Advocacy and Empowerment

The Arc of Massachusetts plays a leadership role in advocating on both the state and federal levels to obtain services and supports for people of all ages with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This includes ensuring that elected leaders and public officials understand the needs of our constituents, advancing progressive regulations or policies, and working with the judicial system if needed. We encourage families and individuals to advocate for their personal goals.

Education, Trainings, and Webinars

The Arc provides a range of webinars and outreach sessions to assist families in their caregiving role and to educate them about resources that are available. We provide self-advocates, parents, educators, and other professionals the tools they need to assure positive transitions from school to adulthood, so they can be fully included in the community with access to housing, employment, and recreation. Our work with the Massachusetts Alliance for 21st Century Policy, including the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, involves both education and empowerment.

Operation House Call

Operation House Call (OHC) teaches new medical professionals essential skills to enhance the health care of persons with I/DD. Families, parents, and individual self-advocates serve as educators in a health care field that seldom focuses on more than making a diagnosis. It is a rare and important training opportunity for students at Boston University School of Medicine, Tufts Medical School, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Simmons College School of Health Sciences, and Yale University School of Nursing. Through OHC, students begin to build confidence and interest in working with individuals with I/DD and their families.


SUPPORTbrokers assists persons with disabilities achieve their vision. We accomplish this through planning, education, and advocacy. Consumers or families hire a support broker to help them find appropriate services and supports to thrive in their community. Brokers can help consumers find transportation, a place to live, someone to help them with daily living skills, a job counselor, and other linkages. They also can facilitate and create a person-centered plan and help consumers apply for Social Security or health insurance, among other benefits.

Pathways to Friendship (Widening the Circle)

Widening the Circle explores the benefits of relationships between people with and without disabilities and provides information on engaging in and sustaining those relationships. Building friendships can be especially challenging to people who have disabilities, whose relationships are often limited to family, paid staff, and others with disabilities. All people benefit from a diversity of relationships.


Budget & PolicyGovernment AffairsNewsWorkforce Initiative
February 25, 2024

FY25 Budget: Contact Your Representative to Ensure Governor Healey’s Workforce and DDS Investments Are Maintained!

Advocates: our first action alert for the FY25 budget is now available! Please take a moment to fill it out or customize it, then share it with your networks and…
Budget & PolicyGovernment AffairsNewsTurning 22Workforce Initiative
February 22, 2024

The Arc’s Government Affairs Team Hosts Briefing for Legislators on the Workforce Shortage Crisis, Need for Supporting Governor’s Historic Chapter 257 Funding

The Arc of Massachusetts held an excellent legislative briefing at the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday, February 21. Thanks to parent advocate Mona Roy for sharing her son’s story so…
a group of people sitting at desks in a classroomBudget & PolicyGovernment AffairsNews
February 19, 2024

A Busy Time for Trainings for The Arc Team – Budget and Legislative Advocacy, Autism Advocacy, and Social Change

The Arc has been busy with community trainings in recent weeks, covering budget and legislative advocacy, autism advocacy, and social change. This past month, Maura Sullivan presented in person to…

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