The Arc Shares Historical Material With Brandeis Archives

crowd with signs historicalAs The Arc celebrates 60 years of advocacy, we have taken a major step in the construction of a new headquarters building in Waltham: moving to temporary offices.  Staff worked together over several months to prepare for the move. The move and the construction are being funded by our Home for the Future Capital Campaign, which has raised more than $800,000 toward our goal of $1.6 million. Since the existing building  needed to be demolished to make room for a new one, everything in the building needed to be moved or stored, including decades of historical materials.  We soon discovered that this was going to be the most daunting aspect of the move. In addition to documents showing our work on advocacy and policy development,  we found hundreds of articles, memorabilia, and numerous unique items. We realized that preserving this history was very important and that we had to find a way to preserve it and share it with others. Our search for a home for these historical pieces led us to Brandeis University, which is just up the road from The Arc. Brandeis has a wonderful social justice collection in the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collection. These archives include the collections of Samuel Gridley Howe, Gunnar and Rosemary Dybwad, and Irving Zola.  The University graciously accepted a large portion of The Arc’s historical material to place in that public collection. “We are excited to be able to share this material with Brandeis, researchers and the wider community. The Brandeis collection will be supplemented with a record of disability advocacy in Massachusetts, some of which had national implications.  There is much valuable information for research and education,” said The Arc’s Executive Director, Leo Sarkissian.  The close working relationship with the Heller School at Brandeis can be discovered too given the roles of Gunnar Dybwad, Marty Krauss, and others. The materials are being processed, and once they have been added to the collection, they will be available for public view at the University. The other collections housed there can be viewed now.  To make an appointment to view the material call  781-736-4686, or email Click here for more information on our capital campaign. Continue reading

Supporting Families Through Family Support

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). Continue reading

Great Progress On The Arc’s Priority Bills

ohc class photoS1179 / 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. Continue reading

New Ways and Means Testimony

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. Continue reading