The Arc of the South Shore recently held its Legislative Breakfast. This is a wonderful event that brings together members of our community with our elected officials. Families and individual's have an opportunity to tell their stories and to thank our elected officials for their past support on legislation that supports our community-based services, while our elected officials have an opportunity to learn about the importance of community supports to our families. The Legislative Breakfast is always awesome in the synergy it builds and inspiring to all who attend. Grass roots advocacy started The Arc in 1951 and the network of local, state and federal offices of The Arc have played a leading role in the establishment of Special Education, Transition/Turning 22 legislation, and many other milestones!
The Arc continues to play a leading role in advocating for legislative and public policy changes that will better serve our families, while also advocating against proposed changes that we believe will have an adverse effect on our individuals and families.
The Arc provides information for our individuals and families through newsletters, website postings, and email "call to action" alerts. If you would like to receive these please sign up today.
MA Arc US Arc
There are many proposed changes at the federal and state level that we anticipate will have a profound effect on funding and provision of medical and community supports services to our constituents.
At the state level, the Governor's budget for Fiscal year 2018 was released in late January. Now our legislators are reviewing and constructing their FY' 18 budget requests. The Arc is advocating that our local legislators support the Governor's budget. See details in article that follows.
MassHeath budget cuts are imposing a rate cut to Adult Foster Care programs. While stipends to home caregivers will not be affected, the rate cuts will translate to an 11% cut to our revenue for operating the program, negatively affecting our ability to provide high quality support to each individual and home caregiver. Information about the rate and regulations changes and the public hearing on March 17 can be found here: AFC Public Hearing
For those of you interested in getting more involved in public policy advocacy and government affairs The Arc offers several ways to become involved. The Arc offers an excellent public policy conference annually in Washington DC. Details and Registration
Southeastern MA Legislative Breakfast
On Friday morning, February 24, 2017, The Arc of the South Shore hosted the Southeastern MA Legislative Breakfast in partnership with GROW Associates, Inc., Friendship Home, Inc., The Brockton Area Arc, WORK Inc. and South Shore Supports. The breakfast was held at Lombardo's in Randolph.
With over 240 attendees and more than 20 state legislatures, including Senator O' Connor (pictured) we had the opportunity to discuss FY18 priorities: Turning 22, promoting work and self sufficiency and Autism support and services. We had some wonderful speakers addressing the very important issues legislatures will be voting on. But, most importantly, we were enriched by listening to the self advocates and parents of the individuals we serve discuss just how vital these services are and the impact of these services in their day to day lives. A big thank you to all of our legislatures and families for taking the time to come out and participate in this very important event.
We Need Your Help.....
In addition, Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director, The Arc Massachusetts spoke about Governor Charlie Baker's proposed budget which addresses a 15 year-old policy dilemma in the DDS Turning 22 Program. Since its inception in the 1980's, DDS has struggled to keep up with the influx of young adults and has only once adjusted the formula for rising adult needs. The proposed budget will address the needs of over 900 young adults. This initiative must remain a top priority for The Arc. The House and Senate need to include a positive outcome not only for this year, but the acceptance of the new T22 formula. MA Arc Advocacy
The US Arc is also voicing its concern that significant changes in Medicaid, The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security, Medicare, and civil rights laws like The Americans with Disabilities Act will destabilize some or all of community services which are vital to our individuals and families. The US Arc Public Policy/Advocacy
There are many ways that you can take action:
Friday, March 17th, 1:30 pm - Public Hearing on proposed payment rates for Adult Foster Care (AFC)
Monday, March 27th - 10:30am - 12:00pm - The Great Hall, Massachusetts State House
39th Annual Legislative Reception: "Embracing our Rights: It Takes all of Us"
Contact Your Legislator
FY18 Budget Ask
Save the Date
Thursday, June 8, 2017
5th Annual Gala ~ A Summer Soiree
Located under a magnificent tent on the beautiful shores of Webb State Park, The Summer Soiree brings together local businesses, community leaders, restaurants and spirit providers, but most importantly, the individuals and families that we've supported for the past 66 years. Come and enjoy an evening of gourmet food, specialty cocktails, fine wine, craft beer, live music, unique auction and raffle items all while doing something good for your community!
February School Vacation Programming
Our February School Vacation Program was quite a success!! We had over 61 participants come in and enjoy some structured playtime. Our activities included: Yoga, Music Therapy, an Art Workshop and a Sensory/OT group. The laughter and smiles from all the kiddos and parents was contagious and it was a very special week for everyone.
A HUGE thank you to all our partnerships - Sing Explore Create, South Shore Autism Center, Abby Thorell MS OTR/L, Trista Murray OTR/L, Little Bee Yoga Company and Kathleen Picardi - YOGA for SPECIAL PEOPLE. As they say, it takes a village, and quite a village it was. The expertise and experience of these amazing professionals supported this wonderful programming for the kids!
Please check our website for upcoming programs and details on
All New Mingle & Jingle
On Sunday, December 11, 2016, The Arc of the South Shore held their 3rd Annual Mingle and Jingle at Laura's Center for the Arts in Hanover. It was a fun-filled afternoon with plenty of festive music, a visit from Santa Claus, interactive activities, and raffle prizes.
