As we prepare to celebrate our 60th Anniversary on Thursday, November 19, we will be featuring our honorees in this space. Learn more about their contributions to The Arc of Massachusetts and how they have enhanced the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Spotlight Honoree: Neil Mckittrick
Attorney Neil McKittrick, a shareholder in the Boston Office of Ogletree Deakins, has represented persons with developmental disabilities in several significant lawsuits. The most prominent of these is Boulet v. Cellucci, a class action filed in federal court in 1999 on behalf of approximately 3,000 adults with developmental disabilities. The Court ruled that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had violated the Medicaid Act by placing class members on a waiting list for services. The Commonwealth subsequently agreed to settle the case in 2001 by providing $114 million worth of services to the class members over a five-year period. Neil served as the Class Monitor to ensure that the Commonwealth complied with its obligations under the agreement. This involved interactions with the Massachusetts Legislature from 2002 through 2006 to ensure that all of the agreed-upon funds were appropriated as required by the settlement agreement, and assistance to various class members and their families.
Neil has also filed amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court in other leading disability rights cases, including Olmstead v. L.C., a landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) case, on behalf of two women with development disabilities committed to an institution in Georgia against their will, and PGA Tour v. Casey Martin, an ADA case involving a professional golfer’s request to use a golf cart during PGA golf tournaments as an accommodation for his physical disability. As a result of his pro bono work, Neil received the 2001 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award and the 2001 Massachusetts Bar Association Access to Justice Pro Bono Publico Award.
Stewards: Sarah Gates
Sarah Gates was an active member of The Arc’s government affairs committee and a passionate advocate at the State House. She has generously supported The Arc for decades.
Public Officials: Barbara L’Italien
As a House member (now Senator) Barbara L’Italien’s leadership was reflected in advocacy for broadened eligibility for all, passage of an autism private insurance bill, new line item for children with autism, the change in the name of the Department and comprehensive recommendations through a Governor’s Commission on autism.
Corporations, Foundations, and Agencies: Nonotuck Resource Associates
Founded in 1972 by a group of parents seeking community care for their loved ones, Nonotuck Resource Associates has since helped transform the lives of hundreds of people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Nonotuck provides the personalized service through Shared Living and Adult Family Care and addresses the growing need for these non-traditional, value-based, in-home services.
Families and Volunteers: Anne Fracht
Anne Fracht advanced the voice of self-advocacy in the field through hundreds of hours of service. At The Arc, her selfless involvement has been reflected in the Tools for Tomorrow project and policy work to increase participant-directed services.
To learn more about this year’s honorees visit: http://thearcofmass.org/the-arc-of-massachusetts-60th-anniversary-gala-honorees/
Join us in celebrating 60 years at our Gala