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Advocate Summer 2016

The Arc champions veto overrides and legislative priorities The Massachusetts General Court (our legislature) wrapped up its session with veto overrides and the passage of several bills. There were three formal sessions of the legislature to address the vetoes. We have the following good news to report: • The Turning 22 funding veto was overridden and $500,000 was restored. • The funding for Inclusive Concur-

• Operation House Call (OHC) veto was overridden and the DPH line item restored ($50,000). This allows The Arc’s OHC program to sustain and grow our medical and health professional training program. • Early Intervention funding was restored at $150,000. continued on page 7

This is where House votes are recorded.

Announcing “Passion as Pathway”… The Arc of Massachusetts 2016 Gala By Katrin Aback

Please join The Arc of Massachusetts on Wednesday, November 16 for the Passion as Pathway…Gala. We will be honoring Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist and best-selling author, Ron Suskind. Ron has written several important works of nonfiction, including Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, which chronicles his family’s twenty-year struggle with their son continued on page 10

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rent Enrollment (college opportunities for young adults with I/ DD) was restored at $250,000.

Inside this issue... Article


Operation House Call..................4 The Friendship Corner..................5 Government Affairs......................7 Support Brokers.........................12 Education and Training..............14 Spotlight on: Nonotuck..............15 Shared Living............................16 News from the Chapters............19

Published by

217 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453 (781) 891-6270 •

From groundbreaking disability policy and advocacy to breaking ground for a new headquarters By Katrin Aback

Leo V. Sarkissian Editor Judy Zacek Associate Editor Beth Rutledge Production Coordinator Carol Daly Layout and Design

The Arc of Massachusetts Board of Directors OFFICERS Tracy Atkinson President Deborah Norton Vice President Peter H. Tallas Treasurer Daniel Sullivan Immediate Past President & Secretary/Clerk

DIRECTORS Subhadeep Basu Susan Lodemore Justin Bernard Seth P. Lopes Scott Borchardt John Mallin Jim Buss Geoffrey Misilo Martin Courage Sean Morrissey Katherine Craven John Nadworny Kristin M. Hilf Renald Raphael Judi Kotanchik Janet Sweeney Rico Joe Andrade, Director Emeritus

The Arc of Massachusetts Staff Leo V. Sarkissian Executive Director Maura Sullivan Director of Government Affairs Kerry Mahoney Director of Education and Outreach Charlie Fiske Director of Public Policy Katrin Aback Director of Development Jim Ross Director, Widening the Circle Rich Fagan Finance Director Christopher Jenkins Financial Officer Amelia Cordischi Development & Digital Media Associate


Demolition Day! Photo by Amelia Cordischi

By the time this issue of Advocate reaches your mailbox, 217 South Street in Waltham will look radically different. The former building that housed The Arc of Massachusetts’s headquarters will be gone. The wrecking ball and bulldozers will have taken down what was left of the old house and removed the debris. The ground will have been leveled and concrete poured for a new foundation. Home to The Arc for nearly 40 years, the original building witnessed the development and advancement of groundbreaking policy that enhances the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living with intellectual or developmental disability. Countless meetings among stakeholders, legislative advocacy trainings, educational seminars, and the daily work to keep the organization running took place there. While this is a new chapter in the history of our organization, it will not change our core mission. The new building will allow The Arc to remain at the forefront of the struggle to build better lives for those with disabilities. It will better serve our mission by increasing our capacity. The decision to build a new headquarters led us to launch the $1.6 million Home for the Future Campaign. We are delighted to announce that with the generosity and foresight of individual donors, our chapters, agency partners, and foundations, we have raised nearly $1.2 million in gifts and pledges! You can raise the profile of individuals with disabilities by helping us reach our goal. Learn more about the new building and giving opportunities by visiting You can also contact Katrin Aback, Director of Development at or 781-891-6270 x6105 to discuss how you can to participate.

TheArc ArcofofMassachusetts Massachusetts The

The Arc Welcomes New Board Members This spring The Arc of Massachusetts added several new members to its Board of Directors, the organization’s governing body: Subhadeep Basu, Scott Borchardt, Kristin Hilf, John Mallin, and John Nadworny.

in Motion Program. In 2005, Scott and his wife Julie created a scholarship fund to support the work of post-doctoral students at the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas.

Subhadeep Basu has been Senior Vice President at State Street Corporation since November, 2014. He manages multiple teams that set the overall direction, leadership, structuring, and execution of the responsibilities of the Basel Program globally. Subhadeep is also responsible for ensuring appropriate and effective governance and reporting to the Board of Directors and senior management committees. Prior to working at State Street, he was Director of Regulatory Reform at Citi.

Kristin Hilf is Vice President of Communications for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). As a member of the IDS leadership team, she directs a staff of communications professionals in the disciplines of public relations, marketing communications, organizational communications, community relations, trade shows and creative services. Before joining Raytheon in October 2006, Kristin had more than 20 years of experience managing communications and public relations programs for a variety of consumer and business-to-business companies.

Scott Borchardt is Managing Director of the Tax Division of PwC, a position he has held since 2004. He specializes in providing tax services to regulated investment companies. Scott led the creation of a resource group in PwC’s Boston office that supports employees who have a disability or are caregivers of an individual with a disability. In spring, 2016 Scott and colleagues from PwC conducted a four-session financial literacy program for participants in the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress’s Advocates

John Mallin is Senior Manager of Financial Services at EY, where he has worked since 2005. In his role, he provides assurance services to a variety of financial services clients

Save These Dates! October 27-29 The Arc US National Convention, Orlando November 8

Election Day

November 16

The Arc of Massachusetts 2016 Gala Passion as Pathway… Park Plaza Hotel, Boston

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including large multi-national investment banks, broker-dealers, custodian banks, and credit derivative product companies. John is a CPA. John Nadworny is Director of Special Needs Financial Planning, a specialty practice within Shepherd Financial Partners. A recognized thought leader in the field of planning for families of individuals with special needs, John is a Certified Financial Planner™, Chartered Financial Consultant, and Chartered Life Underwriter. He co-authored The Special Needs Planning Guide: How to Prepare for Every Stage of Your Child’s Life. John has worked on legislative proposals to benefit individuals with special needs and serves on the Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability.

Tailored Financial Services for Families with Special Needs If you are responsible for a family member with a disability or other loved one, you face unique challenges involving complex financial situations. We understand. For the last 15 years we have provided caring, experienced financial guidance to special needs families, helping them pursue long-term financial security for their loved ones through informed estate and tax planning, investment and insurance planning and special needs trust management strategies. Please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. It would be our privilege to serve you and your family and help you pursue the long-term financial independence you deserve.

special needs

financial planning A Division of Shepherd Financial Partners

Cynthia R. Haddad, CFP® & John W. Nadworny, CFP® 1004 Main Street Winchester, Massachusetts 01890 (781) 756-1804 Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC


Operation House Call

Operation House Call expands nationally and finds legislative support at the Massachusetts State House Through a contract with The Arc of the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Operation House Call’s Massachusetts model is poised for a national expansion. The combination of foundational, experiential, and on-line learning provides a range of unique training opportunities for young medical professionals. These students gain knowledge about daily lives, mod-

ern support, the challenges, the resources, and advocacy essential to best practice in health care partnership. Students practice building rapport and gaining information above and beyond purely “medical” concerns. Because the learning is done outside of a medical setting, each student has a chance to focus on these things without the stress of acute care responsibilities. “I can’t speak highly enough of this

Adult Family Care or Personal Care Assistance Services Are you or someone you know in need of assistance and/or supervision of activities of daily living? If you are currently on Mass Health, contact us to find out if you are eligible for Adult Family Care or Personal Care Assistance services.

