need, and what they want - all by telling their story. Register today!
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
Center Of Hope's 17th Talents & Treasures Charity Auction 
17th Annual Talents & Treasures Charity Auction
Hosted by Center of Hope Foundation, Inc.
Friday, November 10, 2017
Viewing & Cocktail Hour: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Buffet Dinner: 6:00 PM |  Live Auction: 7:00 PM
Publick House, 77 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01566

Our 17th Annual Talents & Treasures Charity Auction is coming soon on Friday November 10th at the Publick House in Sturbridge and we hope you can join us. This year, we are excited to announce a new feature added to this event called online "Bidding Owl.". We will continue to do our silent and live auction just the same as prior years, too. Our goal is to expand our vision and have something for everyone to enjoy.

As you may already know, we are only able to have a successful event with your help. If possible, we are looking for donated items such as theme baskets, sport tickets, single pieces of furniture, jewelry, gift certificates, and much more. Your monetary sponsorship contribution can also help us to offer support to our families with disabilities during these tough times. All proceeds will benefit our "Holiday Giving Tree" project.

Please call Pauline Davis at (508) 764-4085 and make your reservation asap. We would love to hear from you. For more information, please consult this flyer.
Apply For A Caregiver Grant!
The Fred Gaspari Fund for Families is now accepting applications from families in the greater MetroWest area who are caring for a loved one with a disability. Families benefit by applying funds towards anything that will help make caregiving a little easier. Eligible families may apply for up to $500 for any need necessary to care for their family member. Family needs are broadly defined. Examples of past awards include, but are not limited to p aying for therapeutic horseback riding classes; c onverting a bedroom into a therapy room; and hiring  someone to take a family member into the community for social activities.

Applications will be accepted now through Friday, November 3, 2017 by 4:00PM. To learn more, please visit AdvocatesIf you are unable to access the online application or have any questions, please contact Susan Willing at 508-683-9231 or  SWilling@Advocates.org .
Attention Lexington Residents!
SUPPORTbrokers is currently recruiting adults on the Autism Spectrum over 50 years of age who want to become more involved in the Lexington community!  For more information, please contact Pat at  patpakos@gmail.com.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight
The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 | thearcofmass.org