This week, Leo reflects on the role of inclusion in all forms of social communities; The Arc of Massachusetts introduces our new Policy Officer; a update on the key next steps for Nicky's Law; and more!
Leo's Letter
Educating Our Communities

How do you educate a community? It starts with us but if we only speak to ourselves and don’t enlist others, how far will we go…

  • In addressing the bias that continues to exist about persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities?
  • In making sure all their/our civil rights are realized?
  • In facilitating opportunities through school, work, faith communities, and community organizations? Continue reading.
Scam alert: fraudulent The Arc of the United States email fundraiser

On Tuesday, October 9, The Arc of the United States shared a warning about a current email scam. An email campaign alleging to be connected to The Arc of the United States has been soliciting donations for a GoFundMe campaign to support medical expenses for a 3-year-old boy named Carl.

The Arc of the United States did not send this email. They are currently working with their IT support team to determine what happened. In the meantime, pleased do not click on any link in that fraudulent email if you have received it.
The Arc of Massachusetts welcomes new Policy Officer, Ellen M. Taverna

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ellen M. Taverna as Policy Officer at The Arc of Massachusetts. Ellen has served in the policy arena in Washington, D.C. since 2004. Recently she was the Legislative Director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), a nonprofit organization of over 1,500 consumer protection attorneys and advocates. She developed strategies to forward NACA’s public policy and advocacy goals. Prior to joining NACA, she was the Consumer Protection Manager & Counsel for the National Association of Attorneys General. Learn more.
Government Affairs
Contact Your Representatives: Support Nicky's Law (H4026)!

Our time frame is getting tighter and we need every Representative communicating with Speaker DeLeo in support of Nicky's Law. We hope your letters and calls will happen ASAP and precede our meeting with the Speaker on 10/15. Please use this form to take action on Nicky's Law. Our ask is simple: Nicky's Law is overdue. We can't delay protections for our loved ones.

If your Representative wants your vote, she or he should stand behind you now and stand up for this legislation! We need every Representative (especially those in leader roles) to communicate with the Speaker to move Nicky's Law through to the informal session for a vote.

We are confident that the bill has the support it needs to unanimously pass. As always, thank you for your dedicated advocacy.
Maura Sullivan, the Director of Government Affairs for The Arc of Massachusetts, provided a training for self advocates at the United Cereal Palsy of MetroBoston. She was joined by The Arc’s Advocacy Alliance Coordinator, Herb Cabral.

The group was charged up around learning the process of advocacy as it relates to their own their services and supports. The Arc will count on these self advocates from UCP as we align our legislative priorities to focus on direct care professionals, PCAs, and other work force initiatives. We look forward to our continued partnership. Thank you to Todd Kates, CEO of UCP MetroBoston, for this opportunity!
October 17 is the deadline to register to vote in the General Election!

The deadline to register to vote in the Massachusetts State General Election is right around the corner. All voter registrations must be completed by next Wednesday, October 17 if you wish to vote in the State General Election on Tuesday, November 6. To learn more and to register to vote online, visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth's webpage. For more on our voting initiative, visit #TheArcVotes webpage today .
Self-advocates, family members, and their friends know: people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families can face daunting difficulties, as well as doubts about how to forge a healthy, stimulating, safe, enjoyable life. 

We work to ensure that people with I/DD have the opportunities they need by:  
  • Advocating for increased funding for services and supports
  • Collaborating with legislators and agencies to advance progressive policies
  • Developing a new initiative to address the workforce crisis
  • Spearheading the Supporting Families campaign to increase funding for family caregivers
  • Offering educational resources, webinars, and the biennial Transition Conference
  • Training medical students in the special needs of individuals with I/DD through Operation House Call 

You are essential to all of this.

As our partner in helping people with I/DD including autism achieve what was once thought of as impossible, will you consider making a gift to keep our efforts strong?
Training Center
The Insurer said “No” - What Happens Now? Insurance Denials and Appeals
Offered by the Autism Insurance Resource Center
Presented by Wells G. Wilkinson, JD, Senior Staff Attorney, Health Law Advocates
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 | 10:00 - 11:30 AM
To register, email Angelica.Aguirre@umassmed.edu .
Are you an older caregiver? Join us for a Community Conversation!

As part of the Becker Center, The Arc of Massachusetts is planning community forums across Massachusetts this fall. The purpose is to examine the needs of older caregivers.
Join us for a Community Forum: Medical Issues Related to Aging with Disabilities
October 26, 2018 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Lexington Community Center
39 Marrett Road, Lexington

Panelists will provide information about the medical conditions and issues that are prevalent in people with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities as they age.  Seating is limited. Preference will be given to Lexington residents.

  • Ann Neumeyer, MD, a Neurologist and the Medical Director at the Lurie Center for Autism.
  • Julie Anne Moran, DO, a geriatrician and Consultant Physician for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services.
  • Stephanie Santoro, MD, the Director of Quality Improvement Research for the Down Syndrome Program and a clinician for pediatric and adult patients with Down syndrome and patients in Medical Genetics at MGHfC and MGH.

Special thanks to the Dana Home Foundation for funding this event.
Agency Spotlight