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 (IDD). 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 IDD. 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 IDD 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.


Government AffairsNews
July 8, 2024

Act Now: Autism Police Training and the Blue Envelope Program Are Needed to Bring about True Community Policing for People with Autism!

Please Demand Ways & Means Committee Members Act so H2351/S1568 and S2542 Will Be Passed into Law! Advocates: we have two very important autism policing bills in a position to…
Government AffairsLeo's LettersNews
July 3, 2024

Leo’s Letter: Celebrating Independence for Individuals with Disabilities through the ADA and Olmstead

In this week's video message, as we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian takes the opportunity to highlight two important advancements for people with disabilities: the 25th…
Budget & PolicyGovernment AffairsNewsWorkforce Initiative
July 3, 2024

As the 193rd Legislative Session Winds Down, Here Are The Arc’s Updated Legislative Priorities

As we enter the last month of the 193rd legislative session, The Arc of Massachusetts is celebrating our victories on our workforce priorities through the budget! We know that our…

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