Seeking Shared Living Home Providers! We are looking for compassionate people to share their home and life experiences with a person with an intellectual or developmental disability. Benefits of becoming a Qualified Provider: home based work flexibility, tax exempt monthly stipend, support, training and development opportunities, Make a difference in your community!



program. Operation House Call was the most eye opening and inspirational experience of the (pediatric) rotation by far. Thank you for doing this. I hope that future medical students will be able to experience this year after year.” -- Third-year medical student On July 31, 2016, The Arc’s OHC Program Director, Maura Sullivan, announced that Operation House Call is now part of the Massachusetts State budget. “We advocated for a line item within the Department of Public Health to help OHC sustain our existing training programs at BU School of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Simmons College, and University of Massachusetts Medical School, as well as allow us to expand across the state to new medical and health professional universities and colleges.” Although the Governor vetoed the line item, we are grateful to our legislative leadership for overriding the veto. Hundreds of medical students and other health professionals will receive training this year in the unique health care needs of people with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. You can help Operation House Call continue to be a best practices model by making a gift to support the program. Please visit http:// operationhouse-call/ to learn more.

The Arc of Massachusetts

The Friendship Corner (Widening the Circle recommends Person Centered Planning (PCP) as one of the best ways to ensure that attention is paid to relationships and friendships in the lives of people with disabilities. But, for various reasons, not everyone can access PCP. However, many adults with disabilities are required to have an Individual Support Plan (ISP). This planning process, if used correctly, can contribute to social connections for the individual, including the possibility of friendships between people with and without disabilities. Our thanks to Robin Harmatz of DDS for contributing the following information on how to use the ISP to make connections and friendships.)

How to use the ISP to promote connections and friendships Relationships are a fundamental need for everyone. They bring richness to our lives, provide opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute, and give support to one another through times of joy and sorrow. Through relationships, we add to the life of our communities and enrich the world. People who receive services through DDS are no different but they do, often, experience challenges in establishing and maintaining relationships. Some of these challenges are specific to the person, but many times external factors contribute to difficulties for the person to form and maintain relationships. For example, when individuals move, they may lose touch with old friends and have trouble figuring out how to make new ones. They may not be as close to a favorite sibling as they used to be, and may have moved away from the faith community where they served a valued role in the choir. They may be experiencing health challenges that make it more difficult to access the community, or lack the social skills needed to connect easily with others. The bus route they used to visit their best friend may have changed, and they need to learn a new route. The ISP

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provides the framework to address all of these issues, and to support people to develop and maintain a rich variety of relationships and friendships in their lives. Relationships include family members, paid staff, and others receiving services. Just as importantly, it includes friendships with unpaid peers in the community who are not family members or other individuals receiving services. The Vision Statement of the ISP reflects principles of Person Centered Planning and provides the framework for efforts on behalf of the individual, including the means to promote, establish, and maintain relationships. It is the area where the Department of Developmental Services encourages individuals to dream beyond the confines of service provision. The Vision Statement is developed by answering 4 key questions: 1. What does (s)he identify as important activities and relationships to continue to be involved in? What other things would (s)he like to explore? 2. What does (s)he think someone needs to know in order to provide

Joe and Joe

effective supports? 3. What does (s)he think are his/her strengths and abilities? 4. What would (s)he like to see happen in his/her life over the next two years? The first question focuses in immediately on relationships that are important to the person. Supporters should go on a “treasure hunt� to continued on page 6


The Friendship Corner How to use the ISP to promote connections and friendships continued from p. 5

identify and record every detail of the person’s current and previous social network as well as identify the activities the person enjoys, with the goal of maintaining them to the greatest degree possible through changing life circumstances. It also provides an opportunity for the person to dream of new activities and relationships to explore in the future. The second question offers the person the opportunity to identify what helps them the most and what gets in the way. This is often a question that is difficult for people to answer, but perseverance in identifying the person’s preferences in how they receive support will encourage success in addressing goals for the future. Things to pay attention to are the individual’s rhythms and routines, what types of environments are most comfortable, whether they need time to feel out a new situation or are the type to jump into a new experience with excitement. Get to know what is the best “fit” for the individual. The third question provides information on how the person perceives their skills. By focusing on relationships in addressing this question, supporters may identify hidden opportunities or obstacles to relationship. For example, a quiet person may describe himself as shy, but it also makes him a good listener, something he might not highlight. Someone else may identify herself as a good friend,


but doesn’t always make note of important events in her friends’ lives. Identifying conflicts between an individual’s self -perception and actual abilities will strengthen the team’s efforts in promoting relationships. The fourth question tells the ISP Team what is most important to work on now, and what the person’s goals for the future are. The individual should be supported to be specific about what they want out of life, especially in the realm of relationships and community connections. Do they want to reconnect with old friends? Establish a romantic relationship? Learn how to ride a bicycle? Have greater independence? Encourage people to imagine the life of their dreams!

of who the person is, what they want out of life, what resources they have to draw on, and how the ISP Team can best support them to achieve their goals. If there are missing pieces to this puzzle, assessments and consultation that are developed as part of the ISP can provide assistance in filling in the gaps and helping to hone in on the stepping stones and strategies that will support the person to achieve the life they have imagined, one that is rich in those people and communities that are important to them. To assure that relationships become integrated into your ISP, contact your DDS Service Coordinator before your next ISP and let them know this is an important topic that needs to be included and that you would like to meet to talk about it.

Whatever the person’s goals, they are likely to have a connection to relationships or create opportuniEditor’s Notes: For more informaties to expand social connections, tion, contact Robin Harmatz at and we would expect those conrobin.harmatz@massmail.state. nections to be included in some way in nearly all ISP Objectives, not be isolated to a single Objective The Fall issue of Advocate will targeting friendship. Learning to include an article on “How to Use ride a bicycle can lead to a biking Person Centered Planning to Probuddy, gaining independence leads mote Connections and Friendships”. to mutually supportive relationships with neighbors. This is where the ISP Team’s creativity comes in. Details in each of the four Like us on Facebook at Vision questions will provide the Follow us on Twitter at @TheArcofMass unique picture

Stay Informed. Stay In Touch.

The Arc of Massachusetts

Government Affairs The Arc champions veto overrides and legislative priorities continued from p. 1

• Dental Health Services for Adults restored at $550,000. • The veto for Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children was overridden. • $150,000 was restored in the account for Aging with Developmental Disabilities. We are especially grateful for the support of our leadership in the House and the Senate, given that lower-than-expected revenues were a major factor in the decisions made by the Governor to reduce the budget by 256 million dollars. The efforts of the legislature are in part a reflection of The Arc’s advocacy work throughout the year. We have made an impact at the State House through

focusing on education, building relationships, providing testimony, bringing together constituents including self-advocates, and pressing forward on our priorities. Collaborating efforts with our 18 chapters of The Arc across the state facilitates these positive outcomes.

six other disability organizations in Massachusetts. We advocated for more meaningful supports for families and called attention to the issue of aging caregivers. The actions of the Governor and legislature reflected their understanding and support.

A high point in this year’s approved budget remains the DDS Family Support line item receiving a $5 million increase in funding (total increase is slightly higher but includes monies for agency rate increases). Increasing funds for family support is a priority for The Arc.  This year we initiated the Supporting Families Campaign with

Other good news includes the approval for MassHealth to fund non-federally-funded Augmentative or Assistive Devices as long as the cost is below the state’s typical shares for such equipment (allows use of over-the-counter items

Election Day 2016—is closer than you think! In this time of rapid change and challenges at all levels of government, it has never been more important for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, and everyone who cares about our issues to take action and become engaged in the political process. The 2016 election will take place on Tuesday, November 8. In Massachusetts, the deadline to register to vote in the November election is Wednesday, October 19. The specific details are online at http://www.sec.

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continued on page 9

Look for our special needs seminars coming this fall!

