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 & Transition Training

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.

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.


Split image of Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano (left) and Senate President Karen Spilka (right)Budget & PolicyLeo's LettersNewsWorkforce Initiative
November 3, 2022

Leo’s Letter: New Conference Budget Includes Focus On Staffing

The Arc is pleased to announce that the new House and Senate Conference Budget includes $225 million for rates with a focus on staffing. Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano…
Budget & PolicyCOVID19Government AffairsIn the MediaNewsWorkforce Initiative
October 14, 2022

Boston Globe Publishes Letter to the Editor on Workforce Crisis from Executive Director Leo Sarkissian

On Friday, October 14, 2022, the Boston Globe published a Letter to the Editor written by The Arc of Massachusetts Executive Director Leo Sarkissian. The letter was written in response to…
Budget & PolicyGovernment AffairsLeo's LettersNewsWorkforce Initiative
September 29, 2022

Leo’s Letter: No Equity – Isolation Continues for Many

The people that need help the most are NOT getting it. There are no statistics on this, but each time I talk to a program head, I hear the same…

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