The Arc participated in a hearing earlier this week in front of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities. Two top priority bills were heard: H212, Universal Changing Tables, and H172, enhancing hospital care for patients with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities (Hospital Training).
Partnering with Changing Spaces Massachusetts, The Arc has helped develop fast growing community and legislative support for Universal Changing Tables. Maura Sullivan, Kathleen Amaral, Jayme Betts, Karen Romano, Marcie Randall, and more then a dozen other advocates for inclusion and human dignity gave powerful testimony about the challenges of finding appropriate changing spaces for adults in the majority of our public spaces across the commonwealth. Families resort to taking care of toileting needs on a dirty bathroom floor, a space with no privacy, or crammed into a vehicle – or worse, they don’t go out at all! We thank Representative Sean Garballey for his testimony and support!
Along with our Government Affairs Director Maura Sullivan, The Arc assembled a dedicated team that showed up in person and virtually and provided written testimony for H172, Hospital Training. This bill will develop standards of care for patients with autism and IDD, as well as require continuing education credits. Again, our legislative champion Representative Garballey provided testimony and big thanks to Representative Ryan Hamilton for his support as well.
Written testimony is still being accepted for both of these bills. You can contact Maura Sullivan at Sullivan@arcmass.org for more information.