One of our favorite shows – so sorry to see it go…
As we gear up to prepare for the new school year, so timely that MA Governor Charlie Baker just signed the final state budget that included the recommended increase from $1.7MM to $2MM to fund the MA Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI), a program supporting partnerships between public high schools and institutes of higher education to provide students with developmental disabilities the opportunity to participate in college with supports and services they need to be successful. Yay! This advocacy effort was led by Mass Advocates for Children – for more info about the budget request: https://massadvocates.org/…/2019/03/FY20FactSheet.MAICEI.pdf
Yay – finally employers will no longer be issued certificates to pay people with disabilities less than minimum wage!
Another reason to shop at Target instead of Amazon on Prime Day!
So sad that we still see such high termination rates of pregnancies diagnosed with DS. This beautiful story touched my heart, as I hope it will yours. “She’s given us a purpose and a joy that is impossible to express. She’s given us bigger smiles, more laughter and sweeter kisses than we’ve ever known. She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love.”
Having made statewide advocacy a hallmark in recent years, the MDSC has quickly established itself as a leader in disability policy. Already, we have helped move a number of pieces of legislation that are changing lives for the better- the Down Syndrome Information Act, Real Lives Bill, National Background Check Bill, and the most recently passed Organ Transplant Bill.
Connecting with legislators, and sharing our personal stories and challenges has been a major reason for our string of legislative successes. One of the most effective vehicles for doing this has been through our annual Down Syndrome Advocacy Day at the State House.
Each year, hundreds of members of the Down syndrome community gather at the State House for a lunchtime reception and speeches. After the formal ceremonies, advocates fan out throughout the building to meet with their legislators to tell their personal stories and lobby for Down syndrome priorities.
“Without your active participation and advocacy, the MDSC would never have been as successful as we have been,” says MDSC Executive Director Maureen Gallagher. “With your help, the MDSC has become a strong voice for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.”
Please join us and consider bringing any loved ones with Down syndrome, including children. Our Down Syndrome Advocacy Day not only provides a real world civics lesson, but for a few hours’ effort can result in real change for people with Down syndrome.
To view our current Statewide Legislative Platform, click here.
|Tuesday, May 9 from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM|
|Location: Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston|
Help us pack the Grand Staircase once again at our 4th Annual Down Syndrome Advocacy at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, May 9th.
We need your help to raise awareness with your legislators about our priority bills as well as critical funding needs. Please join us to make a difference in the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities in Massachusetts!
Please join us at the MDSC’s 33rd Annual Conference
Saturday, March 25, 2017 | 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
DCU Center, Worcester, MA #CountMeIn
Each spring, hundreds of people with Down syndrome, their family members, health care professionals and educators from across New England attend our Annual Conference. Participants gather to hear the latest research findings and important information from national and local experts on a range of topics related to Down syndrome. They also share stories, celebrate victories, advocate for acceptance and inclusion, and reunite with other MDSC families.
Our conference is for parents, educators, self advocates, brothers and sisters, other family members, and professionals.
COUNT ME IN THEME FOR 2017
Our community includes individuals with the full spectrum of interests and abilities, people of all different cultures and backgrounds, individuals with unique viewpoints and personalities. What ties us together? Ultimately, all people with Down syndrome and their families want to be COUNTED and deserve to be INCLUDED.
in 2017, we are excited to celebrate the possibilities and potential of all people with Down syndrome. Join us as we bring out Count Me In theme to life. REGISTER @ www.mdsc.kintera.org/
We are collecting photos for our Count Me In video collage. Email your photo (and your ‘Count Me In’ stories, if you have them)
to [email protected].
At our Annual Conference, we present awards for Employer of the Year, Media member of the Year, Educator of the Year and present the Crocker Award of Excellence. And our Awards Luncheon will feature the incredible achievements of the self advocates in our community, including:
**Collete Divitto, Owner, Collettey’s Cookies, Featured on CBS Nightly News
**Graham Campbell, Pianist
**Sindrome Down Folklore Latino Dance Troop and Good Morning America
If you attend our Annual Conference, you can choose among several tracks:
General Session Workshops – Parents, family member and professionals will learn from expert speakers about how to help individuals with Down syndrome acquire the necessary skills to lead fuller, healthier, more independent lives.
Self-Advocate Workshops – Young adults with Down syndrome will have an opportunity to network and share experiences, strengthen their self-advocacy skills, and learn about the importance of leading a healthy life and building meaningful relationships.
Brothers and Sisters Workshops – Siblings of people with Down syndrome will hear how other brothers and sisters deal with the joys and challenges inherent in being a sibling. Creates a forum for sharing stories and learning the importance of advocacy.
Education Workshops – Educators and parents will learn best practices for educating students with Down syndrome in an inclusive classroom, as well as the benefits of inclusion for all learners.
Hosted by Special Education Conference and School Fair
2017 SPAN Special Education Conference and School & 7th Annual School Fair
Thursday, March 23 | 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel, 181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, MA 01752
Matthew J. Deninger will discuss the upcoming Supreme Court case considering FAPE,the re-authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), formerly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
Afternoon panel: A specialist panel on “What’s Next for Special Education in Massachusetts?” features respected State Representative Alice Peisch, attorneys Eileen Hagerty of Kotin, Crabtree and Strong, Julia Landau, Esq., of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children, and Richard Robison of the Federation for Children with Special Needs. The panel will discuss the upcoming Supreme Court case on what constitutes FAPE, special education legislative changes in Massachusetts, and advocacy projects to influence Massachusetts special education law and policy.Free IEP Clinics: Discuss your specific situation and IEP concerns with an experienced Special Education Advocate/Parent Consultant.The Forum: Representatives from a wide range of Special Education Schools will present information regarding student profiles, program services, admission requirements and placement options to professionals within the special education field. View our list of attending schools.Also Exhibiting: A select list of Special Education Resource vendors and service providers.Who Will Attend: Parents, Special Education Advocates, Special Education Administrators, Special Education Attorneys, Out of District Coordinators, Therapeutic Service Providers, Therapeutic or Clinical Evaluators, Related Service Providers.