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There has been lots happening here at MassFamilies recently and we wanted to share an update with you!

On February 28, 2022, our Northeast Regional Coordinator, Maryann Welch, presented to the Seven Hills community on Charting the Life Course. 105 participants registered for this presentation where Maryann shared the framework’s core belief, principles, and the three best tools for transition age individuals. A participant from Worcester said, “This presentation is a powerful tool for families and individuals to use to communicate their needs and advocate for the supports that they need.” MassFamilies is pleased to provide trainings like this thanks to several members being certified Charting the LifeCourse Ambassadors.

On March 1, 2022, MassFamilies co-hosted their last of four sessions in the “Working Together” series which was presented by Leslie Hughes from MAC and focused on autism laws and inclusion. A parent from Methuen said the training provided, “Great information and resources.” MassFamilies would like to thank Massachusetts Advocates for Children and The Arc of Greater Haverhill and Newburyport for partnering with us to make this fantastic Special Education Law Series happen.

For the first time in the Family Leadership Series, three regions were able to participate in a two-part remote Family Leadership Series. Families heard from council members from the Starfire organization, Tim Vogt and Carol Combs, on how they empower families to look beyond their loved ones disability and create community projects based on their loved ones’ joys rather than their disability. We were lucky enough to have six families share their stories of success in fulfilling their vision.

On March 12, 2022, Notheast, Southeast and Central will convene virtually for the Family Leadership Series and participants will learn about the state budget from Massbudget.org. On March 26, 2022, Central and Southeast regions will come together and demystify the legislative processes and use this knowledge in creating a vision for our loved ones.

It was nice to see all three regions unite for the first time and even create their own pseudo-community project. The FLS is doing what it has always done– connecting families and creating bonds that will last a lifetime.