A Commitment that Lasts a Lifetime

• Special Needs Planning • Transition Planning & Adult Services

• Guardianship & Considering Alternatives • Advocacy

For more information call our Special Needs Practice Group leader, Frederick M. Misilo, Jr., at 508.459.8059 or email him at

Worcester | Framingham | cape cod

508.459.8000 |


Government Affairs

The importance of voting on November 8 By Michael Forbes Wilcox and Judy Zacek

It has become a truism that this election year is one of the most exciting – and controversial – in recent memory. While most of the attention has been focused on the presidential election, it is equally important to recognize that there is much at stake in other contests on the national, state and local levels. Each of us may have particular issues that command our attention and influence how we vote. For many, disability policy is one of those issues. We’ve all heard the incessant chatter about how “the system is rigged.” Unfortunately, such cynicism undermines confidence in the considerable impact that ordinary citizens can have in determining public policy. The hyperbolic claims that “big money” or “Wall Street” or “special interests” control our democracy may lead some citizens to feel their votes don’t really count. Nothing could be further from the truth. As you approach an election – any election -- never underestimate the power of your vote! Many elections are decided by only a few votes. Any seasoned observer of the political scene will agree that we should never take any election for granted. Enthusiasm can win an election, just as apathy can lose it. Similarly, you should never underestimate the power of community. People who share a common


concern can be very effective when they speak with a unified voice. The disability community is larger and increasingly active in pressing elected officials to respond to their needs. According to the results of the most recent U.S. Census, about 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe. Add in relatives, friends, and support networks, and it’s pretty clear that people who care about disability issues are a huge percentage of the voting population. How can you use your vote to advance public policy around issues important to the disability community? The best way is to educate yourself on the issues and the candidates. Knowledge is power! There are many issues, critical to the disability community, being debated in this election cycle. At the national level (including the Presidential election as well as races for Congress), policies and programs around such things as Medicare, Medicaid (MassHealth), and Social Security are all very important to people with disabilities. Find out what positions each candidate has on these key issues. There are many other issues as well, including full funding for the IDEA (special education act) and the Affordable Care Act (healthcare reform). There are also many local races, like those for Massachusetts Senator and Representative seats, that will elect

people who will have a say in how the Bay State budget looks in the coming years. Be prepared. If you are not already registered to vote, or if you have moved since the last election, be sure to observe the October 19 registration deadline. Study the issues, discuss them with friends and family, listen to what the candidates say, and know how you’re going to vote before you get to the polling place. You should have your mind made up before you cast your ballot, whether it is at a voting (polling) place, or by absentee ballot. This will reduce the stress of the process and ensure that your vote is used to best advantage.

Resources Most disability groups have positions on issues that are important to them. By law, however, they cannot support candidates directly, so you will need to get that information from other sources. If you have access to the internet, there are plenty of websites that have information on the voting process, the issues, and the candidates. A list is provided for some of these at the end of this article. A simple web search will find many more. Also, the Disability Law Center (DLC) of Massachusetts (dlc-ma. org) has a Voter Hotline. Call continued on page 9

The Arc of Massachusetts

Government Affairs The importance of voting on November 8 continued from p. 8

1-800-872-9992 anytime to get information on the mechanics of voting, and on Election Day, you can call if you have any problems with getting to your polling place (they can arrange a ride) or if you encounter any barriers to voting, such as accessibility, or language, or anything else. Here is a short selection of the many topics covered on the DLC website: • You must be registered to vote. Call the DLC or your town or city clerk for more information. Braille forms are available from the DLC. You can also get detailed information on the state website at ele/eleifv/howreg.htm or phone 1-800-392-6090 • The deadline for registering for the November 8 election is October 19. You can register in person or you can request a form by mail. • You can vote by absentee ballot if you expect that on Election Day (November 8) you will not be able to get to your polling place in person. • All voting (polling) places must be fully accessible, including the voting booth. • You have the right to be assisted,

and to be free of intimidation or discrimination. • Voters under guardianship still have the right to vote unless the guardianship was set up to expressly take away this right (that is rare). • Note that in some districts there may be a Primary Election (Thursday, September 8) for contests for state senator or state representatives, for example. The deadline to register for the Primary Election is Friday, August 19.

The Arc champions veto overrides and legislative priorities continued from p. 7

like iPads which have software for persons with disabilities and which are much cheaper than dedicated machines; which are federally reimbursable). Also the ABLE Act was addressed; the Massachusetts law was passed before the federal law so we needed revisions on the existing legislation to ensure consistency. Still in consideration is the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment bill. The Arc will continue to support the passage of this important legislation and provide updates on outcomes for all of our priority legislation through Notes from The Arc.

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Overall, it has been a tough year for the budget. Some other continued challenges are relative to the area of Day and Employment services. Although the legislature provided some increases, provider contracts had to be negotiated at 5% lower amount as the employment blueprint funding is below the Governor’s request and more employment dollars were needed to align with new regulations and more individuals graduating. The numbers are growing in Turning 22 and Adult Autism services in the coming year as well.  Although no rainy day funds were used, a

large portion of DDS trust funds are now allocated to adult autism services and family support. We have a shortfall of $6.5 million in Community Residential and need to be concerned about the rising numbers and new federal regulations. Transportation lost $1 million and it’s a critical resource which can make or break good available programs and services. The Arc continues to closely monitor services and program needs throughout the state as we look to implementation of this year’s budget and as we plan for the next session.


Announcing “Passion as Pathway”… continued from p. 1 Owen’s autism. The book is the foundation of Life, Animated, a film which Ron produced. The Suskind family has made significant contributions to the understanding of autism through their creative use of Disney films to communicate with Owen. Owen found a pathway to communication through his passion for Disney animation. Tapping into a specific passion – whether it is music, horses, sports, or art – can help a person with an intellectual or developmental disability find a way to communicate with family and friends and understand the world around them.

About the Passion as Pathway…Gala The Passion as Pathway… Gala will

be held at the newly-renovated Boston Park Plaza Hotel. To kick off our evening of activities, guests are invited to a screening of Life, Animated and to participate in a brief question-and-answer period with Ron. Following the film, guests will move to the Grand Ballroom for the cocktail reception and silent auction. This will be followed by a seated dinner, with a presentation honoring Ron and Owen, and a live auction.

Sponsorship Opportunities The Arc of Massachusetts is delighted that State Street Corporation again will be the Presenting Sponsor of our annual gala. We are very grateful for State Street’s generous support over the past several years. Sponsorship options range from $1,000 to $25,000,

I am

At New England Village, the people we support are in charge of defining the direction of their own lives, and our job as we see it, is to find the best ways to assist them as they pursue their dreams. Sometimes that even means helping someone meet their idol!

Call (781) 293-5461 x103 or email to schedule a tour or to request information.

• Pembroke • Hanson • Kingston • Plympton


In addition to sponsorships, we are seeking unique and fun items for the live and silent auctions. To make an auction donation, please contact Community Relations Manager Judy Zacek at zacek@arcmass. org or 781-891-6270 x6102. We will regularly update information about the Gala, so stop by www. to get the latest details and to purchase tickets.

Serving over 700 families throughout Norfolk County and the surrounding communities • •

New England Village

For Additional Information and Updates

The Arc of South Norfolk Family Autism Center is celebrating 20 years!

New England Village. We currently have openings and are accepting private and state-sponsored referrals. We offer Residential, Employment, Community Based Day Services and Day Habilitation options.

providing opportunities for corporations, individuals, and agencies to get involved and support The Arc of Massachusetts at a range of gift levels. Please contact Katrin Aback, Director of Development to learn more about sponsorships. She can be reached at or 781-891-6270 x6105.

• •

Education and Referral Information Support Groups for family members Specialized Social and Recreational Programming Resource Library Brian Clark, Director, 781-762-4001 Ext.310

The Arc of Massachusetts

How three people turned their passion into a pathway… “I am concerned, because I don’t think Sam can learn.” Numerous visits to Boston Children’s Hospital ensued, and over the years it became increasingly apparent that Sam was developmentally disabled.


