This week, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian reflects on World Down Syndrome Day 2019 and the significance of leaving no one behind; an exclusive first look at the great items up for bidding in our online auction ( opening tomorrow at 9AM ); an introduction to our new Advocacy Alliance Coordinator; and more!
Leo's Letter
#WDSD19 - Leave No One Behind

“Leave no one behind.” It’s a simple phrase which says a lot.

March 21 has been officially recognized by the UN as “World Down Syndrome Day” since 2011. In various countries, people will celebrate the day by wearing brightly colored socks.

There is much to celebrate, not least of all the reality that the lifespan of a person with Down syndrome has more than doubled since 1983, when it was estimated at age 25 years. Our celebration also should be for the great possibilities which many individuals with Down syndrome (and other disabilities) achieve. I know that my niece’s son, Xavier, has opportunities which didn’t exist 20 years ago as a result of others who have come before him. Read more.
2019 Gala: Leading by Example
Online auction opens tomorrow, Friday March 22, at 9:00AM - get ready to bid!

We have a truly exciting collection of items this year, including sports memorabilia, gourmet meals, prized tickets, handcrafted art, exclusive experiences, and much more. Take a look at all of the items we've got listed, watch your favorites for updates, and check back bright and early tomorrow morning to get to bidding!

Sponsor Spotlight
PLAN of MA and RI: How Can a Special Needs Trust Help Me or My Loved One?

Special needs trusts are accounts that are set up to help people with disabilities remain eligible for needs-based government benefits while preserving personal assets and enhancing quality-of-life. Because these accounts can be set up in different ways, it is important to know which features and benefits are most important to you and your family. All special needs trusts set aside personal funds solely for benefit of the person with the disability.

PLAN offers an all-inclusive service model, meaning that trust participants receive dedicated service coordination by licensed social workers; funds are held in trust at a trust company and managed by a professional investment firm. All services, including disbursements, trust and case management, investing, and annual reporting are included in one annual fee. Because trustee services are included in PLAN’s services, family members and friends can focus on personal relationships rather than on organizing care and paying bills.

Professional special needs trust providers can help lift some of the burden on special needs families by providing comprehensive and intergenerational support using this important long-term planning tool. If you’d like to explore how a special needs trust can help you and your family, we’d like to speak with you, too.

PLAN of MA and RI helps individuals with disabilities, and the families and professionals who care for them, remain eligible for needs-based government benefits while preserving personal assets by providing special needs trusts. For more information and to speak with a member of staff, call 617.244.5552 or visit us online at www.planofma-ri.org .
Programs of The Arc
Welcome Kathleen Amaral!

Kathleen resides in the South coast region of the state, with her family. Mom to Emma, Liam and Mae, her passion for advocacy and supporting families began when Liam, now 15, was born with a rare genetic diagnosis, Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation (CDG DDOST). Navigating his complex needs ignited her passion for assisting families who find themselves on a similar journey.

Kathleen has several years of professional experience in the area of family support, service navigation, and leadership development, as well as personal experience advocating for positive change on a local and state level, with a focus on disability related topics. She is overjoyed to begin this new journey as Advocacy Alliance Coordinator at The Arc of Massachusetts.
In the Media
Help The Arc of Massachusetts earn an ad in the Boston Globe

Are you a Boston Globe subscriber? If so, we have a favor to ask. Help us earn a free ad in the Globe just by showing your support. Simply go to Globe.com/GRANT , enter your subscriber number, and select The Arc of Massachusetts as your favorite non-profit. It only takes a minute, and it doesn’t cost you a dime. Submission deadline is April 30.

Your support will be converted into GRANT advertising dollars. To earn free advertising space in the Boston Globe , we need a minimum of $1,000 in GRANT dollars. The more dollars raised, the larger the ad — which means more exposure for The Arc of Massachusetts and the important work we do!

Upcoming Calendar
Spring 2019 Regional Sessions
Pressing Issues Facing Individuals with I/DD
April 3: Plymouth
April 17: Peabody

Please join Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts, for a conversation about pressing issues facing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the family members and human service agencies who assist them.

Leo will discuss the Workforce Shortage Crisis and The Arc’s new initiative to find a solution; the FY 2020 state budget; and how to increase social inclusion. Learn what you can do to be an effective advocate, so you can have an impact on the lives of people with disabilities statewide.
What are the Services and Options for Seniors with Disabilities Living in Lexington?
Friday, March 22 | 10:00AM - 12:00PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 237
39 Marrett Road, Lexington

Featuring a panel of experts from the town of Lexington, Minuteman Senior Services, and the Department of Developmental Services. Thanks to the Dana Home Foundation for funding this event.
Webinar: Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts
Thursday, April 4 | 12:00PM
Presenter: Pamela Tames, Esq.

This webinar will provide information about the major planning vehicles – special needs trusts and ABLE accounts – that are used to help people with disabilities become and remain eligible for need-based government benefits while preserving the use of personal assets to supplement care and ensure a fulfilling life.
Agency Spotlight