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Advocate Fall 2016

Ron Suskind: A Life, Animated

A conversation between Leo Sarkissian and our 2016 Gala Honoree Ron Suskind is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the best-selling author of several books, including Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism (2014); Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President (2011); The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism (2008); and A Hope in the Unseen (1998). Through his books and articles he has tracked the achievements and disappointments

Ron Suskind

Self-Determination vs. Guardianship Decrees:

of presidents, Wall Street’s impact on policy, and terrorism. In addition to being an author, Ron was senior national affairs reporter at the Wall Street Journal. He has been a contributor to numerous television news programs, a writerin-residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and he presently lectures at Harvard Law School. Ron also is the founder of Sidekicks, a company building continued on page 6

Inside this issue... Article


Home for the Future....................3

Self-Determination Wins! Expanding the Ability of Courts to Limit Guardianship Decrees

Operation House Call................11

By Leo V. Sarkissian, Executive Director

Government Affairs....................14

This year the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard and issued an opinion regarding the guardianship of B.V.G. (BVG). Anthony D. Martin (with Jennifer Mikkels, both of Duane Morris LLP) brought the case on behalf of BVG’s grandfather who had been denied visitation and communication by BVG’s father. Tony Martin reached

out to The Arc to consider filing an amicus brief. The purpose of an amicus brief is advise the Court of the significant legal and/or policy issues at stake by making both legal and policy arguments. This brief would allow The Arc of Massachusetts, Inc. to submit its opinion on how the court should rule. After an initial review, including some continued on page 10

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The Friendship Corner................12 Education and Training..............15 News from the Chapters............16

Published by

The Arc of Massachusetts will be lighting up the Prudential Center on Friday, December 16!

217 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453 (781) 891-6270 • 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 Secretary and Immediate Past President

DIRECTORS Subhadeep Basu Susan Lodemore Scott Borchardt John Mallin Martin Courage Geoffrey Misilo Katherine Craven Sean Morrissey Kristin M. Hilf John Nadworny Joe Andrade, Director Emeritus

STEERING COMMITTEE Janet Sweeney Rico, Chair Justin Bernard Renald Raphael Jim Buss Frank Sally Seth P. Lopes

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


The Arc of Massachusetts has been chosen to be a lighting partner for The Shops at Prudential Center’s 31 Nights of Light. Each December the Prudential Tower is lit up nightly to raise awareness of important causes, and this year the Pru will be lit up in orange for The Arc.

Be part of The Arc’s lighting ceremony Friday, December 16 5:00pm Details will be posted at in November. Or contact Amelia Cordischi at 781-891-6270 x6104 or for more information.

TheArc ArcofofMassachusetts Massachusetts The

Almost Home: great progress on the Home for the Future campaign and construction By Katrin Aback

On September 26, supporters and friends of The Arc of Massachusetts gathered in Waltham for Almost Home to celebrate the start of construction of our new statewide headquarters building and the continuing success of the Home for the Future Campaign. “A few weeks ago some fellow staff members and I watched as an excavator tore apart our old building,” Executive Director Leo Sarkissian told the attendees. “While I am incredibly excited about moving forward, I admit that it was a bittersweet moment. After all, over the course of nearly 40 years, it was where groundbreaking disability policy that now helps hundreds of thousands of people living with I/DD was developed. Our partners, our stakeholders, our constituents, our chapters, our constituent families held countless meetings and advocacy trainings there.” “Unfortunately, the original build-

The new foundation is in place

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ing was not aging gracefully,” he said to chuckles and nods. “It became very clear that we needed to have the capacity to serve our mission and constituency. We are looking forward to being able to welcome stakeholders within the disability community; to host legislators and donors; and to serve as a model. I also believe that fulfilling this goal proves that The Arc of Massachusetts has had a successful tenure. It signals a continuation of our work for decades to come and that we will continue to be here for the people who need us most.”

Board President Tracy Atkinson speaks about the importance of the new headquarters

challenges will be very important. The generosity and foresight of our donors has gotten us to this point. “I am delighted to announce

Sarkissian went on to say that he anticipates that the next several years are going to be very challenging for advancing disability policy, and having the capacity to meet those The mission of the SUPPORTbrokers program is to assist individuals with disabilities and the elderly to achieve community membership based upon their personal vision

continued on page 4


217 South Street Waltham, MA 02453 Phone: 781.891.6270 EXT109 E-mail:


Almost Home: great progress on the Home for the Future campaign and construction continued from p. 3

Board member John Nadworny, Leo Sarkissian, and Luis Bachman (The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport) Jim, Andrew and Regina Lawson with Edith Frye

that individuals, our 18 chapters, agencies, and foundations have supported this effort with gifts and commitments totaling more than $1.2 million!” announced Board President Tracy Atkinson. “It is incredible to see such support for the Home for the Future Capital Campaign from the people in this room and many others. On behalf of The Arc of Massachusetts, I am deeply grateful to all of our donors

for making the new headquarters a reality.” Long-time supporters and advocates at Almost Home included Board President Tracy Atkinson and her husband John; Dick and Edith Frye; Evelyn Hausslein; Jim Lawson, his wife Regina, and son Andrew; Sean Morrissey; John and Susan Nadworny; Pat Pakos; Frank Sally; Donald Stewart; and Dan Sullivan. Bill Sprague, President & CEO of

Leo Sarkissian and Bill Sprague (Bay Cove Human Services)


Bay Cove Human Services, one of the Campaign’s generous supporters, also attended. The Arc’s chapters, which have long understood the need for a new building, have been incredibly supportive of the Campaign. Representatives from The Arc’s chapters, including Jo Ann Simons of Northeast Arc, Luis and Kim Bachman from The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport; Roz Rubin and Joanne Raymond of Greater Waltham Arc; and Stephanie Parish of Minute Man Arc celebrated the progress. You can be a part of this new chapter for The Arc of Massachusetts by giving to the campaign for a new headquarters. Please visit to learn more. You can also contact Katrin Aback, Director of Development at or 781-891-6270 x6105 to discuss giving opportunities. continued on page 5

The Arc of Massachusetts

Almost Home: great progress on the Home for the Future campaign and construction continued from p. 4