Music, horses, sports, art, movies. We all know people who are passionate and deeply engrossed in these and other pursuits. For a person with an intellectual or developmental disability, it can be a lifeline to the world, a way to connect with their family and their friends and to understand the world around them. Here are the stories of Kristen, Sam, and Lauren. We want to hear your story! Share with us how you or a loved one found a Pathway via a Passion at From a very young age, Kristen loved music, but had difficulty communicating. Her passion for music motivated her to learn new signs: music, more, different, louder (her older sister thought Kristen needed to know this one!). She then began to string together her words and signs to communicate her preferences. Today, she continues to use these skills on a daily basis to engage with those around her. -Jim Buss My son Sam was adopted from Korea and arrived here in the US when he was about four months old. Sam was a happy, energetic child who had difficulty finding words. Then the call came from the headmaster at Sam’s preschool who told me,

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Lauren’s passion is music in all its forms. It is a pathway for her to express joy, excitement, and sadness through her facial expres- Lauren sions and body movements. Her heightened sense of hearing, despite her inability to talk, is a true gift and helps me to realize the beauty I sometimes miss. Bach, Adele, and Jimi Hendrix are all favorites, which highlights her eclectic tastes! -Janet Sweeney Rico

Despite that challenge, Sam passed all parts of the MCAS and received a diploma from Brookline High School at the age of 22. How? Persistence and determination. Where did that persistence and determination come from? A passion for sports. Sports always have been the great equalizer for Sam. Whether playing with disabled or typical athletes, Sam is a determined, fierce, but fair competitor. Sports taught him the value of practice, the importance of hard work, team work and persis• Individualized approach tence. That to developing tools for persistence and self-determination all the fantastic • Meaningful opportunities to support Sam generalize skills in received from work, social and community settings the Brookline • Building employment School system skills for increased made it posindependence sible for Sam to • Increase self-esteem graduate. Sam and self-advocacy was determined • Ages 16-22 to receive a diploma rather than a cate of attendance and he For more information: made it! Michelle Markowitz,Vice President, Admissions and Outreach 781-829-1205 or -Deborah 405 Washington Street, Hanover, MA 02339 Norton



New faces at SUPPORTbrokers SUPPORTbrokers is pleased to welcome Katherine Fox and Elizabeth Pell. Katherine Fox has worked with individuals, DDS, provider agencies, schools, elder Katherine Fox caregivers and families on transition planning, futures planning, and community building for over 25 years. She began learning about person centered supports from leaders such as Beth

Mount and John O’Brien in 1985 and has provided training and mentoring on related topics throughout New England. As Director of the Community Membership Project at the UMASS Medical School/Shriver Center, she led a 5-year federally funded initiative on person centered planning and community building with specialized focus on older adults. Katherine is currently the Director of Training and Development for Vinfen, a non-profit human services provider in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and is a Senior Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Massachusetts, where she has been teaching courses in Disabilities Day School & Studies for 14 Residential Program years. KatherTHE GUILD ine completed SCHOOL her bachelor and master’s degrees in psychology and healthcare administration at Elizabethtown College, Bucknell University, and Suffolk Year-Round Special Education Services University. She completed her Residential & Day School for Ages 6-22. Disability LeadResidential Services for Adults Age 22 & up. ership [LEND] Please visit: Fellowship at Contact: the Eunice Kenor call us at: 781.893.6000 nedy Shriver 411 Waverley Oaks Rd, Suite 104, Waltham, MA 02452

! e e r e H We Co m rd o c n o C

THE GUILD FOR HUMAN SERVICES Moving to our new school building on Virginia Road in the Fall of 2016


Center in 2007. Elizabeth Pell, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., has been an advocate on behalf of those with Elizabeth Pell disabilities and older adults for over 30 years. Her passion is to assist people to have their preferences and wishes recognized and respected. Elizabeth’s advocacy for adults with disabilities and families has taken many paths which has enriched her knowledge of navigating multiple service systems including developmental disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and older adults. Elizabeth works to make service systems work for people, not people bending to the system. Elizabeth has person centered service planning experience at the individual level as well as state level. This means she has helped people with disabilities find work and valued social roles, and also consulted with states to redesign their service systems to be more person-focused. Elizabeth has worked at HSRI for 14 years, where she has coordinated national and state program evaluations and provides technical assistance to states to enhance quality in Home and Community Based Services programs. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work, a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Management, and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker.

The Arc of Massachusetts


Plan ahead with The Arc’s Center for Future Planning Do you have an adult with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD) who needs help planning for the future? The Arc is here to help! The Arc’s Center for Future Planning™ supports and encourages adults with I/DD and their families to plan for the future. Future planning is important in creating a guide for a person with I/DD so that they can lead a good life as independently as possible. A plan is important through all stages of life, but especially for the future when a parent or caregiver is no longer able to provide support. The Center recently launched two new tools to help families plan more effectively. The first new feature is the Build Your Plan™ tool, which allows families to create an account and begin to develop a future plan online. The second is the Professional Services Directory, where families will be able to find professionals in their communities to help create and implement their plans. If you’re a professional who wants to be listed in the directory, please visit join-theprofessional-servicesdirectory. The Center also offers information on areas such as person-centered planning, decision-making, housing, financial planning, employment, and more. Planning for

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Is it time to plan ahead for the future?

the future can be difficult — but with help, it is possible! Visit

PLAN to learn more.

of Massachusetts and Rhode Island

For over thirty years, providing peace of mind to individuals with disabilities and their families, through individual trust management and social services. PLAN administers a self-settled and a third-party Special Needs Pooled Trust for the benefit of people with disabilities. Offices 1340 Centre St., Suite 102 Newton Centre, MA 02459 (617) 244-5552

28 Spring St. Pawtucket, RI 02860 (401) 330-7456


Education and Training

Upcoming Webinars Attention School Personnel! August 23rd and 25th 2:00-3:00 pm, $60 for 2 sessions Don’t Miss the Upcoming Webinar on “Person Centered Transition Planning: A 2-part webinar especially designed for school personnel. The presentation will focus on the use of Person Centered Planning in creating seamless transitions to adult services for students ages 14-22. Participants will look back at the historical perspectives of student planning, learn why a person centered approach makes sense and view methods of person centered planning. This workshop will provide examples of student outcomes and highlight best practices. Presented by Pat Pakos, MS and Kerry Mahoney, The Arc of Massachusetts

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Coming This Fall: Day Supports for People with ASD Friends at School Updates on Mass Health Innovations

Mark your calendars Mass Families Organizing for Change “Building a Home” Conference

October 29, 2016 at Andover Country Club Miss a previous Webinar topic? Check out the on-demand library by visiting our website

Making the Real Lives Law real!   Tuesday, September 13, 2016 The Ferncroft Country Club, Middleton, MA   Registration is required. We are pleased to invite you to a collaboration between individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive support from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) for the future they wish to create. This event is designed to provide an opportunity for individuals to use self-advocacy skills to participate in decisions about current service delivery and future improvements, and to take the lead in the policy arena. Participants will include policymakers, elected officials, central office staff at DDS, people who provide support at all levels from direct care to executive directors, parents, and -- of course -- the most important participants, individuals who receive support themselves.  This event is intended to create meaningful and productive conversation which will lead to further recommendations and action plans to be carried out by all involved parties. The disability rights movement faces new opportunities to drive meaningful change by the movement’s rightful owners -- people who receive support themselves.   For more information, contact Buddy Bostick: buddy.; 978-373-0552, x210

The Arc of Massachusetts

Spotlight on Nonotuck Resource Associates By Richard French, Chief Operating Officer

Nonotuck Resource Associates has a long, storied history of providing residential and other services to people who have intellectual and/or physical disabilities, starting initially in Western Massachusetts. Nonotuck has expanded the array of these services to include shared living, community-based day supports, and Adult Family Care. In addition, we have widened our scope to provide these services to a more diverse group of people. Currently there are over 800 people in communities all across the state served in these programs. An essential piece of Nonotuck’s growth originates and is guided by the core values of our founding families, which were established at the very beginning and remain true today. In 1972, this group of parents in Western Massachusetts finally achieved their goal of community living for their children through the creation of one of the first community residences for children in the state. Up until this point, the only option for services was institutionalization in a large state facility. These parents banded together to take on the state bureaucracy directly because they had a vision of a better life for their children, based on the principles of personalized service and family values. The culmination of this advocacy was the founding of Community Homes for Children and the return of their children to their community. For the next several years, the agency provided residential services through operating three- and four- person group homes.

