Advocacy can mean many things both in regard to what and the how. The what for us is—working toward policies, funding, laws, regulations and other types of outcomes which advance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. On a simple level, the “how” means encouraging, pleading, urging, and providing justification. But it gets more complex when you apply the “how” to “where”. There is the administration of the state or federal government, the legislature, the courts, school committees, etc.

Bill Priorities

Our bills advance areas such as healthcare, housing, protection, education and family support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism.

Policy Issues

Policy issues cover changes within government at state or regional levels which impact the ways services are delivered or rights are enforced. MassHealth covers several important community living services in addition to health care.

Go to to join the advocacy efforts of MA21 to make sure DDS Self-Direction follows the Real Lives Law. The Massachusetts Alliance for 21st Century Disability Policy (MA21) was formed in 2007 to protect the right of people with disabilities to self-direct, and through its efforts helped pass the Real Lives Law in 2014.

State Budget

Each January the Governor releases his version of the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on July 1st. Each branch of the legislature (House and Senate) in turn develops a budget on which they ultimately agree and send to the Governor for his signature prior to July 1st.

Advocacy Tools

In this section, you will find various tools to navigate the information on public policy such as Advocacy Guides, How You Can Help, Public testimony, and Useful Information.

Insider's View

Insider’s View offers constituents a chance to get to know the members of the Massachusetts legislature and hear from them directly about their involvement with the disability community.

GA Committee Opportunity to Participate

The Government Affairs Committee consists of members of The Arc’s 17 chapters and other organizations, who meet once a month to discuss legislative priorities and advocacy actions.


Government AffairsNews
July 8, 2024

Act Now: Autism Police Training and the Blue Envelope Program Are Needed to Bring about True Community Policing for People with Autism!

Please Demand Ways & Means Committee Members Act so H2351/S1568 and S2542 Will Be Passed into Law! Advocates: we have two very important autism policing bills in a position to…
Government AffairsLeo's LettersNews
July 3, 2024

Leo’s Letter: Celebrating Independence for Individuals with Disabilities through the ADA and Olmstead

In this week's video message, as we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian takes the opportunity to highlight two important advancements for people with disabilities: the 25th…
Budget & PolicyGovernment AffairsNewsWorkforce Initiative
July 3, 2024

As the 193rd Legislative Session Winds Down, Here Are The Arc’s Updated Legislative Priorities

As we enter the last month of the 193rd legislative session, The Arc of Massachusetts is celebrating our victories on our workforce priorities through the budget! We know that our…

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