The Advocacy Alliance is underway!

Herb Cabral and Julie Heffernan join Kerry Mahoney in kicking off the Advocacy Alliance.  The purpose is to build long term capacity for advocacy at both the state and local levels.  The Arc Affiliates and other partners will identify leadership teams consisting of a family member, staff and a self-advocate.

Herb and Julie have been hired to coordinate grassroots advocacy efforts with local chapter affiliates and other partners.  They will provide training on effective advocacy and issues important for people with I/DD, including autism, and their families.  The leadership teams will evolve to influence policy area such as self-determination, employment supports, family supports, residential services, etc.

Please help us welcome Herb Cabral and Julie Heffernan!

Herb Cabral

Herb spent 40+ years in IT Services and has extensive experience in business development, staff management, P&L responsibility, and client success.  He has been an active advocate for his son Joe who has an autism diagnosis.  He is Co-Chair of the Department of Developmental Services Citizens Advisory for the Central Region.  Herb also is a special needs volunteer for Mass Advocates, HMEA and the East Coast Jumbos Special Needs Hockey Team.

Julie Heffernan

For the last thirty years, Julie Heffernan has taught English in a variety of settings (public and private; urban and suburban; middle school, high school, and college).  Most recently, she was an adjunct professor at Boston College (where she earned her M.A.T. in 1990 and M.A. in English in 2011).  She and her husband Dan, a special education attorney, have three children: Brian (26), Maggie (23), and Evie (21).  Julie has been active in the disability world since Brian’s birth in 1990 and has volunteered for a number of advocacy groups, including the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and Newton Public Schools’ disability awareness program, Understanding Our Differences. In 2002 she and her husband received the Dr. Allen C. Crocker Award of Excellence by the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress. She has also accompanied Brian to many of his speaking engagements at elementary schools, colleges, conferences, and legislative hearings and meetings, and has spoken with him on a number of occasions.

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