This week, Leo shares an update on the latest action surrounding Nicky's Law; The Arc of Massachusetts launches its new Resources page; a reminder to vote this Tuesday; a limited time offer via Amazon Smile; and more!
Leo's Letter
More Voices Being Raised on Nicky’s Law

Last week families began to push for more advocacy to pass Nicky’s Law, now known as Senate 2606 and House 4026 . The Arc is coordinating a vigil or related activity with families in November.

In related news, the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities – helmed by Rep. Kay Khan and Sen. Joan Lovely – hosted a hearing on sexual abuse on October 30 ( WBUR coverage ). The hearing was a reminder that persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are less capable of protecting themselves or speaking out may be sought out by predators, which is why the incidence of sexual abuse and abuse in general is higher for our constituents. Continue reading.
Election Day is this Tuesday, November 6!

Be sure to vote in the State Elections. The ballot includes candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Auditor); US Congress; state Senate and House of Representatives; Governor’s Council; and County offices. In addition, there are three initiative ballot questions.  Continue reading.
The Arc of Massachusetts launches new Resources page

In search of information about healthcare? Need guidance around transition? At a loss when it comes to self-advocacy? Visit The Arc of Massachusetts's newly redesigned Resources page! Contact Kerry at Mahoney@arcmass.org with suggestions and feedback.
Government Affairs
Becker Center: What We’re Learning from Older Caregivers

The Becker Center for Advocacy is learning about the needs of older caregivers by organizing community forums across the state. Three forums have been held so far: North Shore, Merrimack Valley, and Greater Boston. Caregivers are asked to discuss three topics: what is going well; what the gaps or challenges are; and recommendations.

Responses vary; however, a big concern is the workforce and the inability to find reliable and well-trained respite providers, PCAs, and nursing staff.  Continue reading.
Fall Forum: Medical Issues Related to Aging with Disabilities

On Friday, October 26, The Arc of Massachusetts, in conjunction with The Dana Home Foundation, offered a Forum on “Medical Issues Related to Aging with Disabilities.” In the words of one of the attendees, the three doctors who took part in the panel comprised a “dream team.” Continue reading.
Vocational women's group at Center of Hope

The weekly meeting of the vocational women’s group at the Center of Hope considers a variety of issues including self-esteem, work place concerns, community issues and challenges. Group member Sara Donnelly is also an active participant on The Arc’s Government Affairs Committee. This past week, she invited The Arc’s Charlie Fiske to meet with the group to review some strategies on basic advocacy and voting.  Continue reading.
Training Center
What’s Out There? An Overview of Community Based Supports and Publicly-Funded Services
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 | 12:00PM, Free
Presenter: O. Sophia Johansson, Co-Chair Mass Families Organizing for Change and Northeast Regional Coordinator

An overview of publicly available services and supports that exist for families of children with special health care needs, developmental disabilities, and/or chronic illnesses. Learn how to access community supports and government services.
Adult Family Care: Is It the Right Choice for my Loved One?
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 | 12:00PM, Free
Presenter: Yvette Jones, Director of Adult Family Care, Charles River Center

Adult Family Care (AFC) is a MassHealth program that provides a 24/ 7 supervision and training for adults with disabilities that need assistance with their Adult Daily Living (ADL) skills. Caregiver homes provide a supportive environment that provides and the care and supervision needed. In return caregivers receive a tax free stipend. Learn about eligibility, the benefits of AFC, and the different situations that can enhance a person’s ability to stay in a home environment.
Amazon Smile has just made it easier for you to support The Arc's mission as you shop - for a limited time only! Through 2:59AM EST on November 3, Amazon will be donating 5% (10x the usual amount) to The Arc of Massachusetts when you shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/04-2223502 . Start your holiday shopping with a smile by supporting The Arc of Massachusetts!
Not planning to itemize your taxes? Consider a making a gift from your IRA!

The new tax law did not change the rules for qualified charitable distributions. This provision allows people 70 ½ and older to transfer up to $100,000 from their IRAs to charity each year. It counts toward their required minimum distribution without being added to their adjusted gross income. The tax-free transfer from an IRA lets you benefit from making a gift to The Arc of Massachusetts, even without itemizing.

You should note that the gift from your IRA must be made directly by the custodian of your IRA, not you. Call the financial institution that holds your IRA and ask about its charitable rollover procedures. Please contact Katrin Aback, Director of Development, at aback@arcmass.org or 781-891-6270 x105 if you have any questions
Save The Date
New Legislators and Supporting Families Day
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | 10:30AM - 12:30PM
Massachusetts State House, Grand Staircase

The 41st Annual Legislative Reception
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | 9:00AM - 1:00PM
Massachusetts State House, Great Hall
Outside The Arc
Offered by Special Needs Financial Planning
Wednesday, November 14 | 6:30 - 8:00PM
Shepherd Financial Partners, 1004 Main Street, Winchester
Presented by Paula Thompson, LICSW, of Communitas (formerly EMARC).
Agency Spotlight