Leo’s Letter: Uncertainty

On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed an additional $320 million from the legislature’s state budget, including a cut of more than $7 million from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) budget. The impact of the reductions mean uncertainty for many people and this will be heightened by the continued uncertainty caused by Capitol Hill policy makers. Although we believe that the legislature will override the Governor’s vetoes, we don’t know for certain. This week US Senate Majority Leader McConnell said, “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” He added that he will keep trying. Those attempts may affect both the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. Again, an uncertain future is leaving states, service providers, and recipients in confusion. In a 2016 Forbes opinion piece, Neil Howe wrote, “When we leave our comfort zone, everything changes. We no longer know how the world works. We become anxious and fearful… Minutes turn into hours.” In confusion, Howe says people act. We know many people with disabilities will be wondering about their future. They will be looking for certainty. But it’s not about just this year. Are we facing a decade-long fight over Medicaid and health care? What will that mean for the services that our constituents require?  Multiply the clouds caused by today’s uncertainty hundred-fold! When we face uncertainty, we often avoid planning for the future. When we act quickly, disappointing outcomes follow. Let’s not bend to uncertainty. Let’s act where we know we can make a difference.  Join us in building a more certain future!

Leo’s Letter: Turning 22

Governor Baker’s inaugural speech in January 2015 touched on schools, opioid addiction, and giving hope to people struggling in economically-challenged communities. His speech quoted JFK with a call for government “to be as efficient, responsive and innovative as it can be.” This is something The Arc has embraced in calling for continual evolution of services and responsiveness to families. Continue reading

Leo’s Letter: “Passion As Pathway…” Raising Expectations

Some time ago we talked about individuals who used their personal “passion” to find a pathway to living a fuller life. It can be a pathway to communication, a peaceful respite from the challenges or drudgery of the week, or a path to a fulfilling role. Somewhere in each of us there is that thing or idea which inspires us. We all can benefit from loved ones, friends or mentors helping us become aware of our passion. As one mom exclaimed, “There is a light bulb in Stephen waiting to light up.

Courtesy of ABC Continue reading