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George H. Fleischner -- hired by the Board in 1987 as the President and CEO -- together with the Board changed the organization’s name to Nonotuck Resource Associates in 1988, during its creation of a more personalized kind of residential support for people who have disabilities. This development ranged from participation in the work of the Social Valorization movement to inspiration by the visionary work of Jean Vanier and the L’Arche movement. In fact, it was a stay in a L’Arche community in 1981 by George, who remains Nonotuck’s CEO, that ultimately led to the creation of the primary value and goal of Nonotuck: that is, life sharing. We believe life sharing exists when there are freely given relationships between a person who has a disability and a non-disabled person and there is a mutuality of love, respect and reciprocal give and take within the relationship. As a result of this vision, Nonotuck established a more personalized and innovative kind of residential support we call shared living. We believe that shared living better positions people in moving toward life sharing and better leads to the development of more authentic relationships, homes and community membership. The implementation of the conversion from group homes to shared living began in

1987 with dialogue about this new vision with people who receive services, their families, the involved state agency, and the Board of Directors. Over a period of three years, the staff worked in collaboration with these parties and it was with the full support of all parties that we accomplished the complete conversion from group homes to shared living. Starting in the late 1990’s and continuing to the present, Nonotuck has strategically engaged in an expansion that has allowed us to bring our services to communities located from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. The challenge for the agency has been how to manage this growth while keeping hold of our values and building strong community connections. Nonotuck addresses this challenge in two ways, first to establish a local office in each area that the agency operates that provides a presence and investment in the community. The second way is through the constitution of interdisciplinary programmatic teams that function with a high level of autonomy managing the services for a continued on page 18


Shared Living – an opportunity By Leo V. Sarkissian

Massachusetts has had a “shared living” option for individuals with disabilities for more than three decades. Some of the early providers are Nonotuck Resource Associates and the Association for Community Living. Some affiliates of The Arc have also provided it as an option for years, including Berkshire County and The Arc of Opportunity. But families are still not aware of it, although it’s a choice that offers the possibility of inclusion and more individualized activities when implemented properly. It has been defined as an “an arrangement in which an individual, a couple or a family and a person with a disability choose to live together and share life’s experiences.”* If you are looking at a group setting (whether a home or an apartment), you have to worry about location, staff ratio and the peer group. Is my loved one going to fit in with this group, age and interest-wise? Are there enough staff here to make sure everything will work out well? In shared living, after defining the location, you are dealing with one match. If more help is needed, part-time staff may be hired to assist in the living situation. Shared living has many other terms connected with it. The housemate may be called a mentor or simply a housemate. The housemate may be called caregiver or care provider (not to be confused with agencies which are often


called providers). Adult foster care funded through Medicaid may evolve into shared living if bonds develop between the housemates.

at this point. Regardless of what living option you or your family member choose, here are some important considerations:

Providers of other services or agencies (including those that provide group settings in homes or apartments) may also be shared living providers. They oversee the homes and/or housemates to ensure that the individual being supported is satisfied and that needs are addressed.

1. Will the living situation meet my basic day-to-day needs ,whatever they may be (this should be reflected in a plan; at DDS the plan is called ISP or individual support plan)?

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has committed to a plan to serve more people through shared living over the next three years. The Arc supports this goal. The national average of people in shared living is more than twice the Massachusetts average. We encourage you to compare all living options. Too often, families and individuals don’t hear about alternatives. My colleague, Buddy Bostick (The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport) has noted that in most referrals or calls, family members automatically ask about “group homes.” As a proponent of self-direction, he often has to ask them to please listen to all the options available to you and your family member before you choose a specific road. Shared living is one type of what we call “supported living.” Changes in federal Department of Labor regulations have changed some of the requirements for shared living. These changes should be clear to most agencies

2. Can the individual participate in his/her priority activities (non-negotiables) such as religious service, club, meeting friends weekly, etc.? 3. Is he/she going to have an opportunity to grow and become involved in the life of the community? 4. If there are significant behavioral or medical conditions which limit activities, does the provider or setting have some options for community involvement to avoid isolation; if behaviors, will they be able to help the individual address them over time? 5. Will the housemate or housemates in a group setting be a good match? In some states, shared living makes up half or more of the residential options. This is an option that has been working for decades. It’s an opportunity that could work for you or your family member. * Editor’s Note: We acknowledge the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council for the definition of shared living.

The Arc of Massachusetts

Affiliates of The Arc join in publicizing Shared Living By Michael Andrade, The Arc of Bristol County

In response to the need to increase shared living opportunities, nine chapters of The Arc in Massachusetts are working together for a statewide marketing initiative. A major goal of the initiative is to increase interest among a wide range of adults and families to live as housemates with people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. At a recent meeting several of us discussed our initiative together. Jo Ann Simons of The Northeast Arc has noted that “we’ve found certain groups of individuals particularly enjoy playing this role – for example, young professionals who are starting out and have a civic commitment as well as middleaged couples who may have cared for a parent and now have the energy and space for a housemate.” “Staff in the field are other likely participants,” stated Bob Harris of CLASS. “They already have shown interest in the area of disabilities. Sometimes you need people with

special skills to ensure the right support.” The role of a provider agency is to make sure that the matches are right, that we have back-up support as needed in emergencies, and provide longterm security for our constituents. We also have the goal to educate families about shared living. Leo Sarkissian has talked to several families who don’t see the value of their loved one moving from their family to another family’s home. “I want to see my son with peers,” noted one parent recently. But a housemate could be a peer. In other situations, the security of another family, similar and yet different could be the ideal housing setting. “It’s a very personalized choice,” said Sarkissian, “and it’s a mistake not to treat it that way. To be very basic about it, someone who loves music and not sports shouldn’t be with a housemate who only lives for the Red Sox’s next season, like Jimmy Fallon’s character in Fever Pitch!” And that’s true with group

settings. If you love music and you never get to experience it except on your radio wherever you are, that’s not a good thing. The choice of affiliates to work together will build awareness on the part of families about shared living, as well as remind them about The Arc’s critical advocacy role. After a period of time, the materials we build using The Arc logo can be used by other agencies to spread the word. That would be up to DDS and the agency partners across the state. “Given turnover in the field and a lower birth rate, expanding shared living now will help us avoid a crisis in the future,” said Sarkissian. As one of the leaders of The Arc, I’m hoping that our comprehensive marketing tools will raise “shared living” awareness and attract potential caregivers from new markets across the Commonwealth. We are excited to expand this initiative and the awareness of The Arc in our local communities.

The United Arc receives furniture and office supplies from Entergy Vermont Yankee On May 20, 2016, a team of employees from The United Arc went to Entergy Vermont Yankee to pick up a large donation of furniture and office supplies from the decommissioning facility.

Brian Ross, Director of Adult Services, helps move furniture

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The United Arc is growing! As we continue to expand our services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout

Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties and the North Quabbin region, we support those services with new offices and work stations. And with these spaces comes a need for more office furniture! Fortunately for us, Entergy Vermont Yankee offered to give some of their furniture a new home. This in-kind donation of resources helps us to continued on page 19


Minute Man Arc goes farm-to-table which donated CSA shares to Minute Man Arc, our members are able to select farm fresh produce from their community farms. Picking and selecting fruits and vegetables, getting introduced to new items like black radishes, and learning about growing seasons has the added benefit of allowing for the creation of healthy meals to share. As each week brings new produce to the table, based on what is harvested that week, it is always an adventure to go to the CSA.

The Burke sisters after a trip to Verrill Farm in Concord

Minute Man Arc has joined the farm-to-table movement and become part of the growing popularity of eating local and healthy. Each Tuesday and Thursday, members depart to two local farms to collect weekly produce from their Community Supported Agriculture farm shares, or CSA for short. CSAs have become popular as a way to support the local farmer, whereby the customer pays for a share of the harvest upfront and then receives produce “dividends” as they become available. Each week during the growing season, Minute Man Arc participants select from the current produce harvested that day and enjoy the bounty in our nine group homes and in cooking classes. Thanks to the generosity of Barrett’s Mill Farm and Verrill Farm,


Each Minute Man Arc home receives fresh produce based on a rotating schedule, and those attending the farms are also changed each week. It all adds a little bit of excitement to the day. “It’s always a surprise when the produce arrives off the van, mysterious but delicious!,” commented Sarah Brodmerkle, Minute Man Arc House Manager. “This past Tuesday we received a variety of produce, including lettuce, carrots, and onions. As soon as it comes off the van with the consumers, it begins getting prepped to be used that night. Dinner that night included cooked carrots, sautéed onions, and the lettuce was used on the sandwiches for lunch the next day.” With a growing season through the end of September, Minute Man Arc will be out each week selecting delicious local farm produce for all to enjoy through the fall!

