On March 23, in the Great Hall of the State House, The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the DDS Statewide Advisory Council celebrated the department’s family support program and recognized the families that highlight the program. Some of the individuals recognized were Evelyn Hausslein (Gunnar Dybwad Leadership Award) , Cathe Carpenter (Benjamin Ricci Commemorative Award Winner), Linda Cournoyer (Benjamin Ricci Commemorative Award Winner), and Dr. Robert Baldor, MD (2016 Allen Crocker, MD, Heath Services Award).
S1179 / H1932 passed through the Joint Committee on Public Health and is on its way! We have had great support this session for the medical and health professional training bill focusing in on the unique health care needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism. This legislation provides a certification through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts using the Operation House Call training model. Thank you to our dedicated leaders at the state house, Senator Jason Lewis, Senator Barbara L’Italien, and Rep Carolyn Dykema for their insights and collaboration. The Arc is thankful for the support of our constituents, the Operation House Call families across Massachusetts and our Government Affairs Committee.
On March 4, 2016 The Arc addressed its 2017 budget priorities at a public hearing at The Gardner Auditorium at The State House. The Ways and Means Committee Hearing was chaired by Representative Sean Garballey. Maura Sullivan, Dir. Of Gov.Affairs for The Arc called attention to the shortfalls in the line items for individuals who are “Turning 22”. Many will need a combination of supports and services including employment and transportation.