This week, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian offers an update on The Arc's supported House Ways and Means Budget amendments; Leo's popular regional session is now a webinar; a hearing has been scheduled for Nicky's Law; and much more!
Leo's Letter
I can’t say enough about the positive budget from House Ways and Means.

Chair Aaron Michlewitz and his committee have sent a strong message of support to our community.  See the positive budget report here.

We are supporting three amendments which will be part of the House Debate next week: Employment/Day, Autism adult (omnibus) and AFC, sponsored by Representatives Gerry Cassidy, Michael Day, and Tricia Farley-Bouvier respectively. Learn more about those amendments here.

Having said that, please do thank your representative once again, as well as the House Chair, for the blueprint!

Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director
By popular demand, Leo's regional session is now being offered as an online webinar. Register today!
Government Affairs
The Arc supports three amendments for House Debate

As reported, House Ways and Means delivered an excellent budget for our community. We thank Chair of Ways and Means Aaron Michlewitz and members. We also thank Vice Chair Denise Galick and Asst. Vice Chair Liz Malia, supportive House members, along with Speaker Bob DeLeo for his guidance.

The Arc does support three amendments for House debate which focus no access and inclusion: Day/Employment, Autism Omnibus (adults with DD), and Adult foster or family care. You can phone your representative (house members only) to ask for their support during house debate and for democrats to raise the amendments during caucus.   Remember  to thank them too  even if you already have for the Ways and Means Blueprint! Learn about our three supported amendments.
Nicky's Law Hearing scheduled for April 30

Nicky's Law has been scheduled for the first hearing of the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. H101 and S71 will be heard on April 30. If you wish to share your testimony, or testify in person, please contact Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs, at Sullivan@arcmass.org .

Click the image at the right to download this shareable flyer; and be sure to join the Nicky's Law Facebook group to stay up to date on all the latest.
AFAM's 15th Annual Autism Advocacy Day

Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM) held its 15th Annual Advocacy Day at the State House on April 11. The event was hosted by Boston 25's Heather Hegedus and AFAM's Gyasi Burks-Abbott. AFAM highlighted the legislative and policy accomplishments of the last 15 years, including Autism Insurance and the Autism Omnibus laws. AFAM also called attention to the workforce shortage crisis and the urgent need to pass Nicky’s Law. Learn more.
Programs of The Arc
Transition Conference 2019: Call for Workshop Proposals!

This full day conference will feature the LifeCourse Frameworks and Tools from the Institute for Human Development at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Co-founder and parent Jane St. John will lead us through the frameworks and tools to use in transition planning. The conference will also welcome families of teens and adults ages 12-26.

This year, we are sending out Requests for Proposals for Workshops. You can find the proposal form, as well as submission instructions, here.
The Arc US: Brief on needs of I/DD population with co-occurring mental illness

Up to 40% of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) experience co-occurring mental illness, with some estimates pointing to even higher prevalence rates. Despite its large presence in the community, little is known about how to support families, caregivers, and direct service providers in meeting the needs of individuals experiencing mental illness and I/DD.

Through a series of focus groups, and work with Boston University, The Arc of the United States developed a brief to address the important findings and recommendations that came out of these discussions. It includes recommendations for the development of new training, systems change activities, new research, and greater public awareness around I/DD and mental health issues. 
Upcoming Calendar
Western Region: A Community Conversation
with Older Caregivers of Adults with Disabilities
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 | 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Registration, refreshments, and networking begin at 9:30AM
Holyoke Public Library, 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke
Agency Spotlight