Sometimes we just need resources to take advantage of opportunity. That’s true of all of us. Last week, I shared some of Ryan Horrigan’s story. He and his parents persisted at building avenues for success. Similarly, Jonathan Huggon, one of our six “Expect Success” Achievers, worked throughout his youth with the support of his family to achieve. Ryan, Jonathan, and their families did their homework, sometimes sacrificed, and learned what they could about opportunities.
But Ryan and Jonathan needed the educational system as youth and assistance from the Department of Developmental Services or MassHealth as adults to fully realize the opportunities ahead of them. Our advocacy for funding is not some vague goal about which we can be indifferent. We are off to a great start with Governor Baker’s Turning 22 and Adult Omnibus accounts showing the levels needed for our high school graduates.
But more needs to be done as the House and Senate membership review their priorities. We still have a ways to go to see the integration promised in the previous administration come to fruition in employment, day, and transportation services. We also have people who are older with unmet needs with intellectual or developmental disabilities. And there are the Supporting Families priorities, such as Family Support, that make a difference and recognize the caregiver role of parents or siblings.
Please don’t be indifferent to resources that allow families and individuals to make the most of the opportunities they have worked hard toward receiving. Please contact your representative and senator today with the fact sheets we have posted. You can download our budget request now. If the legislator or aide wants a budget chart, you can find that here as well.
As legislators talk to their respective Ways and Means Committee Chairs, the time is now to share your story, your family’s story, or even a friend’s story.
Leo V. Sarkissian