Clockwise from left: Joanne Raymond (GWArc), Stephanie Parish (Minute Man Arc), Kerry Mahoney (The Arc of Massachusetts), and Jo Ann Simons (Northeast Arc)

Leo Sarkissian with Dick and Edith Frye

Thank you for breaking down barriers! By Katrin Aback

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, The Arc of Massachusetts would like to say “thank you” to our donors and supporters. We deeply appreciate the generosity of all of the individuals, corporations, agency partners, and foundations who are making The Arc’s work possible. Thank you! You – through your enthusiastic support and unwavering commitment to The Arc of Massachusetts – have helped us achieve great things. Together, we are setting a positive example of what can be achieved by vigorous, consistent advocacy. You are keeping Massachusetts at the forefront of the movement to improve lives and increase opportunities for individuals with autism or an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD). And this remains as crucial as ever,

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because bias against people with I/DD remains widespread in our society. Discrimination such as this has serious consequences, and despite laws, we continue to witness barriers in health care, education, employment, and the social fabric of our communities. Each and every day, The Arc of Massachusetts is breaking down barriers and fighting bias. It is reflected in our government affairs work, in encouraging relationships and inclusion in the community, in our program to train medical professionals how to work with people with I/ DD, in advocating for employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and in our public education. The Arc of Massachusetts needs your help in continuing this work. As we approach the end of the year, please consider giving to The Arc of

Check out our 2015-16 Annual Report! You can find it at under Newsletters. If you would like a printed copy mailed to you, please contact Amelia Cordischi at or 781-891-6270 x6104. Massachusetts. Your gift will ensure that all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have opportunities to lead full lives in the community. You can have a direct impact on the lives of people with disabilities. Learn more by visiting the Giving page or contacting Katrin Aback, Director of Development, at or 781-891-6270 x6105.


Ron Suskind: A Life, Animated continued from p. 1

technology for individuals with autism to navigate and connect with the world in new and enhanced ways. Despite his extraordinary career, nothing can match the journey, passion, and accomplishment reflected in Life, Animated, both the book and movie. Ron and his wife Cornelia, a former journalist, were blessed with two sons, Walt and Owen. One day, Owen “disappeared.” In Ron’s own words, “an engaged, chatty child, full of typical speech… fell silent. He cried inconsolably…Wouldn’t make eye contact.” Thus began Ron, Cornelia, and Walt’s journey to find Owen. Leo Sarkissian talked with Ron about the journey. Leo: You and Cornelia did not allow the shock of Owen’s extreme behavioral change as a toddler to paralyze you. What spurred both of you beyond your natural resiliency? Ron: We kind of were paralyzed at the start. We were stunned; it didn’t make any sense. I said to Cornelia, “a kid doesn’t grow backwards, how does this occur?” Once we heard “autism,” that

started to change things. We didn’t know what it meant, though we knew “Rain Man.” Doctors began to explain it to us. This was the time, around 1994-95, that definitions about the spectrum were coming to shape. As journalists, we investigated it ourselves and we found more confusion about the underpinnings about autism than clear understanding of the etiology. We kept busy, always trying things. This kept us from becoming paralyzed, or accepting a status quo. We weren’t too quick to judge what would be of value or not; we knew we would not be able to measure that at first. It also probably helped that both of us had spent a lot of time questioning authority already as journalists. We were very comfortable probing with doctors asking them how they knew what they thought they knew. Leo: During a very tough period in Owen’s life, when he was bullied and not making progress, you both questioned the professionals’ advice and renewed the animation journey. Given that experience, what would you want professionals to know?

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Ron: What I want professionals to know is that in many ways, you as a professional need to authorize the parents to question you, because they won’t otherwise. I say this as an inves-

tigative reporter who is attentive to the way people tell you things. If you are a person who is seen in authority or mastery, you have to authorize the others to be your companion to be in the search for answers as a professional. You won’t hear insights from them unless you do, and you won’t hear the new set of questions that you can answer as a professional. Parents are the key actors in the effort to find a path to engagement and are more connected to the life of the child. Sometimes professionals are not thinking enough about what it feels like from the parents’ shoes. The parents, even when they are capable, aren’t acting in a way that lets the doctor know things that the doctor isn’t expecting. Professionals have to draw the parents out, almost as investigators. You have a child who can’t describe his status or how he feels so you have to rely on what the parents see. They offer the most valuable and accurate vantage point. Ask questions to burn off the illusions or assumptions that cloud what they are seeing. Leo: What do you think you (and Cornelia) learned about yourselves in this journey? Ron: Cornelia would say what we learned is that you have to trust what you can touch, what you know from the most direct experience. You are not going to rely on what other people say or see as continued on page 7

The Arc of Massachusetts

Ron Suskind: A Life, Animated continued from p. 6

the last word. We learned to trust ourselves to be able to know what is in front of us. Cornelia has a great line: “remember to find the joy in your child.” The desire to fix them all the time for their own good – to be more successful in the wide world – is a constant urge for a parent who cares. But spending every minute of every day trying to fix somebody can’t be the foundation of the parent-child relationship. It’s got to be about finding love and joy. We realized we could find him by living inside of his passion. That insight freed us from having to feel all the time that we needed to fix him. We found out in so many ways he wasn’t broken – different, but not diminished and not less. Leo: Can you speak to the similarity between Cedric Jennings, the subject of your Pulitzer Prize winning work and Owen? (Cedric was ridiculed for his dream to enter an Ivy League school in his economically deprived, inner-city high school.) Ron: Right after Owen’s diagnosis, I begin a journey, which results two years later in the Pulitzer Prize and then in 1998, the publication of A Hope in the Unseen. Life, Animated is about how Owen changed, but also it’s about how we all changed: Cornelia, me, and Walter. After Owen’s setback, I started to search for “left behind” people: in inner city America, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, and in the hollows of Tennessee – people who had been discarded by society.

