Dear individuals, families and friends,

Over the past years, we’ve witnessed a workforce shortage in Massachusetts grow in disability services and human services in general. We continue to hear from those receiving direct support services, family members, friends and employers how difficult it has become to recruit and retain staff. Staff are simply not paid enough and often work overtime to cover gaps in staffing and some work more than two jobs to get by.

As a part of our Workforce Campaign, we have a request of you today that has a deadline of Friday, February 8th . We need your help to submit comment letters to the Administration’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). Every two years, the EOHHS determines the rates for payment of salaries and benefits for Community-Based Day Support Services (CBDS) and Supported Employment Services. EOHHS has provided an opportunity to comment on these proposed rate regulations. The deadline to submit testimony and letters to the Administration is 5 pm on Friday, February 8th.  You can email your written comments to: ehs-regulations@state.ma.us .
We have developed a short template letter for you to send to EOHHS.  The template highlights in yellow are suggestions where you can add your own thoughts and experience. Please insert into the letter the specifics of how you or someone you know (family, friend) is affected by the workforce shortage. Some personal examples are: not enough support staff to participate in community activities; lack of staffing to help with job training so delays in finding and participating in work, etc. We need you to share in your own words and your real experiences to convince the Administration of the real-life impact of having a qualified, sustainable workforce that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

Please stay tuned as we share with you our next steps on The Arc’s Workforce Campaign and our legislative updates. Please get those letters in by Friday, February 8th! We appreciate your support!

Thank you,
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director