It’s Autism Awareness Month, and today, Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM) is hosting its annual Awareness and Acceptance Day at the State House. Progress has been made, but we can’t stop working toward achieving equal civil rights and opportunities for individuals with autism and other disabilities.
In the fall of 2017, the Trustees and Advisors of the Becker Family Trust in conjunction with the Becker Center for Advocacy received dozens of incredible applications for the Becker Family Trust Grants for Innovation.
Everything we do outside our home requires transportation: shopping, visits to family or friends, work, religious observance, and school. Historically, parents play the major role in transportation, even as the child becomes a teen and then an adult. How much a parent does varies with each family. Expectations are rising as new generations of families realize the barriers faced by their youth and adult offspring.
March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD 2018). When I was 13, Armen, the son of my dad’s first cousin, was welcomed into our extended family. He had Down syndrome, and at some family gatherings, I was assigned to watch him as the adults socialized. Although Armen’s family moved to California and I saw them infrequently after high school, he had a lasting impact on my life.
This week for a change, I’m sharing the words of three other individuals that spoke yesterday during the 40th Annual Legislative Reception, held by the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council and The Arc of Massachusetts. We recognized Senator Jamie Eldridge and Representative Denise Garlick, and ceremony participants included Governor Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Senator Karen Spilka. Despite the threat of weather, nearly 200 people joined us – and another 140 people tuned into our Facebook Live, which is still available to watch.
In the past few weeks, I’ve focused on inclusion by sharing Ryan’s success story and the outpouring of community recognition and affection at the passing of Andrew Lawson (local paper).