September 21, 2017
Sometimes It's Just Simple
Why is The Arc so strongly behind S. 1169, a bill that would allow dental therapists to operate quasi-independently in our Commonwealth? The reasons are simple:
  • Because of the lack of dentists who serve adults with disabilities (intellectual, developmental, autism, etc.); we hear stories about long delays in dental care which result in emergency room visits and extractions.
  • Because even fewer dentists are available for those on MassHealth - imagine the impact not only on our constituents but on all families who rely on MassHealth dental coverage for their children and themselves.
  • Because prevention and ongoing monitoring are neglected.
  • Because it's so bad that the state has a contract with Tufts Dental Clinic (thank you, Tufts!) to address the needs of thousands of our constituents. We may always need that additional support, but it will never be adequate to meet the needs of all our constituents, who should have local options regardless.
Maura Sullivan testifying
This is a national problem -  
see this 2016 NPR story . Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs, has been working with the Pew Foundation, Senator Harriette Chandler, and others to pass S. 1169. This bill would develop a new category of dental therapists who would be quasi-independent under general supervision. The bill also requires their training to include working with our constituents. The Arc moved that clause forward.
The Dental Society has opposed the bill because it only requires general supervision by dentists. But their opposition makes no sense, since the problem is insufficient availability of dentists in the first place. We need the dental therapists to be able to independently work on hygiene, prevention, and some dental interventions. They will be required to refer to dentists for other matters. We will get a better handle on the gaps through this network as well.  Sometimes the solutions are just simple - read Maura's testimony here .
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
You Could Be Eligible for an ABLE Savings Account
Save for your long and short term expenses the tax-advantaged way with an ABLE savings account.  Select from professionally managed investment portfolios and your savings could grow tax-deferred.
Individuals with a disability who have been diagnosed before the age of 26 can open an account without  affecting certain Federal benefits, they might already receive. If the account owner is a minor or is  unable or chooses not to manage the account, a person with signature authority (PSA) may be  designated on the account. Learn more about eligibility guidelines for saving with the Attainable Savings  Plan, offered by MEFA, managed by Fidelity at .
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917
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Celebrating the New Statewide Headquarters
It was a beautiful day for celebrating the opening of The Arc of Massachusetts' new statewide headquarters. More than 80 donors, family, and friends, as well as representatives of our chapters and human service agencies, joined us to cut the ceremonial ribbon and celebrate the milestone. Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy spoke about the impact that The Arc has had locally and across the state. After the speaking program and ribbon cutting, guests were invited in for tours and refreshments.
Thank you to everyone who made the new building possible! More photos are available here.
Our 2016-17 Annual Report is now Online! 
The Arc of Massachusetts recently published our 2016-17 annual report. Read about The Arc's accomplishments during our last fiscal year, learn about donors who are making our work possible, and see our newly completed statewide headquarters.

The Arc of Massachusetts is Hiring!
We are seeking to fill an opening for a Development and Digital Media Associate, which is a key position on The Arc of Massachusetts staff. Reporting to the Director of Development, this is a full-time, entry-level position responsible for managing social media and electronic media and assisting with development and program activities and acknowledgements and donor database management. We are seeking someone with a high level of computer competency, excellent written and verbal communications skills, and strong organizational skills.
The job description and information on how to apply can be found at
The House Overrides Budget Vetoes
Good news from the House session last week - representatives voted to override the Governor's vetoes on the Community Residential line item in the DDS budget. This vote will restore $6 million dollars in funding. Community Residential funding had previous been cut first by the conference committee and then by the Governor's veto.
The override vote will now go to the Senate for a vote. The Arc will continue to advocate for restoration of cuts to this year's DDS and MassHealth budgets as we simultaneously advocate for the next budget cycle. For more information contact
Testimony in front of EOHHS for Family Stabilization Rates
Last Friday, the Arc advocated for adjustments in the inadequate rates for implementation of Family Stabilization Services. Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs, provided testimony that focused on the need for better supervision and training as well as rates that can support individual choice and Olmstead compliance. These rates need adjustment across home services, day habilitation programs and residential settings. Although The Arc understands the need to slow the growth of the budget, this is not the place to save.
The Arc's Maura Sullivan meets with State Auditor 
Director of Government Affairs Maura Sullivan recently met with State Auditor Suzanne Bump and her team at the State House. The Office of the State Auditor has embarked on a series of performance audits to examine barriers to access to social safety net programs: the programmatic, budgetary and other hurdles that may impede effective delivery of services. Maura shared information about advocacy, education, and support for families The Arc provides.  
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
Transition Conference Registration is Now Open!
Registration for the all-day Transition Conference on Saturday, November 4, is now open! Find out more about the day and our incredible line up of workshops at

Exhibitor registration is also now open! Click here for more information.
SUPPORTbrokers welcomes Kathy Kelly!
Kathy Kelly has been working in the human services field for over 30 years. Her mission is to ensure that everyone has equal access to successful outcomes in life. She has developed and managed a variety of successful programs for chapters of The Arc and is currently working as a Benefits Counselor with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.  Read more here!
The  Lurie Institute for Disability Policy  is delighted to announce the launch of a new website: . Here, the  National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities  will share the results of our research and provide training and technical assistance to support parents with their disabilities and their families, and make available research results and helpful information about working with parents with disabilities to social workers, researchers, and legal professionals. 
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