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At the time, I didn’t realize that one of those people was living in one of our bedrooms. We unconsciously devalue other people based on things we don’t recognize: society’s judgments, cultural norms, and definitions of what success is and is not. We devalue certain people who are just different from us, with whom we don’t have an easy rapport about shared values or kinship. So that is what is happening when I go to an inner-city, forgotten high school a few months after Owen is diagnosed. Cedric Jennings is separated by the bad luck of birth, race, poverty, bigotry and ignorance. Owen is separated from a life of opportunity and possibility by a neurological hand he is dealt.

didn’t know the “supposed to’s” or how to get from Point A to Point B. Owen doesn’t know either – they both have interesting gifts and defaults; they both rely on their passions more than other people do. Cedric was at risk of failing at Brown University and was returning home, because every time he tries to write a paper on educational theory and this junior high school he is observing, he can’t do it. It is so much like his experience that he gets angry as he writes it. So the night before his paper is due, he writes a 68line epic poem on an educational theory; he handles all parts of this complex theory in rhyme. His passion is music, rap, and gospel so he turns the paper into a song! He continued on page 8

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Ron Suskind: A Life, Animated continued from p. 7

passes the class. What does Owen do? He finds his passion, memorizing 50 Disney movies, and invents his own language using his passion – so you can consider it a gift. Freeing up the compensatory gifts through neuroplasticity can be a challenge, but the brain finds a way. For every area of deficit, the brain creates an equal compensatory strength. It often becomes the thing you are known for and carries your life forward.

Ron: After the book came out, parents from all over the world were calling us. Now I see my child for who he is, but I work out of the home or I’m strapped for cash. What can we do as a family? Cornelia and I got together with psychologists, technology professionals and others to develop a platform so that individuals could use their affinity – their passion – as a pathway for communication with their family or with anyone else.

Individuals with autism use their deep interests in ways that are more Leo: You have a passion for helping fundamental than the rest of us – others. Ron, can you share Sidekicks as “code breakers” to understand with our readers? their emotions and their place in the world. They can turn their affinity for dinosaurs, Disney, or anything else into a model for self-awareness • Master Special Needs Pooled Trust or an emotional language • Family Special Needs that can conThird Party Pooled Trust nect them to It may be a future their own sense planning solution for the of identify so individuals we serve. they can share their deepest Protect your family feelings. It’s member's assets, while something our preserving public benefits. kids can do We offer the best fees in Massachusetts. that they don’t For more information on the BCArc Pooled Trusts, call 413-499-4241, ext. 227 or email get credit for.

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them what they need to support their affinity through video clips. We’ve built Sidekicks as a window that helps parents to reach their children. They are having Iago moments just as I had – connections that take the parent inside an ofteninaccessible place where the child is living. (Note: Iago, the parrot from Aladdin was the puppet Ron used when Owen verbally communicated with him for the first time after age three). Once they visit that place, both parent and child can emerge together into the sunlight. That’s what we‘re doing. On the movie screen 40 feet tall, Owen sometimes seems one in a million; in fact what we’ll find a few years from now is that he’s one of a million. There are folks with ASD, with many capacities, that will startle us with their power. The key is not to get too caught up in using the usual yardsticks in measuring value. There are many kinds of intelligence, but we tend to measure a very narrow band. Many folks who are neurodiverse are rich in various types of intelligence that are not measured and validated. We need to be able to measure those non-validated capacities so our kids can get credit for what they can do as opposed to simply dismissed for the things they cannot. Value them for the things they can do! What we find through Sidekicks is that once you turn the passion into a pathway it becomes a telescope for what is visible when you tap intrinsic motivation.

The Arc of Massachusetts

The Arc of Massachusetts is deeply grateful to the donors below who have given to the Home for the Future Capital Campaign. Thank you! $250,000+

Daniel*, Angela, and Michael* Becker

$100,000 - $249,999 Estate of Simon Greisdoff Estate of Joan Lewis Northeast Arc

$50,000 - $99,999

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Self-Determination vs. Guardianship Decrees… continued from p. 1

discussion at the Center for Public Representation, we decided to move ahead. Now the question was to find an attorney willing to take on the work on a pro bono basis. Even though Tony Martin would be representing the interests of B.V.G. before the Court, researching and writing an amicus brief is not a small matter. We talked to Attorney Frederick Misilo (FletcherTilton PC) about the goals of the case and asked if he would write the amicus brief. Fred kindly agreed. The case fit well with The Arc’s values. The position on rights and self-determination generally states: “Many individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities have not had the opportunity or the support to make choices and decisions about important aspects of their lives.” In one section it also cites: that individuals with intellectual disabilities must have “the right to choose their own allies.” The major question in this case was whether the grandfather was an “interested” person in the eyes of the law, which would grant him “standing” in the case. If he had “standing” he could actually go to court to limit the authority of the guardian who had prevented him from communicating or seeing his granddaughter. The court in the past had refused to consider sisters

and other family members or close friends as “interested” parties which, thereby, denied them the right to intervene in court to object to their being restricted by a guardian. The guardian historically had all the power even if the person subject to the guardianship could verbally state that he/she wanted to see the sister, grandfather or close friend. Sometimes these guardians are family members, as in the BVG case, while other times they are court-appointed and supported by state agency personnel. As Misilo’s brief states, “A plenary guardianship is a drastic intervention that gives the guardian complete authority over another’s life. A guardian has control over all vital areas of another’s life such as where and with whom one lives; the nature of the services and supports one receives; essential health care decisions; who one associates with; where one works and worships, and other important life decisions.” On behalf of The Arc, Misilo further argued, “Amici supports limiting guardianships as much as possible in order to protect individual’s right to express their own preferences, to make their own decisions and to direct their own lives whenever possible. Amici further supports the full inclusion of family members and close friends in guardianship pro-

ceedings in order to help ensure that those with concern and knowledge of the person subject to the guardianship are involved in a meaningful way in the guardianship proceeding.” This case had the further advantage that BVG was able to verbally express her preference to visit with and communicate with her grandfather. As early as 1981, a court decision emphasized repeatedly that a determination of “’incompetence’ does not eliminate an individual’s interest in dignity and in the expression of autonomous values and desires.” The court’s decision focused on two key issues. The order noted that new probate code encourages limiting guardianship decision-making to the areas where it is most needed. The second issue, also argued by Attorney Martin and in Misilo’s brief, was the meaning of “interested person.” The decree states: “We therefore conclude that an ‘interested person’ as defined by G. L. c. 190B, § 1-201, within the meaning of G. L. c. 190B, § 5-306 (c), is a ‘person interested in the welfare of the incapacitated person.’”

