October 26, 2017
Great Expectations
Expectations drive us. They should be set high or we can feel that people don't value us or what we do. And all of us want to feel valued.

Parent Carol Glazer and her adult son Jacob both knew that he could achieve. They didn't allow the fact that he was born with intellectual and physical disabilities stop them from setting high expectations. Carol explains that doctors "also told us not to expect much of Jacob in terms of his ability to participate in civic life, community life and in work." She calls this "the tyranny of low expectations."

In a study for the Department of Education, it was reported that a high percentage of students with intellectual disabilities felt "not very" or "not at all" useful, and students with autism tended not to be involved in school activities. These should not be outcomes that we, along with our school officials, accept as inevitable.  

As David Johnson from the University of Minnesota states, "If there's one thing that my experience in working with students with disabilities has taught me, it's the power of high expectations we hold for them as professionals, family members and the general public."

In order to maintain and achieve high expectations, having a supportive network around you is vital. The network hopefully includes family, teachers, other support staff or professionals, other families, members of a church or synagogue, and so on. If those working with you or your loved ones are not supportive, they should not be on the team.

As you set high expectations, you will be pleased and sometimes surprised with the results. A parent once shared with me her surprise at how many people knew her son in the neighborhood because of the volunteer work he had been doing. 

People with disabilities want the same opportunities as anyone else. We need to expect them and ask for them. A booklet produced by the MA21 alliance shares some ideas about this topic, including community connections and choice-making.  You can find the booklet here. You can read Carol Glazer's op-ed about her son Jacob here, and as you can see, he's doing pretty well!

When expectations are great, it's only a matter of time before greatness follows. 
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
2017 Transition Conference: Last Chance To Register!
The day will be filled with information, programs,
and the best practices for the journey to adulthood.

T hank 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.
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.
Wings for Autism at Logan Airport 
Wings for Autism at Logan Airport
Saturday, November 4, 2017 | 9:00 AM

Travel is stressful in general but can be particularly difficult for families who have a child with special needs.  Wings for Autism ®  events are a "test run" through the airport boarding process--specifically designed for families who have a child with an autism spectrum disorder.
Families are able to practice  the ticketing process;  going through security;  waiting in the terminal; and  boarding and exiting the airplane.  Children and their families gain real life, air travel experience--sometimes finding that more practice is necessary but often discovering that air travel is indeed possible! 
Check-in and boarding times begin at 9 am and will be held throughout the morning. Specific times will be assigned closer to the date of the event. Questions? Please contact wingsforautism@charlesrivercenter.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
Halloween Safety Tips for Children with Special Needs

Halloween is a fun-filled and exciting time for most children, but it can also be a bit scary for children with special needs. Here are some suggestions to help your child - and you - have a stress-free Halloween.

  • Talk to your child in advance about what to expect. Let him/her know that there may be unusual sights and sounds.
  • Help your child choose a costume that reflects his/her interests, and practice wearing it ahead of time. Be sure it is comfortable and easy to put on and take off.
  • Review expected behaviors with your child. Practice good ways of asking for treats and saying thank you. If your child is non-verbal, you could program your child's communication device to say "Trick or Treat," or you can design a picture symbol to use when going door to door.
  • Set a time limit. Don't let the trick-or-treating go on too long. If your child is uncomfortable being out after dark, you can go out at 5 p.m. or even earlier.
  • Use a buddy system. Small children should be accompanied by a parent or other adult, but older children could be accompanied by an older sibling.
  • Be sure your child does not consume any of the treats until you have a chance to check them. This is true not only if your child has food allergies or sensitivities, but also because you want to be sure the packaging has not been tampered with.
November is Caregiver Awareness Month!
Tell us what being a caregiver means to you!  Do you know someone who is a caregiver that you would like to recognize?  Email your story and photo to Kerry at Mahoney@arcmass.orgAll entries will be entered into a raffle to win a gift card!
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 .
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight
The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 | thearcofmass.org