The Arc of Massachusetts is pleased to announce that it has received a $10,000 Signature Grant from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. The funds awarded with this grant will be used toward the continued growth and expansion of The Arc’s successful healthcare training and advocacy program, Operation House Call.
Operation House Call (OHC) teaches future medical professionals essential skills to enhance the health care of persons with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Offered by The Arc of Massachusetts, OHC turns to families, parents and individual self-advocates as educators in a health care field that seldom focuses on more than making a diagnosis. It is a rare and important training opportunity. Through OHC, students begin to build confidence and interest in working with individuals with I/DD, including autism, and their families.
In particular, the funds from the Flutie Foundation will allow Operation House Call to expand its outreach to diverse populations, embracing the reality of health disparities in the care provided to people of color with autism. With the foundation’s generous support, OHC will be able to have an increasingly intersectional team of host families and co-teachers with autism.
“We know that health disparities exist for individuals with autism and I/DD. These disparities can be especially grave to those who don’t speak English or speak it as a second language, or come from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds,” said Maura Sullivan, Director of Operation House Call. “This grant will help medical students and health professionals learn directly from these families. We aim to grow knowledge, confidence and compassion in our students.”
“The Flutie Foundation Signature Grants help our partner agencies address a variety of significant needs in the autism community,” said Nick Savarese, Executive Director of The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. “Programs like Operation House Call are helping people on the autism spectrum live life to the fullest and we are proud to support their efforts.”
For 65 years, The Arc of Massachusetts has been working to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, and their families. We fulfill this through advocacy for community supports and services that foster social inclusion, self-determination, and equity across all aspects of society. To learn more, visit www.arcmass.org, follow @TheArcofMass on Twitter, or join our Facebook community.
The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism (DFJFA) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation helping families affected by autism live life to the fullest. Through programs and partnerships, DFJF helps people with autism get access to care; lead more active lifestyles; and grow toward adult independence. NFL Quarterback Doug Flutie and his wife Laurie, whose personal experience raising a son on the autism spectrum inspired their passion to help other families, established the Foundation in 1998. DFJFA primarily serves families throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, and Central Florida. For more information on The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, visit www.flutiefoundation.org.