This week, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian shares a summary of The Arc of Massachusetts' upcoming legislative goals; a reminder to register for Supporting Families Day; new webinars offered by The Arc and DDS; and more!
Leo's Letter

In this week's Leo's Letter, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian discusses The Arc of Massachusetts' 2019 legislative goals, and how they relate to the fulfillment of our mission of enhancing the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, through advocacy for inclusion, self-determination, and equity across all aspects of society.
RSVP for our Supporting Families Day & New Legislator Reception!

Join us at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, January 22 at 10:00AM for The Arc's Supporting Families Day & New Legislator Reception. Located on The Grand Staircase , this inspiring day will feature remarks by Representative Denise Garlick, Senator John Keenan, and a Family Advocate. The Arc's priorities will be Family Support and Workforce.
The Arc of Massachusetts 2019 Gala: Leading by Example

Please plan to join The Arc of Massachusetts on Wednesday, March 27 for our Annual Gala. Our theme is Leading by Example. 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.
Training Center
Prepare for Supporting Families Day: Telling Your Story
Tuesday, January 15 | 12:00PM
Presenters: Herb Cabral and Julie Heffernan, Advocacy Alliance Coordinators

The most powerful thing our legislators can hear are the life experiences of families like yours.  This training will teach self-advocates, family members, and service providers how to effectively tell their personal stories. It is based on the belief that a well-told story is the best way to communicate our ideas, connect with others and advocate for our needs. Participants will learn how to talk about who they are, what they need and what they want – all by telling their story. Free thanks to the Becker Family Foundation.
Planning for the Transition to Adulthood: Applying for SSI and Medicaid (MassHealth)
Wednesday, January 16 | 12:00PM
Presenters: Karen Mariscal, Esq. and Pat Nemia, M.A., P.T.

One of the most important things for individuals with I/DD including autism who are turning 18 years old is applying 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 MPTE.

Outside The Arc
The Department of Developmental Services is pleased to offer ongoing training opportunities for staff and others interested in promoting meaningful integrated employment for individuals with I/DD. These webinars are offered through our partnership with the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts/Boston. There is no cost to participate, but you must register here.

  • January 16, 10:00AM: Clearing the Way to Employment: How You Can Collaborate with Transition and Special Education Staff as They Facilitate Career Development Opportunities for Students with Disabilities
  • January 29, 10:00AM: Introduction to Community Employment
  • February 19, 1:00PM: Robots Are Taking Over! Technology Assists Human Supports to Fade, Opening the Door to Independence
The Northeast Region of Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change invites you to join an online study group of family members exploring Customized Employment . The group will pair the National Institute on Disability's (NDI) self-paced curriculum with online video calls. Members will be responsible for viewing one hour's worth of content, responding to emails, and joining a 90 minute call each month February through May.

Participants will be expected to register for an account with NDI's online learning portal; be responsive to email communications from fellow members; be able to access a device where they can watch an hour-long webinar; and access a computer, smartphone, or tablet where they can utilize Zoom uninterrupted for our 90 minute video calls.

Agency Spotlight