Spotlight on Nonotuck Resource Associates contd from p. 15 reasonable number of people, and when these numbers increase the agency creates a new team. In 2006, Nonotuck became certified as an Adult Family Care provider agency. Initially this program was seen as a way to augment our existing services, in particular by significantly increasing the availability of nursing. However, in 2007 the AFC regulations were updated and for the first time allowed families to participate in the program and become care providers for members their own family. Nonotuck has embraced this aspect of Adult Family Care and has actively moved forward in providing this service to families in all areas. This program is a perfect fit with Nonotuck’s mission and values where we can provide the support and resources that can help families flourish and keep them intact. Moving forward, Nonotuck will remain true to the founders’ vision and be guided by its core value of life sharing and its commitment to families, community and personalized service. Nonotuck will also continue to do what it can to support The Arc of Massachusetts. We strongly believe that the values of Nonotuck and those of The Arc are the ties that bind us together. We seem to be of one mind in our belief in love, family, authentic relationships, service and community. Nonotuck is proud of our relationship with The Arc of Massachusetts.

The Arc of Massachusetts

News from the chapters of The Arc

Champagne & Champions!

(L-R) Jean Phelps, CEO; Jack Baldwin, WCAP; Jeanne Osborn, Marketing and Public Relations Manager; and Diane Baker, Executive Administrative Assistant

The night of Saturday, May 7, 2016 was -- despite the rainy day and evening -- a wonderful, festive evening at Vesper Country Club in Tyngsboro, MA, where LifeLinks held its Fourth Annual Champagne & Champions Derby Day. 

The United Arc receives furniture contd from p. 17

The ballroom was filled with excitement and laughter from the more than 140 stylishly dressed guests. The 142nd Run for the Roses was broadcast live from Churchill Downs. The ladies wore beautiful hats of different styles, shapes and colors and the elegant men were classically dressed in suits, straw hats and bow ties. The ballroom was decorated in a Derby theme with jockey silks, hung from the balcony, and the room was flooded with gorgeous, enormous bouquets of red roses. As you entered the ballroom, pictures were taken on the red carpet. Jack Baldwin of WCAP, “Voice of the Valley,” was the Master of Ceremonies and he welcomed guests as they arrived. An abundance of champagne with berries and delicious appetizers were plentiful all evening long.  The Fourth Annual Derby Party was a huge success! All monies raised will benefit the LifeLinks Therapeutic  Recreation Program.”


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create great work spaces while keeping our focus on the people we serve. Marty Cohn, Senior Communications Specialist at Entergy Vermont Yankee and a member of its decommissioning committee, estimated the value of the furniture and supplies at $15,000. Thank you, Entergy Vermont Yankee, and thanks to everyone who helped move furniture!

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News from the chapters of The Arc

Human Service Forum recognizes a Board member and Program Director of The United Arc Board Member, with its Human Service Board Member Award.

(L-R): Board member Seunghee Cha; Tom Campbell; Francis Campbell (Tom’s son); former Executive Director Ed Porter; Board President Barbara Morrell; Office Manager Willow Ross; Director of Finance Cynthia Ross; Barbara Veal (member and volunteer); and Executive Director Lynne Bielecki.

On May 18th, The Human Service Forum in Holyoke honored Tom Campbell, The United Arc

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At its Award Banquet held at The Log Cabin in Holyoke, The Human Service Forum honored its 2016 awardees. Among the attendees were The United Arc’s Board President, Barbara Morrell; Executive Director Lynne Marie Bielecki; and former Executive Director, Ed Porter, who made the trip from Maine to honor Mr. Campbell. Tom and his wife, Mary, have been passionate about The United Arc for over 30 years. He first served on the Board of Directors in 1987. In June 2011, he received The United Arc’s Canedy Award

for his long and deep involvement with the organization, as a member, donor, and director. As a parent, Tom has been a champion of his son being able to do what any other child in the community does. He always understood that for this level of inclusion to be possible, both he and his son, Francis, needed to be involved with the whole community, not just within The United Arc. The Human Service Forum also honored The United Arc’s Director of Family Support, Leslie Kinney, with the Esteemed Service Award at a breakfast at the Delaney House on April 27th. Over the past thirty-five years, Ms. Kinney has demonstrated that The United Arc’s mission to further the inclusion of and expand opportunities for people with developmental disabilities is truly her personal mission. Her efforts include helping to expand The United Arc’s services and programs and her work as one of the founders of The Association for Positive Parenting. The United Arc has a solid history of providing quality services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities going back to 1951. Every year, The United Arc provides services to over 3,000 individuals and their families in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties, and the North Quabbin Region of Massachusetts.

The Arc of Massachusetts

News from the chapters of The Arc

Health Matters at GWArc! By Joanne Raymond

Greater Waltham Arc recently received a $5,000 grant to implement HealthMatters, an exercise and nutrition health education curriculum for people with developmental disabilities. The HealthMatters program was created by researchers at The University of Illinois at Chicago and The Arc of the United States. Since receiving the grant, GWArc has been implementing components of the curriculum in our Day Habilitation and Community Based Day Supports (CBDS) programs to increase the knowledge and practice of healthy eating and exercise among participants. Grant funding was provided by Community Health Network Area (CHNA) 17, one of 27 CHNAs in Massachusetts, whose mission is to promote healthier people and healthier communities. Thanks to this generous support, nine GWArc Case Managers and one Registered Nurse participated in a live webinar training series provided by the University of Illinois at Chicago. The training focused on ways to implement a HealthMatters program by engaging participants in physical activity, supporting participants to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices, and teaching core concepts related to physical fitness and nutrition. Jasmina Sisirak, Ph.D, MPH, one of the authors of Health Matters, presented the webinar training to GWArc staff. Following the training, GWArc staff members have been gradually introducing increased health and wellness

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activities geared to participants’ abilities into daily programming. CBDS staff members regularly bring participants for walks around an outdoor track at Leary Field in Waltham, which is close to our Woodland Road facility. Diana Savani, RD, LDN, a dietitian at Hannaford Supermarket, provided a tour of the Waltham store to CBDS participants and talked with them about healthy food choices. Additionally, many Day Habilitation program participants recently completed a healthy eating course that centers on a MyPlate curriculum. Through videos, discussions and activities, they learned the components of a healthy diet and how to make better decisions toward that goal. Participants were excited to learn and came away with a new understanding of healthier food choices that they can use in their homes and residences. MyPlate was taught by Christine Dorn, R.N., GWArc Day Habilitation Coordinator of Health Services, and case managers. “Nutrition and mobility are so important for this population,” Christine said. “A lot of our participants have limited mobility, which can lead to weight gain and loss of function and muscle tone, so we would like to get them moving more. Also, many have modified diets because of chewing or swallowing issues, so proper nutrition is vital.” The CHNA 17 grant also allowed GWArc to contract with Healthy Waltham, a local nonprofit that promotes healthy and active lifestyles in

GWArc participants prepare a healthy meal with Chef Reva Haselkorn of Healthy Waltham.

our community, to provide healthy cooking classes. Healthy Waltham Chef Reva Haselkorn held six classes for participants in our Day Habilitation and CBDS programs. These classes focused on making simple, seasonal and healthy dishes, including smoothies, breads, salads and even healthy desserts, prepared from scratch by the participants with support from Reva and GWArc staff. Our Recreation Program has also incorporated healthy cooking classes with Reva as an ongoing activity. GWArc hopes to keep the healthy lifestyle momentum going, and is applying for grants to purchase additional exercise equipment for our two program sites at Chestnut Street and Woodland Road in Waltham. Additional exercise equipment will be especially important in the winter months, when walks and outside activities are not always feasible. We hope to purchase two recumbent exercise bikes, which are accessible for people at all ability levels, for our Day Habilitation Program, and an elliptical machine and other equipment for our CBDS program.


