The Arc of Greater Plymouth
In This Issue
We are in need of Thanksgiving items for our Food Pantry to assist Families in need this Holiday season.

  The following items are requested: boxed potatoes, canned gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned pasta, canned tuna or chicken, peanut butter and jelly and boxed desserts. We also need grocery store gift cards from $10-$25. to purchase turkeys. Items can be brought to our office, 52 Armstrong Road, Plymouth and our office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. We are so grateful for your support. Thank you!
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"Webster Bank is committed to living up to the communities we serve," said Ann Meade, Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking at Webster Bank. We do this in part by supporting the Arc of Greater Plymouth, an organization that provides critical support for our developmentally challenged neighbors and their families. The people of Arc are true heroes in our community and we are honored to partner with them."
Ann Meade,
SVP Webster Bank
"Cool Gear International is honored to be a member of the Plymouth community and with that honor comes responsibility.  As a business leader, we are responsible for promoting the rights of those that are challenged to do so on their own.  Arc's programs and services allow our families, friends, and neighbors with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to reach their developmental goals through meaningful engagement in society.  This gift of inclusion is something that we can all be grateful for."
Donna Roth
Founder & CEO
Cool Gear International
Thank you to our Sponsors and Community Business Partners .

Cordage Logo Color.1 

Duggan Builders Logo 


bay coast bank 




November 2016
"Love Heels" -Walk to End Domestic Violence
L to r Rep. Jim Cantwell, Rep. Matt Muratore, Leigh Ann Barry
Cait McCafferty and Leigh Ann Barry from Archways spearheaded the "Love Heels- Walk to End Domestic Violence" with the South Shore Womens Resource Center held on Saturday October 22nd in Plymouth. Cait had an idea, prepared a Power Point Presentation on a program in Canada called Love Heels and with the help of Leigh Ann Barry presented it to the South Shore Womens Resource Center. The Womens Center loved the idea and a plan was conceived to hold a Love Heels Walk with the Arc of Greater Plymouth co-sponsoring the Event. Thanks to the efforts of Cait and Leigh Ann who gathered sponsors, walkers and state representatives it was a successful event.  Look for us next year!

Since graduating from Plymouth North High School in 2009 and Project Growth in 2012, Jackie Best has been working toward her dream job.  She came to The Arc of Greater Plymouth Employment Services (now ARCHWAYS ENTERPRISES) with a variety of work experiences including  Jordan Hospital (now BID Plymouth), teaching asst. with Christine Belmonte at PNHS and a wish for office work.

   Since coming to The Arc of Greater Plymouth this ambitious young woman has worked at a variety of jobs. Secretary assistant/receptionist for The Arc, member of the Archways Sparkle Cleaning service, and many volunteer positions in the community - including The Arc of Greater Plymouth Food Pantry, which she continues currently.

   In the spring of 2015, Jackie accepted an internship at Plymouth Career Center as an office assistant and in October of that year was offered a paid part time position. When I met up with her as she was leaving the office for the day, she was beaming. "Today is my one year anniversary!" she said.

  She offered to show me her cubicle, introduced me to a co-worker and proudly described her various jobs. Her responsibilities include day-before phone reminders to those signed up for classes at the Career Center; assembling folders for each class member (usually 20 people per class); making copies and maintaining printer with supplies, and helping out other office mates with various tasks.

  "I love having my own space and how not stressful it is here," she said. "They treat me like an employee now. It is my dream job ."
Jackie currently works 9 ½ hours and is starting her second year with The Plymouth Career Center. Her supervisor, Lori Pina states " Jackie has come a long way since beginning here.  She is always willing to go above and beyond what is asked of her. She interacts well with everybody and is always helpful to other staff members. Making reminder phone calls has recently been added to her responsibilities and she is doing a great job.  What I love about her is how she stays focused and works right up to the last minute of her shift. She is a great addition to our Center".

Jackie has recently become certified in First Aid and CPR and was certified in August as a Zumba Instructor.  She is an active member of Archways Self Advocates group, and volunteers each Friday at our Food Pantry as well as many social/recreation events sponsored by The Arc Family Support Department. She works out weekly at Live Life Believe with other Archways individuals and has her own membership at Planet Fitness.

This active, young professional is a shining example of how much can be achieved when you follow your dream.
The Arc at Shockyard Fitness!!

Baking Class at For Goodness Cakes Bakeshop

Samantha and Lily enjoy sailing at the Duxbury Maritime School
Health Literacy Video Project Underway at

     In June of this year, The Arc of Greater Plymouth was fortunate to receive a $5000 mini-grant from South Shore Community Partners in Prevention, to fund a training video to promote greater health literacy among individuals with disabilities. DDS Southeast Regional Training Council, and The Nemasket Group of Fairhaven supplied further funding. The Arc then contracted with Donna Rodriguez, Educational Access and Outreach Coordinator at PACTV to produce the video.

