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This week, The Boston Globe reaffirms its support of Nicky's Law; tickets for our 2019 Gala are now on sale; MRC announces its vocational rehab hearings; and more!
Featured
The Arc of Massachusetts is the voice of people wanting good lives for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and we represent all who are working toward a better tomorrow with civil rights for all. Our educational outreach and advocacy keep disability issues in front of elected officials and decisionmakers. It is imperative to keep it up, especially since competing public priorities, such as health care, public and higher education, public safety, and transportation, are all vying for limited state funds.

In recent years, The Arc of Massachusetts has had some noted successes. In 2014, we were instrumental in the passage of the Autism Omnibus; Real Lives, and background checks. In 2016, The Arc successfully fought for the first multi-million dollar increase in Family Support in 15 years. Last year, we secured a new formula for year one of Turning 22 to match the actual number of young people moving to adult services. This resulted in three times the funding as the previous formula.

But there is so much more to be done. The workforce crisis, the battle for additional funding for human services in the state’s fiscal year 2020 budget, and MassHealth changes are all looming challenges. The Arc also is working to educate our constituents and the general public and empower self-advocates to take a more central role.

Accomplishing what needs to get done is a big task and we cannot do it without you

This holiday season, can we count on you to make this work possible? Please consider making a gift today so that all people with disabilities can live a good life. 
Government Affairs
The Boston Globe Editorial Board continues its support of Nicky's Law

On Monday, December 10, The Boston Globe ’s Editorial Board once again affirmed its support of our priority legislation, Nicky’s Law, also known as the Abuse Registry Bill. We’re grateful for their continued support of this vital piece of legislation.

Nicky’s Law: A bill to protect the state’s most vulnerable citizens — those with intellectual and developmental disabilities — would establish a registry of caregivers against whom there have been substantiated claims of abuse or neglect. The registry would help prevent such abusers from drifting from one group home or facility to another. The proposal is so noncontroversial that it passed the Senate 36-0. And yet it remains in House Ways and Means. That’s a disgrace. Read more.
ABA and the Workforce

Tune in to Boston 25 this Friday, December 14 at 10:30PM to learn about the problems with wait lists for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for children with autism. Heather Hegedus, Boston 25 Reporter and mom of a young son with autism, investigates this workforce issue affecting so many in need of services.

Growing a strong workforce to meet the needs of individuals and families is the foundation of The Arc’s Workforce Campaign. Stay tuned for more information as we roll out our initiative. To learn more about our Workforce Campaign, contact Maura Sullivan .
Giving
Tickets for the 2019 Gala are now on sale!

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, The Arc of Massachusetts will be hosting our Annual Gala at the Boston Marriott Newton. We will be recognizing several special people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are making a difference: teaching the next generation of doctors; advocating at the State House for much-needed services and funding; and educating the community. They have overcome challenges themselves and their stories will inspire you. Buy tickets for this exciting evening or become a sponsors.
Training Center
Planning for the Transition to Adulthood:
Applying for SSI and Medicaid (MassHealth)
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | 12:00 - 1:00PM
Presented by Karen Mariscal, Esq. and Pat Nemia, M.A., P.T.

As students in special education prepare to enter adulthood, there are several areas that need to be addressed. One of the most important is for individuals with I/DD including Autism who are turning 18 years old to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Join us for this informative presentation which will discuss why applying for SSI and Medicaid is important, the steps you need to take to prepare to apply, and then how to apply for this important benefit. Free thanks to a grant from DDS and Massachusetts Partnership to Transition to Employment.
Outside The Arc
Vocational Rehabilitation State Plan Public Hearings
Hosted by Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)

MRC is holding hearings to receive public comment on the DRAFT Order of Selection policy going into effect in early January. All are welcome to attend and provide comments on the MRC draft policy. If you prefer to provide written comments, please email Commissioner@mrc.state.ma.us no later than December 21, 2018 at 5:00PM.

December 17, 2018
11:30AM - 1:30PM
MRC Administrative Office
600 Washington Street, Boston
December 19, 2018
11:30AM - 1:30PM
MRC Worcester Office
359 Main Street, Worcester
December 21, 2018
11:30AM - 1:30PM
MRC Springfield Office
243 Cottage Street, Springfield
Agency Spotlight