September 7, 2017
Recommend Priorities for Becker Trust Grants for Innovation

We are looking for your input regarding nearly $1 million in grants from the Becker Family Trust. Last April, in conjunction with the Becker Center for Advocacy, trustees announced Innovation/Direct Impact grants to be distributed over two to three years. Our site here focuses on the Center's advocacy and the trustees' grants program.
The timeline has been changed for the grants program for two reasons. First, we want to avoid confusion with The Arc Tank, which will take place in November (proposals are due by September 29th ). Second, the trustees also decided to release up to $1 million in potential grants in this fiscal year instead of over several years. This requires more thought and planning.
We felt participation from our constituency would be helpful. Today we have released a two-question survey here on priorities for the Innovation/Direct Impact grants. The survey closes on September 18th .  We expect grant guidelines will be released on November 1, if not earlier, with applications due in December. 
The Becker Family.
For updates on the Becker Grants program, please stay tuned to Notes from The Arc and our  website .    
We are thankful to the Becker family for this opportunity to advance supports in our Commonwealth.  
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Hurricane Harvey Relief
Many of you have shared concerns and offers of support for people with disabilities affected by Hurricane Harvey. There are two disaster relief pages set up - one at The Arc US and one at The Arc of Texas - if you would like to assist people and organizations that aid people with disabilities. The Arc of the US has also connected with all of the chapters in Louisiana.  Click here to access their websites:  The Arc of Texas and The Arc of US .  


We join you in sending our thoughts and prayers to our Texas and Louisiana colleagues and the people they support. 

Governor Proclaims Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Week
Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed September 10 - 16 Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week. We expect that the US Senate also will issue a proclamation, which Senators Warren and Markey signed onto last year.
The proclamation reinforces the important role DSPs play across many fields, including our own. We still have work to do to raise their compensation. The turnover has reached 40% in some regions of our country.  We also face turnover with community nursing as rates of pay in hospitals so far exceed the continuous nursing and visiting nurse rates that it makes it difficult to recruit community nurses. 
Last week, Leo's Labor Day blog focused on caregiving by families and staff. While caring is a simple and heroic act, caregiving requires a long-term commitment. The word heroic still applies, but so too do steadfast, devoted, and undaunted. And let's not forget the satisfaction and fulfillment when you see those you support grow. You can see last week's blog on our website here.  Thank you for all you do!

WEBINARS webinar
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
FREE, thanks to a grant from the Becker Center for Advocacy 
For parents of children with special needs:  Come draft your Memorandum of Intent with us, in this interactive webinar.  How will your trustee or relative know how to best care for your loved one when you are gone or incapacitated?  Create a document can be used to describe your child's health care and therapeutic needs, identify lifestyle preferences and provide contact information for doctors, therapists and teachers. It also can be used to convey insights into your child's personality, likes and dislikes, and history that future caregivers might not easily gain on their own.  At the end of this webinar, you will have a document that answers some of these questions, and that you can continue working on it in your own time.
At Margolis & Bloom, Karen B. Mariscal practices in the areas of special needs estate planning, guardianship, and disability law. Karen has been a highly-regarded lawyer in private practice for more than 30 years, half of that time in New York City and half in Boston at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, LLP, Peabody & Arnold, LLP, and White & Williams, LLP.
Karen is a passionate advocate for her clients, including people who have family members with special needs. She and her husband have a severely autistic adult son (now living in a group setting in Framingham), so she understands how to navigate the system and what parents go through. Karen has been very active in Special Olympics, founding Wellesley's Special Olympics track team (part of Wellesley S.T.A.R.S.).  She is the chair of the Housing Taskforce of AFAM (Advocacy for Autism Massachusetts), and is a member of the Housing Subcommittee of Massachusetts's state-wide Autism Commission.  In addition, Karen is a director of Camp Starfish, a camp for children with emotional and behavioral issues. She is an active member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.
In addition to estate planning and guardianship (including supported decision-making), Karen provides families with information, resources, and practical assistance regarding their children's adult day programming and housing and residential options and supports. Karen is a graduate of Indiana University, cum laude, and Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude.  Karen is a 2016 recipient of the The Five Star Wealth Manager award for her work as an estate planner.

Contact Kerry Mahoney at m with questions.
Our Person Centered Transition Planning Webinar for 
Educators and School Administrators on Tuesday August 29 and our Financial Literacy for Students with Special Needs Webinar on August 30 are being rescheduled. New dates coming soon. 
Did you miss a webinar ?

 It is not too late! You can view the recorded webinar using The Arc's on demand feature.  To view click here and select "view session recordings."
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending
Vital Children's Program has Open Referral Period in October
The Autism Division of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) runs a program that provides one-to-one interventions to help children with autism who exhibit severe behavior 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.
The open request period to be placed on a list expressing interest in this program runs from October 17 th  - October 31 st .  Note that this doesn't guarantee acceptance into the program but without placing your child's name on the list, there is no possibility of benefiting from the program.
More information is available here:  
Announcing "Connecting Real Lives," a Facebook community about self-directing services in Massachusetts
We learn from each other by sharing news, personal stories, and training information.

We share success stories to encourage others to try self-direction.  We also share problems to help one another and to improve self-direction in Massachusetts.

You can connect by going here .
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

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The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 |