October 5, 2017
The Impact is Personal
For adults with disabilities, services sometimes are the only thing separating them from homelessness. For others, the lack of services may mean an increase in behaviors or other symptoms such as depression. And for family members, it may mean staying at home or being the driver throughout the week to make sure a son or daughter or sibling can get to where they  need  to go.
At the local level, constituents and their families are unaware that there is a commitment to provide the services or supports needed for work and other activities. For example (not their real names),
  • Sixty-year old Janet drives her daughter to jobs and other community activities throughout the week, otherwise Anna's funding wouldn't stretch far enough
  • Bill tried a day program for one week, but it wasn't the right fit; he needed more flexible job training but he was told no funds were available
  • Jack wants a job (high school graduate, newly eligible) but he was told no funding available; his only option was a Medicaid non-employment service
The reductions in employment and residential or community living supports have a more severe impact than anyone expected as agencies look to reduce contracts that were based on the original budget plans of the two branches. The budget originally anticipated assisting 1,000 graduates from 2017 needing full funding in 2018 and adults with higher needs such as Jack or Janet.
At The Arc, we advocate for opportunities for our constituents, but when the assistance isn't available, the impact is personal. You as a constituent need to advocate "on the ground" so decision-makers will appreciate the personal impact. They need to hear your stories.
We  know that Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo, President Rosenberg, and legislators are supportive of Turning 22 and other services for persons with I/DD including those with autism.  As we shared recently, funding was reduced due to the state's revenue shortfall of $600 million. With your stories, we can share the impact and make sure they know that the shortfall in assistance needs to be overcome.
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Transition Conference 2017: Register today!
Exhibitor space is now available! Exhibitors should register by October 20 here. 
Overnight Accommodations
We have reserved a block of rooms for Friday, November 3rd, and Saturday, November 4th, at the Holiday Inn Express, 110 Summer Street, Worcester for those seeking overnight accommodations. To make a reservation call 855-914-9635. Make sure to ask for The Arc of MA Transition Conference. The rate is $109.00 plus tax and a credit card is required. Please note that The Arc is not responsible for any charges. Hurry, you must contact the Holiday Inn Express directly by October 14, 2017  to receive this special rate!
Thank you to our sponsors
The Guild for Human Services
Mass Down Syndrome Congress
Skills for Life
Northeast Arc
Chapters of The Arc
The Arc of Bristol County
The Arc of Greater Plymouth
The Arc of South Norfolk
Northeast Arc
For sponsorship opportunities contact Kerry Mahoney by October 20 th at mahoney@arcmass.org or  (781) 891-6270 x109.
The Arc of the US Presents: The Center for Future Planning
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Jenny Sladen from The Arc of the United States will present on future planning- what it is, the barriers to planning, decision making options- and will  demonstrate the Center for Future Planning's new online tool. This webinar is helpful to parents, siblings, and professionals in the field.  
Thanks to the Becker Center for Advocacy there is no charge to attend.

Jennifer Sladen is the Program Manager for National Initiatives at The Arc of the United States. Since joining The Arc in 2011, she has contributed to several projects relating to autism, employment, health, and family support. Before this, Jenny was a long-time volunteer and direct service provider at her local Chapter in Indiana. Because of this experience, she is excited and honored to help offer Chapters of The Arc opportunities to improve and strengthen their local services and better serve people with intellectual disability and their families.
Jenny has also dedicated her studies to learning more about politics and policies that impact people with intellectual disability worldwide. She received bachelor's degrees in international studies and political science from Indiana University and a master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Much of her academic research focuses on identity politics, national social policies, and the European Union and its efforts/challenges in developing a comprehensive disability policy in its member states.
Training Opportunity Available!
Promoting Self-Determination in the Transition to Adult Life
Featuring Dr Michael Wehmeyer, University of Kansas
Friday, November 3, 2017
Sturbridge Host Hotel
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
Political Advocacy Training at the AFC/Shared Living Conference  
Along with workshops at conferences such as last week's AFC/Shared Living conference, The Arc's Government Affairs team offers advocacy training on 3 levels:  
  • self-advocacy training
  • basics of legislative advocacy
  • advanced political advocacy training
Meeting the needs of people with I/DD and/or autism in our state depends greatly on our collective advocacy efforts. Highlights of the trainings include understanding advocacy for the budget process, for passing legislation and for providing the most effective oral and written testimony. Please contact Maura Sullivan for more information at sullivan@arcmass.org
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
Take Part in the Pathlight Challenge!
Pathlight, a leading provider of services for people with intellectual disabilities in western Massachusetts, and Valley Venture Mentors have joined in an exciting partnership to encourage innovation in the field of disability. The goal of the challenge is to offer two spots in VVM's prestigious Startup Accelerator to companies that are creating solutions for people, particularly millennials, with developmental and intellectual disabilities (and those with autism who have no intellectual disability) to lead more independent lives.

To learn more, including important dates, visit www.vvmaccelerator.com. When applying specifically for this Challenge, please check yes on the last question on the application. If you need more information, please email 
Applications are being accepted until October 18th! Apply today at 
Important Message to MA Families With Children Under 9 Diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
Open Interest Period will be from 
October 17th, 2017 to October 31st, 2017
The Autism Division of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) runs an Autism Waiver Program that provides one-to-one interventions to help children with autism who exhibit severe behavior and/or social and communication problems through intensive in-home services and supports. This service occurs in the child's home or other natural settings under the supervision of trained clinical staff and is available for a total of three years. 

The waiver also provides related support services such as community integration activities and respite. At the conclusion of the three years of intensive services, a child may access supplemental services that meet the child's needs and help with the transition out of the intensive Autism Waiver Program until the child's 9 th  birthday.
For additional information including eligibility requirements and application forms, visit the website www.mass.gov/eohhs/provider/licensing/programs/autism-waiver  or
Employment Study Seeking Participants 
Are you a parent of a student between the ages of 14-24 with an I/DD? Please join ThinkWork! for a research study on family knowledge, attitudes, and expectations around employment. You will also be able to join a Facebook community of parents to engage with about creating a future plan for your child, and will be able to discuss navigating the disability service system with others. Participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Register here

Questions? Contact John at  john.shepard@umb.edu or 617.777.0622.
Save the Date! Mass Advocates Standing Strong Conference
United... Self-Advocates Reach for the Stars Annual Conference 
Saturday, October 14, 2017 | 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight
The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 | thearcofmass.org