Another year has passed, and for some of us it seems only yesterday that we began 2014! It has been a year of happenings for people with disabilities and The Arc.
- ABLE Act just passed Congress: The seeds were planted years ago in the Governor’s Commission in Massachusetts, with the first bill sponsored by Rep. Crenshaw
- The Autism Omnibus Act (which includes an ABLE provision) opened the door to supports for those with autism and two other conditions that meet the criteria for developmental disabilities
- Real Lives Act will provide personal choice and expand present self-direction efforts
- Other bills such as National Background check (which ensures safety) and budget gains in the past year
We recognize the gifts of individuals with disabilities in a number of ways. Ricardo
Coloma, a young man with Down syndrome, played the cuatro accompanied by his father, Cesar, at our fall gala. In Operation House Call, co-teachers with disabilities share their stories in a dialogue with medical students and graduate students in the health care field. Scott Lentine has shared his voice through poetry and advocating with the team at the State House.
Parents have played a significant role in promoting the gifts and talents of their loved ones. Thirsty for knowledge, hundreds of parents attended a transition conference this year to learn about “best practices” on supporting their children’s dreams in the adult years. More movement toward community inclusion is also taking place due to parents’ and others efforts. This could not be done without your support.
New friends joined to help The Arc of Massachusetts in achieving its mission this year through the strong leadership of Tracy Atkinson and State Street Bank. And our capital campaign now enters its public phase as we have already exceeded $700,000 in gifts.
Many volunteer hours, many generous donors and staff efforts make the difference.
We need your help as we begin a new year.
Help us turn obstacles into opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Help show the world the unique gifts and talents that our family members and friends possess.
Thank you for your endless support
and have a Happy, Healthy New Year
from everyone here at The Arc.