Communication as a Human Right

By Terry Robertson, EdD

It was our birthday. When I got to my twin sister Sherry’s house, she was sitting on the sofa in a pretty birthday outfit, complete with red lipstick. I was grateful for the big smile and hug she gave me when I arrived, and together we headed out for birthday dinner.

Along the way I updated my twin sister on everything going on in our family. Being non-verbal, Sherry smiled quietly and gently rocked back and forth in her seat, using elongated vowel sounds every now and then to echo sounds I made. I ordered the Chicken Special for each of us – I thought it would be a nice birthday treat. Sherry inhaled down her dinner roll, and I could see her staring intensely at my roll from across the table. “I know, you want my roll, right?” I laughed, and handed it over. We both had … Continue Reading

Adult Family Care Today

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By Heather C. Hess, AFC Program Manager, LSW

The Adult Family Care (AFC) program provided by our agency, and funded by Mass Health, is steeped in the fundamental belief that people with disabilities, those with a chronic illness, and the elderly have a right to receive their care at home or in a home placement. Choice leads to independence and dignity for the member, which helps foster a more meaningful and successful outcome. This is paramount to the success of the AFC Program.

At The Arc, we believe that part of our role is to help reduce stress for caregivers and decrease burnout. We are often the only contact families and members have. “Taking care of a loved one is hard work,” said Nayda Cristian, our Bilingual AFC Assistant Program Manager. “Having a team to support you and cheer you on makes the difficulties a bit less challenging. At the … Continue Reading

The Power of Peer Support

Arc Barbara

“There is a certain power created when people of similar life experiences come together around shared issues and are able to support each other.” – Barbara Pandolfi, Peer Support Manager.

The notion of Peer Support is widely acknowledged as a legitimate form of support in our personal lives, as well as in many fields and disciplines. What distinguishes this form of support is that it is provided primarily by peers and mentors.

Here at The Arc, we focus on gifts and talents and look at the person not the impairment. The goal of peer support is to provide people with disabilities access to new and empowering opportunities which give them more choice and control over their life.

Peer Support is funded by the Department of Developmental Services and offers information for people with disabilities to share knowledge and experiences as well as emotional, social and practical help. It … Continue Reading

Staff Post: Abigail Eaves, Director of Programs

Arc Staff

Recently, we celebrated The Arc of GHN’s 55th Annual Candlelight Ball. Once again, staff, families and people receiving supports came together for a night of fun, laughter and good food. It was a pleasure to be around the energy of so many compassionate people. This year’s theme was Family, Friends and Community; a theme which captures the elements that makes this agency such a wonderful place to work and which are the bedrock of our mission. In particular, it is our sense of community that strikes me as the driving force behind our efforts and the relationships we build.

“It is not more bigness that should be our goal. We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to….the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility…and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives…”  Robert F. Kennedy

At The Arc we believe that community … Continue Reading