News from the chapters of The Arc

Charles River Center receives over $35,000 in foundation grants

The Respite Home in Sharon

This spring, the Charles River Center received over $35,000 in grant money from five different Massachusetts organizations and foundations. Reflecting the wide variety of programs and services the agency provides, the grants ran the gamut from support for the Horticulture Program to scholarships for respite care. The agency was pleased to receive: • $5,000 for a shed and coolbot air conditioning system for the Horticulture Program from the b.good Family Foundation. This equipment will allow vegetables and flowers to be stored, so they’ll remain fresh before being distributed to local food banks and restaurants. • $10,000 for scholarships for weekend stays at the Respite Home in Sharon from Eastern Bank. Individuals will enjoy a weekend filled with games, outings and camaraderie, while caregivers get a chance to recharge their batteries.


• $1,000 from the Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association for 12 raised beds for the Horticulture Program. The beds will allow more people to participate in the program, as well as increased flower and vegetable production. • $17,850 from the MetroWest Healthcare Foundation to help fund an agency-wide electronic, medical record software system. Each individual supported by Charles River will have a private, easily-accessible record--improving efficiency, client safety and continuity of care. • $1,520 from the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club to fund a kayak trip with Waypoint Adventure, a non-profit educational organization that uses quality experiential and adventure-based programs to transform the lives of individuals with disabilities. This is sure to be a highlight of the summer for kids in summer camp. “These grants will allow us to work more efficiently, enhance our programs and services, and will create lasting memories for those we serve. We are very thankful for the generosity of local foundations, clubs and banks and sincerely appreciate their partnership,” said John Grugan, President of the Charles River Center.

Berkshire County Arc opens 10th residence for individuals with brain injuries

The new residence

In July, Berkshire County Arc opened Edgewood – its 10th residence serving individuals with brain injuries (and the fifth residence that is funded through an Acquired Brain Injury Waiver through the Department of Developmental Services) – in Southwick, Mass. The residence provides four individuals who have had brain injuries with a supportive alternative to nursing home placement, which is often common for brain injury survivors. Berkshire County Arc opened its first residential program for individuals with developmental disabilities in 1971, and, in 2002, the agency opened its first residential program for individuals with brain continued on page 23

The Arc of Massachusetts

News from the chapters of The Arc

Brockton Area Arc hosts 2016 “All Aboard The Arc!” By Jay Lynch, Executive Director

This year’s “All Aboard The Arc!” $10,0000 Drawing Event was held locally, at The Shaw’s Center, on May 20, 2016. Over 350 people joined the Brockton Area Arc for the festivities! It was an amazing evening! After some brief welcoming remarks, Tracey Glynn was introduced. Along with other drumming enthusiasts, a “Drums Alive” demonstration took place. Thanks to Vater Percussion, we had 250 pairs of drumsticks to share with the crowd. With Tracey’s direction, the evening was off to a spirited, enthusiastic, and inclusive start. Jim Plunkett, our entertainer for the evening, kept the enthusiasm going by playing great music for dancing.  He also led a music trivia contest and the “Heads or Tails” game. The dance floor was packed all night. All 400 chances to win $10,000.00 were sold! Our collaboration with our friends from Heartbeats for

Down Syndrome worked extremely well. Special thanks to Brandi Kunselman, Jessica Melville, Dawn Nichols, and Helen Zade. Combining their hard work with the big efforts of BAArc staff and Gail Delgado resulted in a very successful event! We are most grateful to them and all the generous supporters of this event. A total of $51,564.00 was raised!   After expenses, the proceeds will be shared with our Heartbeats friends. We thank the Shaw’s Popular “Drums Alive” with Tracey Glynn Center for their hospitality in hosting our event. We The winning ticket number was 133. thank Richard Connolly Insurance, We were able to congratulate the Rockland Trust, and the Godwinner on his good fortune. May dard Health Foundation for their 20th was his birthday and 133 is his generous support. new lucky number! It was an evening full of great FUN! And, we gave away $10,000.00! 

Thanks, again to everybody who made this event a wonderful success.

Berkshire County Arc opens 10th residence for individuals with brain injuries continued from p. 22

injuries. In total, the 10 programs serve 41 individuals. The agency’s residential programs create environments for residents to live as independently as pos-

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sible and incorporate training in a variety of areas, including communication, domestic skills, money management and community participation. For more informa-

tion about Berkshire County Arc’s residential programs, visit residential-services/ or call 413-499-4241, ext. 227.


News from the chapters of The Arc

The Arc of the South Shore launches The Autism Resource Center By Katie Hanley

The Arc of the South Shore is thrilled to announce the launch of The Autism Resource Center. With the dramatic increase in Autism-related diagnoses, and a gap in family support services, we are excited to offer this much-needed support and resources to individuals and their families in the South Shore area. This center will provide guidance and support to individuals and their families faced with a confusing and frightening future. Whether newly diagnosed or deciding upon guardianship or entering the adult world, we are here for all phases of this journey. The Resource Center will offer the following programs: • Information sessions, Family workshops, and Educational forums: This service aims to give families hands-on guidance and knowledge to assist them with the everyday challenges of autism. • Family Support Groups: These groups will provide an opportunity for parents to share

their stories, brainstorm ideas and solutions, and develop a support network. • Weekend Respite: Starting in the Fall of 2016, this respite will be offered two times a month and will be geared towards individuals with more pronounced behaviors. • School Vacation Activities: These will be community-based activities focusing on the development of social skills and safety training. • On-line help center: This help center will provide families with links to helpful websites, written materials, and other resources. In addition, there will be an on-line form for families to fill out and submit to the center about specific needs, questions, or general information about autism. The Autism Resource Center team will include Katie Hanley, Program Director; Janine Birmingham Autism Coordinator; Diane Wilcox, As-

sistant Autism Coordinator; Jen Comeau, Board Certified Behavioral Analyst; and Kerin McCue, Autism Therapist. Our staff will be supported by a dynamic group of parents and professionals serving as our Advisory Board. The team will spend the next few months reviewing and finalizing curriculum, organizing resources, training direct care staff, lining up speakers, and making sure we provide the best support possible. As we move forward the future is bright! Through the Autism Resource Center, we hope to provide life-changing support and experiences which empower both the individual and their family. The Arc of the South Shore is a family-oriented, community-based 501(c)3 nonprofit agency. For 65 years, The Arc of the South Shore has been dedicated to providing the highest quality services and advocacy for children and adults with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities, including autism.

The Arc of Bristol County launches Autism Now Center The Arc of Bristol County has established the Autism Now Center for individuals and their families from the greater Attleboro region who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to receive the level of services they need to live


and work in their community. The Autism Now Center is being funded by a grant from the L.G. Balfour Foundation for $255,000 over three years to launch and establish the center, which will be financially selfsustaining after three years.

The Arc has designed the Autism Now Center to be a resource for information, a location for therapy and services, and a hub for workshops, support groups, employment supports, and activities for continued on page 25

The Arc of Massachusetts

News from the chapters of The Arc

Local student raises funds to support Berkshire County Arc When Fiona Ferrone – an 8thgrader at Berkshire Country Day School -- was given the assignment to complete the IWitness Video Challenge, she thought of Berkshire County Arc. The purpose of the Challenge was for all 8th-graders to select an activity that changes the world around them and film a video about it. “I decided to hold a walk for the faculty and students at my school to raise awareness of autism,” she said. Although Fiona and her family live in Spencertown, New York, Fiona chose to have the funds benefit Berkshire County Arc because she attends Berkshire Country Day School, which is located in Berkshire County. “The entrance fee was $3, and I

chose to give my donations to Berkshire County Arc because it’s local. I wanted the students in the Berkshires to have the money they donated still near them – affecting the people closer to home – not having it go far away to a Fiona Ferrone and Ken Singer, CEO of Berkshire County Arc place that none of them or their families ational activities that improve their know about or have gross motor, fine motor and oral any connections to,” she explained. motor development. There is also a The $908 raised will support Berklending library available to caregivshire County Arc’s Autism Sensory ers to borrow equipment used in Integration Program, which serves the program for home use. For children with autism and other senmore information about the Autism sory processing disorders through Sensory Integration Program, call structured therapeutic and recre413-499-4241, ext. 227.