    In addition to filmed interviews of first hand testimonies of several individuals with DD/ID, a short questionnaire/survey was sent to Arc of GP families with individuals 16+, post grad special education programs, and area service providers. Expert consultants at UMass Medical school, Partners Health Care and Mass General Hospital will participate to further enrich background information being gathered by our committee made up of representatives from DDS Regional Training Council, Plymouth Area DDS Citizens Advisory board, PACTV and The Arc of GP.

     The final product will be a short educational video illustrating how patient/provider interactions can be enhanced to reduce barriers to the exchange of information and create better understanding between both parties, leading to better, healthier  outcomes for people with DD/ID in our region and beyond.

    The video is designed to be brief enough to be distributed via YouTube, Facebook and other social media to increase viewer audience. The audience is intended to be both healthcare providers in community and hospital settings, parents/staff providers of individuals with DD/ID as well as individuals themselves.  It is meant to be a first step in developing a broader training program to enhance communication and thus increasing mutual understanding (one definition of Health Literacy) on the individual consumer/advocate side as well as the healthcare professional side for our population with DD/ID.  It will also be shared with our State Legislators. We hope to inspire each viewer with a sense of responsibility to increase awareness of the importance of health literacy for all individuals.

   The video will be the property of The Arc of Greater Plymouth and as such has great potential as a way of illustrating our continued commitment of giving back to the community. 
Teacher Grant Announcement 
Maureen Connelly receives a Grant from Board member Adam Hill
For the 8th year, The Arc of Greater Plymouth is offering six Inspired Teacher Grants - entitled SPREADING INCLUSION -  to all K-12 faculty , regular or special education , who apply for projects that enhance and foster greater opportunities for inclusive education.

The grants of $500 are offered school year 2016-17 in the following school systems:  Plymouth, Carver, Duxbury, Hanover, Kingston, Pembroke , and Marshfield. Applications are available on our website at .

Deadline for applications is early January 2017,  with presentation of awards in March, so that projects can be implemented within the current school year. 
Proposed Changes To ABLE Act Draw Opposition
by Michelle Diament | October 6, 2016

In an unusual move, dozens of disability advocacy groups say they're ready to line up against efforts in Congress to expand the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act over concerns that the changes don't go far enough.

More than 80 groups say they will oppose legislation that would enhance options for individuals with disabilities who are currently eligible for ABLE accounts. That is, they say, unless lawmakers also act to increase the eligibility age for the new savings vehicle.
Under the ABLE Act, people with disabilities can establish special accounts where they can save up to $100,000 without jeopardizing Social Security and other government benefits. Medicaid eligibility is not affected by any level of funds accrued in the accounts.
But a provision added to the law before it was passed in 2014 limited such accounts to people with a disability that onset by age 26.
Just last month, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance approved two bills giving more flexibility to those who are already eligible for ABLE accounts. The ABLE to Work Act would allow people with disabilities who are employed to save additional money each year in their accounts while the ABLE Financial Planning Act would let money saved for an individual with a disability in a 529 college savings plan be rolled over into an ABLE account.

However, a third bill - raising the eligibility age to 46 - was left out of any discussions before the Senate committee. And that has many advocates feeling shortchanged.

"The limitation on eligibility based on age of onset of disability did not exist in the original legislation and was added at the end of the ABLE Act's eight year legislative history with the understanding that Congress would act to restore the broader eligibility criteria," reads letters signed by 82 disability advocacy groups that were sent this week to key lawmakers in the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives .

The last-minute addition of the age criteria led many people who had championed the ABLE Act for years to be left out, said Chris Rodriguez, senior public policy advisor at the National Disability Institute and co-chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Task Force on Financial Security, which initiated the correspondence to lawmakers.

"It was the understanding of the disability community that the age concession would be addressed as soon as possible," Rodriguez said. "We support the age adjustment being addressed before additional benefits are made available to those who are already eligible."
Groups that have pledged to oppose some ABLE bills include The Arc, the Autism Society, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the National Down Syndrome Congress, United Cerebral Palsy and others largely representing individuals who would easily meet the existing cutoff at age 26.

Notably missing from the signatories on the letters, however, are the National Down Syndrome Society and Autism Speaks, two of the most vocal groups in the push to get the ABLE Act passed two years ago.
The two organizations said they support all three of the ABLE bills currently on the table, but say the cost associated with the age increase makes it less likely to pass in the near future.
"The reality is that the Financial Planning Act and the ABLE to Work Act cost less than $50 million combined over 10 years. The age increase costs $2 billion over 10 years," said Sara Hart Weir, president of the National Down Syndrome Society. "We'll need to come up with a solution to lower the cost of the bill and make it politically viable."
To date, ABLE accounts are available through programs in four states. Florida's program offers accounts to residents of that state, while accounts created through programs in Nebraska, Ohio and Tennessee are available to individuals nationwide. Another 15 states are expected to begin offering ABLE accounts by the end of this year, Weir said.