Advocacy Alliance News
In September, The Becker Center for Advocacy held a Family Appreciation Luncheon. Honorees were celebrated for supporting the mission of The Arc by:
- Attending meetings and legislative events
- Testifying at hearings on bills or budgets
- Writing letters, visiting and calling your Representatives and Senators
- Reaching out to other parents, family members to encourage their participation
- Posting on Facebook and other social media sites
The Arc appreciates their time and commitment to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, including autism, and their families!
On August 14, Minute Man Arc self-advocates Janice Smith, Valerie Lessa, and Nora McShane, along with staff member Yah-Bleelay Gaye, traveled to the Woburn Senior Center to meet with Congresswoman Katherine Clark’s Constituent Services Representative Jay Higgins. Mr. Higgins specializes in social security, medicaid, and medicare benefits (often referred to as “senior issues,” even though this group of benefits is important to the disability community, as well).
He was interested to hear the group’s concerns regarding MassHealth and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Mr. Higgins pointed out that Congresswoman Clark, who represents the 5th District of Massachusetts, holds regular office hours throughout her district (in Framingham, Waltham, Sudbury, Belmont, and Malden), which provide a great opportunity for her constituents to ask for guidance procuring these benefits.
Thank you, Minute Man Arc self-advocates, for sharing your stories and telling Mr. Higgins why MassHealth and SNAP are important lifelines for our community.
Written by Julie Heffernan
Advocacy Alliance Coordinator
On May 24, CLASS, Inc. held a workshop on Advocacy and Storytelling. Organized by Ana de la Cruz, Manager of the Adult Family Care Program, the training was very well attended by caregivers and CLASS employees, including Alfred Frugoli, the new President and CEO of CLASS / The Arc of Greater Lawrence. Julie Heffernan, The Arc’s Advocacy Coordinator, gave a presentation which first outlined The Arc’s current legislative goals and then illustrated how families can use their loved ones’ stories as tools for advocacy. Ms. de la Cruz translated the presentation, to ensure that it was accessible to all those in attendance. Written by Julie Heffernan.
El 24 de mayo, CLASS Inc. tuvo una reunión sobre abogar y Narración de su historia. Organizado por Ana de la Cruz, Directora del programa Cuidado Familiar para Adultos, el entrenamiento estaba lleno de cuidadores y empleados de CLASS, entre ellos Alfred Frugoli, el nuevo presidente y CEO de CLASS Inc/Arc de Gran Lawrence. Julie Heffernan, Coordinadora de Apoyo del Arc de MA, hizo una presentación donde primero resumió las metas legislativas actuales del Arc y después mostró como las familias pueden utilizar las historias de sus seres amados como herramientas para abogar por ellos. Sra. de la Cruz estaba de pie al frente al lado de Sra. Heffernan y tradujo la presentación, para asegurar que la informacion fuera accesible a todos los presentes. Translation by Evie Heffernan and Ana de la Cruz.