Don’t Let Our Achievers be the Exception
At our 2018 Gala, The Arc of Massachusetts recognized six people for their accomplishments and perseverance at our Expect Success: Celebrating Achievers Gala. These “achievers” are inspirational and are terrific examples of what people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, are capable of.
As exceptional as these six people are, we should not think of them as the exception.
Bruce, Helen, Isaiah, Jonathan, Riley, and Tess represent thousands of people with disabilities in Massachusetts who are able to make their dreams a reality, because they receive the support, guidance, and services to do so.
Unfortunately, these supports and services are under siege.
We face the tremendous – and frightening – possibility that there will be cuts to funding and changes to how resources are allocated in the very near future, primarily due to changes at the national level. Families and their ability to advocate for services and supports for their loved one play a key part in each of our achievers’ stories.
Supports and services are critical to taking the individual’s and their family’s desires to achieve from the realm of vision to accomplishment, and advocacy is essential to ensuring that the training, education, transportation, employment, and daily services are available. And just as personal advocacy makes things happen for family members, advocacy at the state and federal level ensures that people with disabilities will have access to services. By contacting your legislators, participating in advocacy days on Beacon Hill, supporting The Arc of Massachusetts, you are making a difference.
These activities are more important than ever.
Everything is at risk – from early intervention to Adult Family/Foster Care to autism supports to employment. In Massachusetts, Medicaid makes programs run by the Department of Developmental Services and MassHealth possible.
To get the help needed requires advocacy and remaining vocal. And with your support, we can do that.
Your contribution will make it possible for The Arc of Massachusetts to keep up the fight not only on the state level, but nationally, too. We can lead a larger delegation of self-advocates, family members, and professionals to Washington, DC in April to speak with members of Congress and their staff members about funding for disability.
We can collect and share stories that show the impact of adequate services with state legislators to give numbers on a page a real face, a real name.
We can guide people with disabilities and their families through the complicated eligibility process by providing information, handbooks, and webinars.
We can teach medical students and professionals the essential skills they will need to enhance the healthcare of people with autism and I/DD, to have the confidence and an interest in more than a diagnosis.
We can continue to fight against cutting and capping Medicaid. There is no time limit on the need for disability services; they have to be available for the entire lifespan.
We can – and will – do all of these things.
But not without you.
Make a real difference right now by taking two simple steps. First, give to The Arc of Massachusetts and support our advocacy, education, and outreach. Then, sign up for our emails and keep informed on how you can be involved. Just visit www.arcmass.org and click on the subscribe button.
Can you give today so we can do all these things and more?
Only with your commitment and generosity will people with intellectual and developmental disabilities get the services and supports that they need and deserve.
The stories of our six achievers are inspirational and serve as touchstones. With grit, determination, and services and supports, they are wonderful examples of what can be accomplished.
Don’t let them be the exception.
You can help all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live an exceptional life. Please give today!