A big thank you to our entertainment for the day, they were all fantastic!! Performances included: The Boston Higashi Jazz Band, South Shore Conservatory Community Voices, Whipple Will Choir and a holiday sing-a-long with Patrick Birmingham. It was a fabulous day for our individuals, sponsors and community members.
Support The Arc of the South Shore!
- Increase our capability and capacity to support individuals with Autism and help us to continue growing our Autism Resource Center
- Develop more community based activities for individuals
- Expand community living options for individuals
- Support self advocacy efforts
- Enhance clinical support to our programs resulting in a positive quality of life for each person
- Create innovative new programming
- Support our capital needs to expand our facilities due to increased referral
The Arc Gives Back to the Community
The Arc of the South Shore Toy Drive
The Self-Advocacy Group of The Arc of The South Shore held a toy drive at our 3rd Annual Mingle and Jingle on Sunday, December 11th. With the help of our community, we were able to provide 60+ toys and books to benefit the Toys for Tots program. The members of our self-advocacy group would like to thank you for your generosity! Your support makes a difference.
In addition, many of our individuals volunteer on a weekly basis at several food pantries; stocking shelves, sorting produce and breaking down boxes. They also volunteer at Holly Hill Farm and the South Shore Science Center working in the greenhouse and gardening. Every Wednesday a group of individuals help serve lunch at the Whipple Senior Center!
Our individuals are always thinking of others and will hold teddy bear drives, clothing and food drives throughout the year to show their support for the communities that we serve!
Margaret and Virginia - A Shared Living Success Story
The Arc of the South Shore provides a Shared Living Residential Program, which matches adults with disabilities and those who have the heart to see them flourish in a family-based environment by becoming a Home Care Provider. The Arc of the South Shore is excited to introduce you to our newest Shared Living Family, Margaret and Virginia, and their Home Care Provider, Beth.
Margaret and Virginia are 59-year old twin sisters. They have spent every day of their lives sharing each other's company. They attended Milton High School and Blue Hills Regional School where they learned skills in food service and office prep. After Margaret and Ginny left school, they attended Grow Associates in Randolph. They have participated in several different programs at Grow Associates, including Employment Services, Community Based Day Supports and the Day Habilitation programs. At different phases in their lives, Margaret and Ginny were employed at several local restaurants in Randolph, and Ginny worked at Grow Associates answering the phones and general questions.
Margaret and Ginny lived in Randolph their entire lives with their mom, who is now 94 years old. This past November, Margaret and Ginny needed more support than their mom could provide and a new plan needed to be implemented. Beth is a case manager for Supported Living at Work, Inc., and had worked on the twins case while they were with their mom. During that time, Beth had spent some time with Margaret and Ginny going shopping, attending a show or two in Boston, and even went on a 3-day weekend extravaganza! At a team meeting in January of 2016, Beth suggested she would like to be the twins home care provider through the Shared Living residential program. For the next several months, Beth was very busy relocating to the South Shore and setting up a home for herself, Ginny and Margaret.
On November 4, 2016, Margaret and Ginny moved into Beth's house. The women refer to themselves as "best friends and roommates". Margaret and Ginny are very excited and love their new home almost as much as they love Beth. The Shared Living program has enhanced Margaret and Ginny's lives, as they have become part of Beth's family as well. Beth's 19 year old daughter, Ruby, is the alternate caregiver for Margaret and Ginny, and they visit with each other just about every weekend.
Margaret and Ginny are very happy in their new home with Beth, and are making strides every day. As we sat at the kitchen table and talked about their full and rich lives, you could not help but smile to feel the love between these three amazing women.
The Arc of the South Shore is currently seeking qualified homes on the South Shore, particularly the towns of Cohasset, Duxbury or Hingham.
Boston Globe Subscribers - The Boston Globe is proud to announce the return of GRANT (Globe Readers And Non-profits Together), a community initiative that allows subscribers like you to help deserving non-profits earn free ads.
Submitting your GRANT voucher is easy - just click the button below and enter your subscriber number and the name of the organization you'd like to support (We are listed as ARC South Shore and are currently 600 on the list)
The more GRANT dollars earned, the larger the ad space provided.
Michael Kennedy and David Finnerty will be leading a breakout session at the 12th Annual "Focus" on Vision Impairment & Blindness Conference on March 8 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood. The Session is: What is Personal Success? Competitive Employment: A Great Success Story. It is the balance of the Individual life goals, family, friends and vital supports that make the system work best. After an overview of how new jobs are found and nurtured, Michael, who is legally blind, will talk about his own success story. He is a self-advocate who enjoys balancing his part-time job at Shaw's in Cohasset with many sports and social activities during the week. He also finds time to volunteer for those less fortunate than himself.
The joint project between the First Early Intervention Program and the South Shore Hospital serving families with children exposed to substances during pregnancy is up and running! After many months of working out the details between the two parties, they were able to sign an agreement in December which allows the First Program to enter the hospital and meet with families prior to discharge. The goal of this project is to encourage families' participation in services offered by early intervention and in the community. In the month of January, we have had two referrals, both of which were from the Special Care Nursery. Our hope and plan is to continue to receive these referrals and make the transition from the hospital to community services as smooth and successful as possible.
A very special thank you to Harbor Medical Associates and Doctor Kristin Perini for their very generous donation of supplies to help both our Early Intervention Program and our Day Habilitation Program!