The Advocacy Alliance is underway!

Herb Cabral and Julie Heffernan join Kerry Mahoney in kicking off the Advocacy Alliance.  The purpose is to build long term capacity for advocacy at both the state and local levels.  The Arc Affiliates and other partners will identify leadership teams consisting of a family member, staff and a self-advocate.

Herb and Julie have been hired to coordinate grassroots advocacy efforts with local chapter affiliates and other partners.  They will … Read More…

Recommend Priorities for Becker Trust Grants for Innovation

We are looking for your input regarding nearly $1 million in grants from the Becker Family Trust. Last April, in conjunction with the Becker Center for Advocacy, trustees announced Innovation/Direct Impact grants to be distributed over two to three years. Our site here focuses on the Center’s advocacy and the trustees’ grants program.

The timeline has been changed for the grants program for two reasons. First, we want to … Read More…

Governor Proclaims Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Week

Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed September 10 – 16 Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week. We expect that the US Senate also will issue a proclamation, which Senators Warren and Markey signed onto last year.

The proclamation reinforces the important role DSPs play across many fields, including our own. We still have work to do to raise their compensation. The turnover has reached 40% in some regions of our country.  … Read More…

Labor Day: A Time also for Family Caregivers and Support Staff

The end of summer coincides with the Labor Day holiday. While Labor Day became a legal holiday in 1894, the first workers parade was held in New York City with 10,000 marchers in 1882.

With a formal title like “Labor Day,” it’s easy to forget family caregivers who often exhibit grace, resilience, and a steadfast commitment to those they love. More than 60% of adults with disabilities such as autism, … Read More…

Decision Making

In my 45 years of working with the disability community, the decision-making capacity of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities has been hotly debated. How you feel about this topic spills into voting, managing one’s financial affairs, and sexual expression.

Depending on where people stand on this issue, I’ve witnessed guardians, state officials, and program staff:

  • Encourage or restrict visitation
  • Obtain various resources so adult children could develop more … Read More…