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 AffairsNewsWorkforce Initiative
September 25, 2023

Advocates: Ask Your Legislators to Act on the Workforce Crisis Now!

The Arc is grateful for the advocacy from our community regarding our top priority bills to raise the rates of pay for the DDS and MassHealth workforce (H171/S83) and to…
Government AffairsLeo's LettersNewsWorkforce Initiative
September 22, 2023

Leo’s Letter: How Four of The Arc’s Priority Bills Directly Affect Families

In this week's video message, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian provides an overview of how some of The Arc's priority bills directly affect the families we serve. The bills he discusses…
Government AffairsHealth PolicyNewsOperation House Call
September 21, 2023

Operation House Call Team Leads Week of Presentations – BU, Harvard, and Washington, DC

It’s been a busy week for the Operation House Call team. On Monday, Una Basak and Stephanie Lowell led a class at Boston University School of Medicine with coteaching from…

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