September 10, 2020 | Issue #58
This Crisis Is Unprecedented. Your Voice Must Be Heard.

In this week's vlog, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian recaps the latest disappointing news from Capitol Hill regarding funding and relief for our community during this COVID-19 crisis. He also encourages the members of our community to raise their voices and make sure that our community is included as these difficult times continue. Watch now.
We Cannot Rest, Friend

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and autism, their families, and the direct support workforce have been challenged more than ever before by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we prepare for colder weather and COVID’s likely resurgence, we know that this is not the end of the health, social, or fiscal crises. A state budget deficit is looming and will require more vigilance not less, stronger advocacy not rest.

While we don’t know what’s ahead, The Arc will continue to fight for people with I/DD and autism with your help. They are counting on us. Your gift today will make advocacy for our community and The Arc’s continued efforts to help families navigate the pandemic possible. Please join us as we chart a path forward in a world that has been radically changed by this pandemic.
Next week is Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week 2020. Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the frontline heroes within our community, and in the coming week, we will be sharing videos and stories of gratitude for all that they do for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including autism. Be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook page for the latest updates, and read up on The Arc's DSP advocacy initiatives here.
Anonymous Survey on Impact of COVID-19
An anonymous international online survey is being conducted with caregivers, both family members and paid staff, to explore the impact of COVID-19 on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in terms of demographics, living arrangements, access to services, the impact of social distancing, and wellbeing. Go here to learn about the survey with the USA introduction page.
"On behalf of all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and support staff in Massachusetts, don't abandon us — we need a responsive bill in the Senate — the leadership needs to get its job done."
On September 10, Maura Sullivan led a discussion on the latest regarding Nicky's Law. She was joined by Cheryl Ryan Chan and Paul Joyce, offering the perspectives of two families and their experiences passing legislation. Be sure to watch the replay of this must see webinar here.
On September 14, Leo Live is back! He will be joined at noon by returning guest Nicole Jorwic, Senior Director of Public Policy at The Arc US. Join them for a discussion of what will happen now that Congress is back! Be sure to register for the return of the webinar series here.
On September 15, Kerry will be joined by Cathy Hickey, M.Ed, a Family Navigator at the DESE program at Brockton Area Arc. They will be discussing the topic of what questions you should ask when you have support staff enter your homes during these times. Register here.
Over the last two years, the Disability Law Center (DLC) has been working to improve community integration access for individuals attending Day Habilitation Centers across Massachusetts. Join Hillary Dunn-Stanisz and Rick Glassman to learn more about this important project.
Learn from a group of self-advocates and their families on how they transformed their traditional day services into individualized support. Presenters will provide discussion of the before and after, how they decided the right supports, and funding sources utilized. Register for this presentation here.
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.