Congratulations to Attorney Anthony Martin for bringing the case on behalf of BVG’s grandfather. We appreciate Attorney Fred Misilo’s efforts on our behalf to allow us to successfully support Martin’s advocacy and to help bring a victory Election Day – Don’t forget to vote! for this important matter The Arc Gala and Auction: “Passion as Pathway…” for families and self-advocates alike! New Legislator Reception, State House

Save These Dates! Tuesday, November 8 Wednesday, November 16 Tuesday, January 19


The Arc of Massachusetts

Operation House Call

Operation House Call - families teaching more than just doctors! The 180 volunteer OHC families across Massachusetts will be seeing a greater number of students for home visits in the coming year. Along with our growing number of Medical Students and Residents, we will add more students of Nursing, Physical Therapy, Nutrition and Social Work. Through Simmons College, we will expand our inter-professional OHC model.  This model includes a 2-hour lecture, a half-hour with a coteacher who has autism or other intellectual or developmental disabilities, a home visit and an on-line component.  The students are matched for the home visit to ensure an

Tufts medical students at a home visit

interdisciplinary opportunity as well as experiential learning with our host families. Day School & Residential Program


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During the OHC classroom lecture, students gain important foundational knowledge of living with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. They learn through personal stories and engage with the instructors in an open questionand-answer environment. The class focuses on person-first thinking and assessment, developing communication skills and sensitivity, monitoring bias that can affect treatment, looking beyond behaviors to the underlying issues, reviewing best practices for delivery of diagnosis, and ongoing support and understanding of the needs of caregivers and siblings. OHC is looking forward to reaching more students across the state and continuing to bring more families into our program. If you are interested in learning more or making a donation to support OHC’s work, please contact Maura Sullivan, Program Director, at

411 Waverley Oaks Rd, Suite 104, Waltham, MA 02452

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The Friendship Corner (In previous issues of Advocate, the Friendship Corner provided information on how to best use your Individual Education Plan (IEP) and your Individual support Plan (ISP) to promote community connections and friendships. In our third and final part of planning processes, Widening the Circle recommends Person Centered Planning (PCP) as one of the best ways to insure that attention is paid to relationships and friendships in the lives of people with disabilities. Many thanks to Kerry Mahoney, Director of Outreach/Education, SUPPORTbrokers/ PALS, The Arc of Massachusetts, for providing this example of PCP in action!)

How to Use Person Centered Planning to Promote Community Connections and Friendships I have had the pleasure to know Sam, her brothers Alec and Douglas, and her parents Lisa and Rob Gibbs for 15 years. Watching them all grow and forge their path for Sam’s life to be full and rich has been an inspiration!

Samantha (Sam) Gibbs

Many of you will recognize this teen -- Samantha (Sam) Gibbs of Reading. Sam’s photos as a child have been widely used on many of The Arc affiliates’ websites. Today Sam is a beautiful, social, talented and confident teenager who began her freshman year at Reading Memorial High School.

I was contacted by Sam’s parents, Lisa and Rob Gibbs, last fall to meet with them to explore how person centered planning could help with this transition. Both Sam and her parents wanted to maximize this opportunity to keep her connected in the Reading community. As Sam’s SUPPORTbroker, I spent time talking with her about her life and goals for the future. Sam’s parents were also part of the conversation and shared their vision for Sam and the fears about the challenges that may be ahead for their daughter. They wanted to make sure that Sam’s connections with her friends and community activities would continue.

I also connected with Sam’s school personnel at Coolidge Middle School and her team liaison at Reading Memorial HS. It was so reassuring that many of the staff had already attended training in person centered planning conducted by The Institute for Community Inclusion. We determined that the spring would be a good time to hold a meeting after Sam’s IEP and 3-year evaluation. In May we reconnected and Sam and her family got to work! Sam, with the help of her teachers, designed an invitation. Her parents connected with the middle and high schools to help add to Sam’s invitation list. Sam’s teacher also supported Sam in developing a power point presentation. The presentation, Who Am I?, can be viewed on the Supportbrokers page : programs/supportbrokers/personcentered-planning/ continued on page 13


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The Friendship Corner How to Use Person Centered Planning to Promote Community Connections and Friendships continued from p. 12

Sam was scheduled to tour the high school in early June and the person centered planning meeting was held afterwards. Sam did a fantastic job beginning the meeting by facilitating her team to introduce themselves and talk about their best time spent with her. The room was filled with a combination of family, new and former teachers and therapists, and friends from middle school. During the meeting, members added to Sam’s presentation regarding her strengths, interests, and challenges. Members of the group learned how to best support Sam: what teachers can do (provide constant positive encouragement, provide hands on experiences) and what she needs from friends (fashion and make up tips, peers to go to for challenging situations). Sam reviewed her dreams and goals, which included working with children, attending college, and learning about cosmetics, hair and clothing. In the future Sam would like to open a shop in Reading. On Sam’s concern and worry list was navigating the new building, having someone to eat lunch with, spending common time with friends from middle school, and access to clubs and activities. Sam has been an active participant in summer drama productions, chorus and swimming. How will she fit it all in?

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The teams contributed to Sam’s Action Plan: • Learning the class schedule and navigating the building • Having social time with friends • Sam having one calendar to schedule activities at school and receiving support to determine which activities to attend The meeting ended on a positive note with many of her old team members feeling confident in Sam’s abilities and a new team of

educators, family and friends feeling positive in knowing she will be successful. For more information on SUPPORTbrokers/PALS and Person Centered Planning, contact: Kerry Mahoney, Director of Outreach/Education SUPPORTbrokers/PALS The Arc of Massachusetts PO Box 541603 Waltham, MA 02453 781-891-6270, ext 6109

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.