The Arc of Bristol County launches Autism Now Center continued from p. 24

individuals and families impacted by ASD. Educational advocacy supports are offered at area schools to help families navigate the special education system. The Arc provides innovative services utilizing sensory equipment, technology, and behavioral therapies. Presently, families affected by Autism are directed to an information center (such as Community Autism Resources) for resources and referral. While The Arc collaborates with

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regional centers, however, it has identified a significant local need for direct service delivery. Modeled after other chapters of The Arc across the country, the Autism Now Center provides master’s level clinicians with advanced training in behavioral therapies to local families for in-home services. Specific interventions being offered include Applied Behavior Analysis, Floor Time Therapies, and Picture Exchange Communication

Ipad programs, to name a few. The Autism Now Center offers the wrap-around services related to each person’s needs and potential, including transitional consultation, specialized therapies, benefits assistance, and employment supports. In addition, The Arc has received a generous grant from Bailey’s Team for Autism to offer educational advocacy and workshops to teach parents to advocate for their children’s special needs in school.


News from the chapters of The Arc

Growing Friendly Flowers By Tim Johnson, The Arc of Opportunity

Friendly Flowers provides more than fresh floral arrangements delivered weekly. Working with a local florist, individuals involved in our Community Based Day & Employment Supports programing design and assemble custom floral arrangements weekly, which are then delivered by a friendly and dedicated team throughout the community. The enterprise provides meaningful, competitive, Kathy and Amanda deliver Creative Print their weekly community-integrated flower order. employment to a wonderful What started as a simple in-house diversity of individuals with activity, more akin to leisure craftdevelopmental and intellectual ing for light skill building than disabilities. That employment a business, has grown into an enhances the quality of life for the agency enterprise serving dozens people we support, and it tightens of customers across several cities the tethers that bind us to our and towns served by The Arc of community. Opportunity. How has the Friendly Flowers busiSince the official launch of Friendly ness blossomed to such a relative Flowers, the business has grown success? The excitement, energy by over 500%, employing several and enthusiasm of the individuals individuals supported by our Comemployed by Friendly Flowers are munity Based Day & Employment indeed a critical ingredient to that programming with competitive growth. Another key component community employment. Friendly is the fertile soil of a fantastically Flowers has been featured in local supportive community. We’ve newspapers like the Sentinel & Enreceived great support from area terprise and the Leominster Chambusinesses, community members pion—including an above-the-fold and leaders, and local politicians — cover feature; its social mission has which certainly doesn’t hurt when been noted on local television and it comes to legislative advocacy. radio programs.


Collaborating with our partners for these kinds of community connections and sources of support, like growing strong and sturdy flowers, doesn’t come without effort. It requires outreach and engagement in the community, whether active networking through our Chamber of Commerce, volunteer outreach with synergistic nonprofits, or as simple one-to-one chats with business owners to share our mission and message to make the sale for our social mission. It is about making the sale, but not only for a product or service; rather, the “sell” is for stronger community connections that make each and all of us stronger as a whole. When selling a car, for example, the return for the salesman is a commission and perhaps the satisfaction of sending someone off satisfied with the purchase; for the buyer the main return most likely is a mode of transportation. When you sell a partnership for social good, the return is an enhanced quality of life for all involved. Selling flowers with a friendly, personal approach is simply another avenue toward greater social good, and a greater quality of life. For more information and to help spread the seeds of Friendly Flowers, please visit

The Arc of Massachusetts

News from the chapters of The Arc

The right job match is job one By: Robin Ellington, CLASS, The Arc of Greater Lawrence

With his own money, Charlie bought his first iPhone last summer, and that makes him very proud. Charlie is competitively employed, working 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., four days a week at Muffin Town in Lawrence. He works on their cleaning staff in a clean-room environment, which means he has responsibilities for exacting standards. Because he’s working hard and has great on-the-job supports, Charlie is succeeding, earning his way toward independence. That was the vision CLASS Career Specialist Ken Masson had for Charlie when he approached Scott Anderson, VP of Operations and co-owner of JSB Industries, which owns Muffin Town. Ken arranged for Scott and Charlie to meet and the employment partnership blossomed. “Charlie won us over with his smile from the get-go and fits in perfectly,” Scott says. “It was important to us, as a Lawrence community member since 2010, to hire Charlie and show our support but, more importantly, he really does a good job for us. We enjoy having him

and he’s part of our team. He’s just another one of the employees and is treated as such. “We’re very proud of our inclusive culture,” he adds. That was last year. This year Muffin Town hired a second individual from CLASS, Glory, one of the CLASS job seekers who went through the agency’s first resume and interviewing skills training workshop. “Glory did very well in the workshop hosted and led by WinterWyman,” says Stacey Leibowitz, CLASS Director of Program Operations. “WinterWyman volunteered for a day in April to help individuals with their interviewing skills, dressing for success and resume presentation. Glory was a natural and really stood out.” Headquartered in Waltham, Mass., WinterWyman has been a successful talent acquisition firm for more than 40 years, providing contract staffing, direct hire and executive search services in accounting and finance, human resources and technology. For the CLASS workshop, six WinterWyman volunteers were paired with individuals, resumes in hand, and

Muffin Town Plant Manager John Terrault tells Charlie a joke before he heads off to work.

gave feedback on appearances and body language, interviewing skills, resume content and appearance, and cover letter content and appearance. The one-on-one sessions were held “off campus,” so the day had the look and feel of going to a business on a real interview. It worked for Glory. “It resulted in a successful job placement, but also as a successful job clinic and collaboration for us with two supportive companies in the community, in WinterWyman and Muffin Town,” Leibowitz says. “We’re committed to finding jobs for another 40 individuals and with help from community partners and businesses, we will.”

The Arc of South Norfolk celebrates the Family Autism Center’s 20th anniversary On November 3, 2016 The Arc of South Norfolk will formally celebrate the achievements of people living with autism and recognize the advocacy, passion and determination of the “Founding Families” of our Family

Achieve with us.

Autism Center (FAC). At this special occasion, we will also posthumously honor Jane Campbell Smith (19242016), a driving force for the creation of our agency, and the ‘second generation guardian’ for FAC’s Founding Families.

Background: The Arc’s Family Autism Center In 1996, a group of concerned parents sought help to understand and care for their children diagnosed continued on page 28


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit #121 Pittsfield, MA

217 South Street Waltham, MA 02453 (781) 891-6270

Achieve with us. The Arc of South Norfolk celebrates the Family Autism Center’s 20th anniversary cont’d from p. 27

with a new disorder called “autism.” At that time, autism affected 1:500. Consider, the Internet was in its infancy, there were no agencies to treat autism, private and public schools were not equipped to identify -- let alone teach -- children with autism, and there were very few health care experts to consult. Fortunately, these parents came to the right place -- The Arc of South Norfolk. Ensuring individuals with all types of developmental disabilities are empowered and presented with unlimited opportunities to achieve their highest potential is the root of The Arc of South Norfolk’s guiding principles. Like their dedicated predecessors 40 years earlier, who advocated and tirelessly fought for their children with developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome, these caring and desperate families needed more than just a kind ear. They found it in Jane Campbell


Smith -- an equally passionate parent who held fast to her vision that ALL people with developmental disabilities deserve the opportunity to live life to the fullest. Guided by Smith’s capable leadership, seven dedicated families joined forces to change the future for people with autism. These “Founding Families” together, aggressively raised funds and community awareness. After nearly three years, their efforts came to fruition. In the summer of 1996 one of the first independently funded autism centers in Massachusetts opened its doors! In its first year of operation, the Center served 150 families of Norfolk County. Remembered for her tenacity, intellect and foresight, and never satisfied with the status quo, Smith was the ultimate champion for all individuals impacted by disabilities. Jane’s mantra was, “we have more to do…this is just a beginning.”

List of Advertisers The Arc of South Norfolk The Arc of the South Shore Berkshire County Arc Cardinal Cushing Centers FletcherTilton PC The Guild for Human Services New England Village PLAN of Massachusetts and Rhode Island Riverbrook Special Needs Financial Planning Specialized Housing SUPPORTbrokers

Our advertisers help support the mission of The Arc of Massachusetts. We invite you to Celebrate 20 Years of Advocacy, Action and Achievements with us on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood, Massachusetts. For more details, please contact Betsy Roche at 781-762-4001 ext. 304 or eroche@

The Arc of Massachusetts

Advocate Summer 2016  
Advocate Summer 2016