This issue features a spotlight piece on the incredible efforts undertaken by Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an honor roll of some incredibly deserving DSPs from chapters and partner organizations.
In addition, you will find the latest updates on the State Budget, Build Back Better funds, Operation House Call, and much more.
Read The Winter 2022 Issue
By Leo Sarkissian
Governor Charlie Baker released his final budget on January 26 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) Marylou Sudders provided her final review of the HHS portion of the budget proposal, which comprises more than 50% of the state expenditures. We want to recognize how extraordinary it is for a Secretary to stay through an entire two-term administration as Marylou has done.
Build Back Better Act Has Long-Term Funding for Home and Community-Based Services: Builds on Rescue Plan Boost
By Leo Sarkissian & Ellen Taverna
On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It provides federal funds to Massachusetts state, county, tribal, and local entities to respond to the public health and economic impacts created by the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes the disability community. The bill was a big victory for our community. Leadership from The Arc of the United States and advocacy by our chapters played a large role ensuring that Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) would be included in the bill.
By Maura K. Sullivan
The Arc of Massachusetts is excited to announce that we have formally launched our healthcare training webpage to educate healthcare providers working in hospital emergency departments. “Enhancing Care for People with Autism and IDD in the Hospital and Emergency Department” was designed for healthcare personnel who work in hospital settings but is available to all who are interested at www.arcmass.org/emergency.
Direct Support Professionals (DSP) are the staff or caregivers who are there daily to assist persons with disabilities live full lives in the community. Too often we don’t recognize the valuable role they play. We want to recognize the contributions of the individuals who dedicate part or all their lives to making sure people with IDD are healthy, happy, and safe.
John F. Kennedy, Jr. appreciated and recognized staff. He stated, “Quality is defined at the point of interaction between the staff member and the individual with a disability.” Fortunately, as you’ll read in these stories, we have staff who reflect the best attributes.