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Government Affairs

Government Affairs Update Mass Health, CMR Regulations The Arc has been busy this summer and early fall. As you have probably heard, Mass Health is in the process of restructuring the delivery of services which it funds in Massachusetts. This new structure will require the formation of Accountable Care organizations and the integral component to that model, Community Partners. We have played an important role in policy advocacy in regards to the restructure. The Arc has been involved in Mass Health Stakeholder meetings and Advisory Committee Meetings as well as focus groups with Mass Health leadership. Currently, Mass Health is beginning a process to identify a Third Party Administrator for Long Term Support Services (LTSS) and Behavioral


Health (BH) in order to support the integrity of the program and the overall budget. An RFR (Request for Response) for Accountable Care Organizations has been released as well as an RFI (Request for Information) for Community Partners. We will continue to provide a voice to Mass Health, representing individuals and families through this process of change. Also, follow Notes from The Arc for information on our webinars and educational resources throughout the coming year. The Arc is working with parents, providers, DDS and EOHHS on revisions to the CMR 115 regulations. Our goal is to ensure that each individual has the behavioral treatment options that are appropriate to his or her needs. One size does not fit all in our community. A number of adults being supported in day and residential programs

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


need behavioral treatment options that will ensure safety and continued learning.

New Legislation Session 2016-2017 The Arc has been focusing on our 2016 budget shortfalls, especially in the area of day habilitation and employment. At press time, we are awaiting the release of funds by the Governor and anticipating any potential 9C cuts. Adult autism funding for the newly eligible has been frozen and we are very concerned about Turning 22 funding levels. Stay tuned to Notes from The Arc for updates on the budget and our initiatives toward the budget for the coming year. The Arc made huge gains in our legislative platform last session and we plan to push many bills over the finish line early this session. Some of our top priorities include a Disabled Persons Protection Commission registry bill, a bill to include prompting and cueing for PCA assessment, health care training bills, a dental care access bill, and an accessory apartment housing bill. Deadline for the submission of legislation is January 20, 2017. To learn more about our bill priorities, check The Arc’s website and click on Advocacy/Bill Priorities. To learn more about The Arc’s advocacy efforts on Mass Health, CMR revisions, or our legislative and budget initiatives, contact Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs at

The Arc of Massachusetts

Education and Training

Upcoming Webinars Wednesday, November 2

7:00-8:00 PM,


Want to learn how to advocate to improve services for people with I/DD? Introduction to Advocacy -- a practical, hands-on approach to lobby with your elected officials Learn about • Basic steps for lobbying and advocacy • How legislation begins • Actions to move legislation forward • Finding and building coalitions Presented by The Arc of Massachusetts: Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs and Program Director of Operation House Call, and Charlie Fiske, Director of Public Policy

Thursday, December 1

7:00-8:00 PM


Mass Health Innovations: Updates on Changes in Mass Health Implementation of health care reform will have a significant impact on the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), as well as individuals with brain injuries. Participants will learn about the outcomes anticipated, and the impact on physical and behavioral health and long-term supports and services. This webinar will also provide an update on managed care in Massachusetts and how it will impact people with I/DD and providers. Presented by Jeff Keilson, Advocates, and Chris White, Road to Responsibility 

Wednesday, January 11

7:00-8:00 PM,


Advanced Legislative Advocacy Training Advocate to Improve Changes for those with I/DD The Advanced Training will focus on: • Building and strengthening relationships with your elected officials • Critical strategic planning and the budget • Measuring your effectiveness and success • Identifying and understanding obstacles Presented by The Arc of Massachusetts: Maura Sullivan, Director of Government Affairs and Program Director of Operation House Call, and Charlie Fiske, Director of Public Policy If you need financial assistance to attend a webinar contact Kerry

Miss a webinar? Check out our On Demand Sessions.  Older webinars can also be viewed on The Arc of Massachusetts YouTube channel

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News from the chapters of The Arc

Something to write “home” about By Robin Ellington, CLASS / The Arc of Greater Lawrence

After she applied to CLASS Adult Family Care (AFC) to become a caregiver and was approved, she worked with the CLASS to be matched with an individual. The AFC staff arranged for Priscila to meet Thomas, then 24 and living on the South Shore.

Thomas, center, has felt right at home with Priscila since early 2015. Abraham Perez, right, is the CLASS AFC Care Manager who supports them.

Facing an emptying nest, professional caregiver Priscila Roberts had been looking around for a new job when it occurred to her to provide a home to someone who needed one. Her home. “I decided to become a caregiver in my family setting,” she says. “I’ve seen a lot of people who need a family. My goal is to make a person feel like part of a family.”

“The CLASS matching process between clients and caregivers is wonderful,” Priscila says. “AFC was able to find all the things that we had in common as well as the different ones that we could offer to each other in order to make the perfect match.” Thomas and Priscila clicked. “When I met Thomas, he was quiet, but we spent an hour talking,” Priscila says. “We decided we wanted to move ahead and we wanted to move quickly.” Thomas moved into Priscila’s home in February 2015. “He came the day we were celebrating my birthday, which is Valentine’s Day,” Priscila says. “So Thomas was part of our family reunion.”

“This is not work; it’s not a job,” she adds. “I introduce Thomas as part of my family.” Theirs was the first non-biological match for the program. Today, CLASS AFC counts four families as successful non-biological matches. CLASS’s AFC program provides clinical and financial assistance for qualified caregivers to care for individuals with developmental disabilities at home. Once caregivers are approved, CLASS staff teaches them how to manage everyday challenges, such as personal care, meals and supervision. Monthly in-home visits and 24-hour emergency care consultation assures their success. “CLASS’s AFC program has been a personal, educational and valuable experience for Thomas and my family,” Priscila says. “The matching process between clients and caregivers is wonderful. The agency is about family support, which is always available. CLASS AFC treats clients and caregivers with dignity and respect.”

Member jobs on the rise at Minute Man Arc With temperatures dropping and leaves falling, members of Minute Man Arc’s Employment Program are finding that just the opposite is happening in their program. This fall season has ushered in new and exciting employment opportunities for the group. With new jobs and new individuals joining the

program, expansion is in the air. Market Basket in Littleton and TJMaxx in Framingham have opened their doors as new employment sites this fall. Additionally, employment sites have been secured this past month, thanks to the endeavor of job coach Sam continued on page 20 (L-R) Megan Gallant, Elizabeth Hunt, and Brian Fruscione at Quiet Logistcs


The Arc of Massachusetts

News from the chapters of The Arc

The Artists of GWArc

Recognizing the importance of art for everyone in the community, the Waltham Cultural Council awarded grant funding to GWArc for the 10th consecutive year for The Artists of GWArc arts programming.

burg, an American artist who created collages using paper, newsprint, photography and other materials. Several stunning collages created by GWArc participants were included in the 2016 GWArc calendar.

