This week, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian shares an update on what happened with Nicky's Law and the Committee on Public Counsel Services (CPCS); more information on our 31 Nights of Light event and an exciting (and delicious!) fundraiser; ways to make your support for The Arc of Massachusetts known before the end of the year; and more!
Leo's Letter
An Update on What Happened with Nicky's Law

The Registry Bill, S. 2606, is not expected to pass during the informal session at the State House. We’re pleased that we have a commitment from Chair Kay Khan for early movement on the bill at the start of the new formal session in January. This vlog shares our strong disappointment with the Committee on Public Counsel Services (CPCS) among other things. CPCS went directly to legislators with strong opposition to the bill at the eleventh hour of the session.

The Arc would not invoke a last-minute political strategy to kill a bill if we knew that a “friendly” organization that has worked for human and civil rights is strongly advocating for that bill without communicating with that organization first. If discussions didn’t resolve concerns, we would invoke other political action. Despite a working relationship with Disability Law Center, a strong advocate of the bill, CPCS did not consult with them either.
Thanks to you , people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities in Massachusetts – there are more than 200,000 – have better access to the services and the funding they need to live full lives in the community. On their behalf, thank you for giving them opportunity and hope.

As 2018 winds down, The Arc of Massachusetts is looking ahead to the new year. Our goals are to fight for laws that protect the dignity and safety of people with disabilities, to educate medical professionals on how to best diagnose and serve our constituents, and to make sure that all people with I/DD including autism have access to supports and services. 

We simply can’t do it without you. You can have a real, lasting impact on the lives of people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other disabilities. 

Would you be willing to make a special year-end donation of $100, $250 or whatever you can afford to help us meet our goal?
Reminder: The Arc of Massachusetts takes part in 31 Nights of Light!

Be sure to join us on Saturday, December 29 in the Center Court of the Prudential Center, Boston at 4:45PM for a fun and festive evening, featuring music, poetry, and inspiring remarks from individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more about our performers here. We hope to see you there!

Pizza with a purpose: Support The Arc of Massachusetts on December 29!

On Saturday, December 29, the California Pizza Kitchen location at the Prudential Center, Boston will be hosting a FUNdraiser in honor of The Arc of Massachusetts. If you're able to make it to the Pru at any time on this date, simply present your server with this flyer, denoting that you're eating on behalf of The Arc of Massachusetts, and 20% of your check will be donated directly to our organization. Take out and catering orders are eligible, too!
Donate to The Arc of Massachusetts' holiday Facebook fundraiser today

As we approach the holiday season and the new year along with it, support The Arc of Massachusetts and our work to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome.

Every gift will make a meaningful impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit will help us continue to fulfill our mission through advocacy for community supports and services that foster social inclusion, self-determination, and equity across all aspects of society.
Training Center
Coffee, Cookies, and Conversation
Monday, January 14, 2019 | 10:00AM
Brockton Area Arc

So many families care for their loved ones with disabilities at home and they rely on a variety of support services to do so. That’s why The Arc of Massachusetts is making supporting families and workforce issues (such as recruiting, training, and retaining) its legislative priorities in 2019. Join us for this session and tell us about your family: What is going well? Where do you experience gaps? What is most important for a service provider to know and understand?

RSVP to chickey@brocktonarc.net by Friday, January 11. For more information, contact Julie Heffernan at heffernan@arcmass.org .
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.
Agency Spotlight