October 29, 2020 | Issue #65
Your Advocacy Is Needed: FY21 Funding

As Massachusetts continues to experience a surge in the COVID-19 virus, we continue to worry about the stability of the safety net and support for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Help spread the word by sharing information from our news alerts and website.

Earlier this week, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian appeared on WBZ to discuss the recent revised FY21 budget and the funding deficit that is currently impacting our community. "They’re just looking at the reality that 100% of people can’t be served, but what that also does is risk the sustainability of the day system so it may not be here when the pandemic is over." Hear more from Leo here.
In the coming months, Widening the Circle/Pathways to Friendship, a partnership program between the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and The Arc of Massachusetts, will be offering a series of conversation opportunities on lessons that have been learned about social connection and inclusion during the age of COVID-19. Each conversation session will focus on a specific lesson learned during these times. Learn more and register here.
On November 9, a summit on improving healthcare transition for people with I/DD and other neurodevelopmental conditions (NDD) in Massachusetts will take place. The summit is open to providers, payers, and families. The Arc has participated in the summit's planning. You can learn more about it and register here.
On December 1 and 3, the 2-part workshop The Ask: Invitation to Engagement in Pandemic Times will be held. Often for persons with disabilities, others need to become the “askers,” the inviters, into relationship. These workshops will be led by Tom Doody (long-time trainer in our field) and Jennifer Campbell (Staff Trainer for New England Business Associates). More information and registration here.
On Thursday, October 22, Ellen Taverna and Kathleen Amaral hosted a presentation on what you need to know to prepare for the 2020 Election as a member of the disability vote community.

Why do you vote? Why does your vote matter to you? Tell us! Click here to download our printable signs.

Take a photo of yourself holding one of these signs ("I vote because..." or "My vote matters because...") and send it to Taverna@arcmass.org and KAmaral@arcmass.org. Feel free to also film a short video if you'd prefer and explain why your vote matters.
Chapters of The Arc
Participants walked together remotely this year to support the Berkshire County Arc’s Down Syndrome Family Group’s 14th Buddy Walk. Nearly 300 people participated from the Berkshires and beyond, and the virtual event included remarks from State Representative Paul Mark, and Kenneth Singer, BCArc’s president and CEO.
Sponsor Spotlight

The work of The Arc of Massachusetts is made possible by generous donations from people like you, friend. None of our advocacy, education, and outreach would be possible without your continued support. Please consider giving today.