Our 2016 grant funded a series of visual arts classes with Dan Dressler, our artist-in-residence. Dan holds a Master of Science in Art Education from the Massachusetts College of Art.

Dan’s classes are taught in a supportive environment that includes everyone and allows every individual to express themselves through art, regardless of their ability and skill level. Dan uses a variety of materials to get everyone involved and actively engaged.

Dan, who is an accomplished artist and also teaches visual arts in the Watertown Public Schools, taught classes to participants in our Day Habilitation and Community Based Day Supports (CBDS) programs during this past summer. Art work was inspired by geometric shapes that were expanded upon from week to week. Materials included acrylic paint, tinted glue, cornstarch, chalk, glitter and sticks. Under Dan’s direction, participants were encouraged to explore and develop their artistic interests and abilities. This resulted in the creation of amazing art work. Several pieces of art created during Dan’s classes will be included in our 2017 Artists of GWArc wall calendar that we produce annually, and are also on display in the lobby of our Chestnut Street facility. Art work by GWArc participants will also be displayed at the Waltham Public Library for one month later this year. We first got to know Dan when he volunteered his time to teach the art of collage to participants in our Day Habilitation program during the summer of 2015. Dan’s classes were inspired by artist Robert Rauschen-

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“It’s so rewarding to work with individuals in GWArc’s programs,” Dan said. “Everyone is focused and engaged with their art work. Each individual creates her or her own beautiful and unique interpretation of the ideas I present and has fun with it!” GWArc is grateful to the Waltham Cultural Council (WCC) for longstanding support of the Artists of GWArc. Past arts programming funded by WCC grants has included African dance and drumming, music, movement and interactive drumming, in addition to painting, sculpture and ceramics. Programs made possible by WCC grant funding and the artists involved include: • 2016 - Visual Arts with Artist-inResidence Dan Dressler • 2015 - Creative Expression Through Music & Movement (Tim Cohen) • 2014 - Ceramic Arts Project Year 2 (Phyllis Biegun) • 2013 - Ceramic Tiles Art Project (Phyllis Biegun)

Artist-in-residence Dan Dressler conducts an art session participants in GWArc’s CBDS program.

• 2012 - Creative Expression through Painting (Pablo Friedmann, Artist-inResidence Year 2) • 2011 - Expression Through Drawing and Painting (Pablo Friedmann, Artistin-Residence Year 1) • 2010 - African Dance and Drumming (Dance Instructor Fatou-Carol Sylla and Drum Instructor Jafar Manselle) • 2009 - Sculpture (Waltham Mills Artist/Instructor Kris Waldman) • 2008 - Painting (Waltham Mills Artist/Instructor Kris Waldman) • 2007 - Interactive Drumming (Mace Miller) While the WCC grant amounts are small (typically $1,000 or less), we have worked to maximize use of the funds every year to continue providing the joy of making art to GWArc participants. The Waltham Cultural Council receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which is state funded. Waltham Cultural Council members are appointed by city officials. We appreciate the WCC, and will continue to seek grants for Artists of GWArc arts programming.


News from the chapters of The Arc

The spotlight shines on the LifeLinks/Arc of Greater Lowell Summer Urban Youth Collaborative Program We couldn’t have engaged in a spectacle of this magnitude without our interns!

The 2016 Urban Youth Collaborative

The LifeLinks/Arc of Greater Lowell Urban Youth Collaborative finished its 24th season on August 12th, with thirteen talented interns graduating from the program. They were a diverse group pursuing secondary education at Middlesex Community College, Mass. School of Pharmacy, Framingham State and Fitchburg State University among others. The interns learned a hands-on approach to supporting individuals with ID/DD, spending over 28 hours each week working at LifeLinks, being introduced to all aspects of the developmental disabilities field while at the same time working in the LifeLinks Day Hab, assisting with supporting the social and physical development of our program participants. They


were given assignments within the nine Day Habilitation program rooms and were introduced to all of our varied populations and service areas: individuals who have behavioral challenges, individuals with communication disorders and  language barriers, individuals with intensive medical needs, individuals with mobility challenges, and our much beloved “senior” group.  Interns assisted with all aspects of programming, including clinical interventions, personal care, program planning and implementation, as well as community involvement. The interns also assisted us with special summer projects. Once again this summer, the highly anticipated 2016 LifeLinks Summer Olympic Games, held on August 4-5, were a huge success.

In addition to the time spent at LifeLinks, interns attended the Principles of Developmental Disabilities course at Middlesex Community College and also received First Aid and CPR training. The annual trip to the State House exposed interns to the political process that governs non- profit human services in Massachusetts and offered an opportunity for Interns to share their learning experiences with each other and with state leaders. In July, the Urban Youth were able to meet with area DDS Directors Tom Marshall (Lowell) and Michelle Vercellone (Merrimack Valley), EOHHS/DDS EEO Administrator and Director of the Urban Youth Collaborative Program Jerry Scott, and Deputy Commissioner of DDS Jane Ryder. Our interns spoke highly of their experiences and how much the program meant to them. Data over the last 24 years shows that fully one third of the interns that have come through the program choose a career in social services. LifeLinks is truly grateful to our Summer Interns as they emulate the LifeLinks Way!

