This week, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian offers suggestions on how to persevere through winter; a recap of our 31 Nights of Light event; information on our 2019 Gala; and more!
Leo's Letter
A New Year, A  Renewed Commitment 

It’s the first week of 2019, and finally a dusting of snow. Winter is here, bringing with it harsher elements that make it more difficult to get through the week.

And as in winter, the circumstances which we and our constituents face today may feel harsher than necessary, due to:

  • Intended and unintended bias
  • Limited access to quality health care
  • Lack of educational and clinical expertise for youth so they are forced to leave their neighborhood schools and sometimes their families
  • Continued unemployment
  • Lack of assistance for some of life’s essential activities

We don’t have to accept winter as a season that never ends. Let’s forge ahead with a renewed commitment. Let us support your individual journey through our webinars , referrals to local affiliates and agencies, and website resources .

And as a community, join with us to end discrimination and expand access for all our constituents.

Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director
We lit the Prudential Tower "The Arc Orange"!

On Saturday, December 29, 2018, The Arc of Massachusetts took part in the Prudential Center, Boston’s 10th Annual 31 Nights of Light program. The Prudential Tower was lit up “The Arc Orange” that evening in recognition of our work to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

As part of our lighting event, we held a ceremony in the Prudential’s Center Court, featuring music, poetry, and inspiring remarks by three talented individuals I/DD. View more photos and press coverage of the event.
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
Coffee, Cookies, and Conversation
Monday, January 14, 2019 | 10:00AM
Brockton Area Arc

Many families care for loved ones with disabilities at home, relying 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.
Outside The Arc
College Opportunities for Young Adults with Down Syndrome!

PALS is an organization whose mission is to create immersive experiences for young adults with Down syndrome and their peers. Their summer program, Camp PALS, is a week-long, sleepaway camp at college campuses across the country.  They will be offering a week long sleep away camp at Stonehill College on June 30-July 6, 2019 for young adults ages 14-21. Their volunteer and camper applications are available online. More information.
Agency Spotlight