Statewide Transition Conference for Parents


Statewide Transition Conference for Parents


September 20, 2014


Click here for More Info on the Conference!


Click here to Register!



Save the Date
The Arc of Massachusetts Benefit Dinner and Auction
Empowering People With Disabilities
Thursday, October 23 at 6:30pm 
The Westin Hotel  |  70 Third Ave  |  Waltham, MA 02451

Join us for a delightful evening in support of
the efforts of The Arc of Massachusetts on behalf of people with
disabilities and their families across the Commonwealth.


  We will be honoring two outstanding leaders for their strong
commitment to the Disability community:
Tracy Atkinson (State Street Bank) and
Susanna Peyton (Operation House Call).


All Aboard The Arc! 2014


Thank you to everyone who joined The Arc of Massachusetts on May 7, 2014, for The Arc's major rally to raise public awareness for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The day was a great success!  Check out the photos from the event and feel free to send us any of yours: click here to view photos.


For more information, please visit



The Arc of Massachusetts
Welcome to The Arc of Massachusetts
AATA BusDancersDougie, Maria, BarbaraSensTim and his brother

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Boston:  Governor Deval Patrick signed three disability bills into law on August 5th and 6th, which:  

  • increased access to services for individuals with autism and related disabilities
  • expanded choices and options in obtaining services and,
  • furthered the safety of those receiving services. 


A public signing ceremony is expected by the first week of September. Together, the bills reflect a major milestone in the evolution of service delivery in Massachusetts.  You can find the bills by clicking on the link here and going to the module – Governor Signs Three Key Disability Bills.  See our previous headline for a full report.


Posted in: Budget, News

A flurry of activity throughout the day resulted in resolution of many items in the Massachusetts State Legislature as the final day of formal session began on July 31.  We are pleased to report three top priority bills of The Arc and one supported bill made it through the session. We owe a strong debt of gratitude to the General Court, and Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray. 


Autism Omnibus –opens the door to many who need supports and services

Real Lives- places in statute self-determination for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and families

National Background Check-ensures a national safeguard for those hired to work directly with people served by DDS (Department of Developmental Services)


The passage of these three bills together makes this legislative period a significant landmark session for The Arc!

[Read more...]

Posted in: Budget, News

As the legislative session ends tonight at midnight we have 3 high priority bills that we hope will pass:
1.  Autism omnibus - includes DD eligibility and MassHealth autism services among other important features.
Status: amendments adopted in both branches last night -passed by House and at Senate today for enactment.
2.  Real Lives - places in statute DDS self- determination practices which allow for person-centered use of public funds.
Status: Amended bill passed Senate last night – is waiting in House for passage and return to Senate for final enactment.
3.  National Background Check bill - Mass. presently only checks Mass criminal background records for direct support staff  - builds on same process for teachers passed in 2012
Status:  passed House last night; waiting on Senate passage.

Posted in: News

The 36.5B fiscal year 2015 budget was finalized on June 29th and passed 144-7 in the House and unanimously in the Senate on June 30th.The budget made significant investments in services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive services from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Most notably was the investment to fund increases in the rate paid for long term residential services through CH257 - the first such rate increase in close to thirty years. 3M in funding was included for the employment initiative to place more individuals into integrated, community-based employment. The final budget included a 2.5M increase over last year for the Family Supports program. Transportation also received an increase over last year. The DESE/DDS program and Turning 22 were level funded from last year and there was a slight increase in the Autism Services line item.


Unfortunately, the Real Lives bill original language authored by Rep Sannicandro wasn't included in the final budget version.


To view the Conference Committee Report for FY'15 budget, visit this link and click on conference committee budget (H4242).  You can also see The Arc spread sheet here.


Posted in: Budget