The Arc of Massachusetts

News from the chapters of The Arc

Pursuing the Positive Behavioral Support Path and organizational impact along the way Two years ago, The Arc of Opportunity launched a Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) initiative. While the agency had always adhered to a number of PBS values around person-centered supports and quality of life focus, we committed ourselves to embrace fully all the values, principles, and practices of PBS. A few months prior to the adoption of the PBS initiative, another agency-wide initiative named “The Way of the Arc Fundamentals” was undertaken to enhance our high performance work culture. The Fundamentals define 31 positive values, principles and practices that all employees learn and use to achieve most effectively and efficiently, the agency mission in the delivery of supports. The Fundamentals initiative was impactful in demonstrating the effectiveness of leadership championing training/learning fluency and competency practices. An implementation example is the practice of email communication written by employees (representing various roles in the organization) of one Fundamental at the beginning of each week and discussion at the beginning of every meeting held. Similar leadership and training/learning strategies have been used to implement the PBS initiative and have to date had a powerful impact on the agency’s service delivery environment, by

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building enhanced systems/practices that facilitate positive changes in persons supported by changing employee behavior. According to staff, “PBS has changed the way I view the people we support. I have seen few behavioral issues now that I consistently offer choice and individual control.” In implementing the PBS initiative, we established a number of leadership and implementation practices that have advanced the adoption of PBS throughout the agency, such as: 1. E stablishing a PBS Leadership Committee whose membership consists of employees with various programmatic roles, parent representation, and soon to add a person receiving supports. The PBS Leadership Committee has provided communication and technical guidance regarding PBS implementation, received and considered feedback on implementation efforts, and reviewed implementation outcomes. 2. T  raining of all employees on the values, principles and practices of PBS and the selection and advanced PBS training of Quality of Universal Implementation Checklist (QUIC) Assessors, including training/guidance on how to give effective feedback to employees. The Arc’s commitment to ongoing develop-

Positive Behavioral Support Path in action

mental training and assessment has been key in the fluent, competent use of the values, principles and practices of PBS, and is actualized by use of a QUIC Assessment procedure. The QUIC is comprised of 12 essential PBS interactional values/ practices rated on a 5-point Likert scale indicating presence of PBS interactional values/practices. QUIC Assessors will perform a 10-minute observation of the employee with a person(s) receiving supports and score the QUIC. After the observation, the QUIC assessor will discuss developmental feedback with the staff person. The agency has committed to targeting two QUIC assessments/employee/ month. The agency has initiated evaluation of the data from the QUIC assessments and is excited by the impact of the initial analysis. “I was afraid of the QUIC process at first as I thought I would only hear continued on page 21


News from the chapters of The Arc

The Charles River Center announces new president, Anne-Marie Bajwa pact on the growth of the agency and the presence of the Charles River Center in the community, and we are confident that Anne-Marie will carry on the legacy of compassion, commitment, leadership and innovation.”

Anne-Marie Bajwa

On September 13, Philip V. Robey, Chairman of the Board at the Charles River Center, announced that Anne-Marie Bajwa has been selected as the organization’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. Bajwa, who has served as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer since 2008, assumed her role effective October 1, 2016. Bajwa succeeds John Grugan, who was with the Charles River Center for 35 years, the past 16 as President. “Anne-Marie’s experience with the Charles River Center will allow her to move forward quickly, and her deep knowledge of the strengths and needs of the organization will be key as the developmental disability field prepares to make major changes over the next several years,” said Robey. “Retiring President John Grugan had a major im-


“I am honored to hold the position of President of this wonderful agency. At the Charles River Center, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to explore their interests and develop their skills and talents so they may become integral to their communities to the greatest extent possible. I look forward to working with the dedicated staff and Board of Directors as we continue to provide quality programs and services while remaining true to this mission,” said AnneMarie Bajwa. Bajwa has worked in the non-profit sector for over 35 years, developing and implementing programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities, autism and physical challenges. She has played a pivotal role in the growth of the Charles River Center, as she oversaw the Day Habilitation, Residential, Family Support, and Employment divisions. Bajwa holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Boston College and a master’s degree in public administration from Bridge-

Member jobs on the rise at Minute Man Arc continued from p. 16

Streisand: Noodles & Company and Roche Bros. Minute Man Arc has two consumers employed at Noodles in Burlington and an additional position at Roche Bros. in Acton. With 12 new individuals joining Minute Man Arc, many of whom turned 22 this year, Employment Services is a bustling place each day. Employment Services has moved a team of individuals to a new third site at Quiet Logistics, where our clients are integral to the mailing fulfillment process there. Summer may be over but the work continues for many as back to school means back to work. Our employees at the Acton-Boxborough Regional High School started back alongside the students this September. Exciting new growth is happening all around Minute Man Arc this fall!

water State University. For seven years, she served as Chairperson of the Massachusetts Day Habilitation Coalition. She has been an active member of the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers for a decade, working on the Autism Blueprint and Employment First committees. Bajwa has three grown children and resides in Bridgewater with her husband.

The Arc of Massachusetts

News from the chapters of The Arc

Friends and neighbors -A community of collaboration In the spirit of giving back to the community, The Arc of South Norfolk and Mercer have joined forces to work together as neighbors and friends with the creation of their new Garden Club. Mercer, a division of Marsh & McClennan Companies, is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement, and investments. Over the past several months, representatives from Mercer and The Arc of South Norfolk have been diligently meeting, planning and developing the infrastructure needed to establish this new initiative between the companies. A kick-off celebration was held on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at the site of the garden. Raised garden beds were built on Mercer property that abuts The Arc of South Norfolk’s state of the art facility located in Westwood. In the upcoming weeks, participants in The Arc of South Norfolk Therapeutic Day Program, alongside of Mercer employees, will plant, tend and harvest herbs, vegetables

Representatives from Mercer and The Arc of South Norfolk gather for the kick-off ceremony of this unique collaboration.

and flowers that will be donated to local food pantries and used in nutrition classes at The Arc. At the ceremony, Dan Sullivan, Vice President of The Arc of South Norfolk, stated, “This project brings together the principles of our mission; collaboration, advocacy and empowerment and Mercer’s Community Cares’ mission to empower colleagues to make a difference in

our communities through volunteering. We are excited to continue to build on the partnership we have established with the team from Mercer.” BrightView Landscape Services of South Walpole donated flowers and herbs to help launch our harvest, and has committed to supporting this collaboration each spring.

Pursuing the Positive Behavioral Support Path and organizational impact along the way continued from p. 19

what I could do better. Now I get clear feedback on what I am doing well with great suggestions of what I can do even better, “one staff member reports. The Arc of Opportunity has seen

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the implementation outcomes in the agency’s Fundamentals and PBS initiatives and its impact on the agency, staff, and persons supported in the enhancement of person-centered, positive environ-

ments, and quality of life support delivery. “I use PBS with my own family now - and it makes a difference!” a direct support professional declared.


News from the chapters of The Arc

Ambassadors of Autism and The Environment: A pilot program at Archways™, the employment division of The Arc of Greater Plymouth By Bobbi Martino Special Projects Coordinator The Arc of Greater Plymouth

Ambassador of Autism Jess S. at work

In May of this year, Archways Autism support specialist Marylou Motyka secured a $4,000 Grant from A.D. Makepeace, Inc. to conduct a pilot project for their Ambassadors of Autism and The Environment Program. The A.D. Makepeace grant was written with the intent of giving our project members access to three important areas of concentration within the community setting as a volunteer group. These areas include open space conservation and preservation, organic farming and agriculture, and education regarding the preservation of the environment. These individuals will be positioned to demonstrate their ability to be contributing members of society while naturally increasing autism awareness, paving the way to future volunteer and employment opportunities for themselves and others on the autism spectrum. The initiative will also expose the participants to the importance of conservation and preservation of open space, protecting wildlife and farming so that they can become passionate ambassadors of the environment.


To accomplish this goal, a partnership was established with Southeast Wildlands Trust, Inc. where the team is maintaining two sustainable living garden beds at their headquarters on Long Pond Road in Plymouth, grooming a trail across from the headquarters, and becoming stewards of their butterfly gardens where they are advocating for and helping accomplish a wheelchair ramp for greater accessibility, increasing inclusionary opportunities, visibility, awareness and contributions without barriers for the whole community. Debbie D’Isabel, of Wildlands Trust, Inc. says, “It has been a joy to work with everyone from The Arc and partner together. Being outside in natural surroundings benefits everyone and Wildlands Trust is committed to facilitating those opportunities. We are all impressed with the group’s green thumbs and have been cheering the success of their garden bed in the Trust’s new

community garden at Davis-Douglas Farm. We recently took a tour of a trail the Arc group will ‘adopt’ by taking weekly walks and reporting on trail conditions to our Property Manager. We look forward to continuing to work with Marylou and her wonderful group.” Team Leader is Josh H. and Assistant Team Leader is Joe M., who stated, “I like learning about plants.” Jessica S., another member of the group, said of the project: “This is so cool!” The project is ongoing through November 2016 and beyond. Cool indeed!

You are Invited!

Celebrating Advocacy, Action and Achievements and

The 20 th Anniversary of Family Autism C enter!

For more information, please contact Betsy Roche 781-762-4001 Ext. 304

The Arc of Massachusetts

News from the chapters of The Arc

$500,000 Violence Intervention for people with disabilities The Arc of Bristol County and New Hope, Inc. have been awarded a three-year $500,000 grant from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to address violence and sexual assault against people with disabilities living in the Greater Attleboro/Taunton area. The grant will allow the agencies to build a model program to provide advocacy and intervention services for individuals with disabilities who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.

“We’re excited to partner with New Hope on a subject of such importance to people with disabilities,” said Michael Andrade, president of The Arc of Bristol County. Marcia Szymanski, president and CEO of New Hope, said the project would unite the agencies in a common cause.


“This combines two areas of expertise in a way that will help us develop a systemic approach,” she said. New Hope’s efforts are focused on preventing domestic and sexual violence and assisting survivors of abuse.

Sharing memories and experiences together! For adults 22 and up who are eligible for DDS residential supports Quality care from one consistent and qualified care provider Enhances individual’s skills through powerful role models within the home Caregivers are given case management, training and support Matches are available for individuals of all abilities and challenges with caregivers who share common interests and lifestyles

Contact: Tara Jordan, Associate V.P. for Adult Services 405 Washington Street Hanover MA 02339 781-829-1240

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Congressman Joe Kennedy advocated for this grant, and sent this statement: “The Arc of Bristol County and New Hope, Inc. have spent decades providing support to the most vulnerable among us. These federal dollars will allow them to join forces in combatting an injustice far too pervasive in most American communities

Celebrating the $500,000 grant (L-R): Valerie Zagami, board member of The Arc of Bristol County; Michael Andrade, President and CEO, The Arc of Bristol County; Marcia Szymanski, President and CEO, New Hope, Inc.; and Lisa Nelson, regional assistant to Congressman Joe Kennedy.

– abuse and violence against those with disabilities. As a former prosecutor focused on domestic violence cases, I have seen firsthand how critical it is that survivors get the support they need to recover from trauma and move forward. For those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, accessing these resources can be a particular challenge. These federal dollars and the collaboration they support will help us ensure that no one suffering from the horror of domestic violence is left to fend for themselves. “ The grant will enable the agencies to hire a full-time staff member for each agency, who will collaborate on this initiative. The first year of the grant will focus on evaluation and planning, and years two and three will focus on implementation.


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

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

Achieve with us. Autism Housing Think Tank Day: collaboration and creative solutions On September 10, over 60 invitees participated in an all-day Autism Housing Think Tank. The group had representation from family members, people with autism, service providers, policy makers, finance professionals, developers, and designers. The Think Tank Committee members led small breakout sessions throughout the day and worked with profiles of individuals with autism to brainstorm housing options and identify models that might be built with public funds, private funds, or through public/ private partnerships. The final outcomes and recommendations will be shared with the housing


committee of the Massachusetts Autism Commission. This event was an excellent example of collaborative efforts within our community! The Arc would like to thank Autism Housing Pathways for their initiative and leadership, as well as Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts, Advocates, HMEA, and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council. Special thanks to each of the Think Tank Committee Members as well: Leo Sarkissian, Maura Sullivan, Michael Borr, Chris Hubbard, Karen B. Mariscal, Chris Supple, Dania Jekel, Michael Moloney, Jeff Keilson, Gyasi BurksAbbott, Cheryl Chan, Teresa

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Our advertisers help support the mission of The Arc of Massachusetts. Anderson Bell, Alicia Hintlian, Erica Ploof, and Charlotte Nunez. For more information contact Maura Sullivan at or check out

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Advocate Fall 2016  
Advocate Fall 2016