Legislative Lunch

March 14, 2016

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On March 9, 2016 two Latham staffers attended The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council and The Arc of Massachusetts 38th Legislative Reception. With the theme, “Celebrating the Strength of Individuals and Families,” politicians, parents, businesses, non-profits, and individuals with special needs all came together to celebrate the successes of the past year and the hurdles we face as a community.
State Representative Ronald Mariano was honored with Massachusetts Development Disabilities Council Award and State Senator Joan Lovely was honored with the Arc of Massachusetts Award. Both spoke to the group about political experiences and uplifting moments within the field. Mother and son duo, Angela and Isaiah Lombardo, spoke about Isaiah’s ride to success as an adult resident with special needs and the future they see for the family.
After so many encouraging anecdotes, it was only fitting that Lydia Brown, Chairperson of the Massachusetts Development Disabilities Council, presented the audience with a call to action. In her inspiring speech, she spoke not of her life with disabilities, but rather how she’s made life work with her specific and special abilities. As she closed the meeting she faced a standing ovation and it was clear she had impacted everyone in the room.
Let this be an inspirational reminder to us all. At Latham Centers we are fortunate to be in Massachusetts, a state at the forefront of addressing needs of those with Developmental Disabilities. While it is a constant struggle to find the proper funding and programs, we can and will continue to fight for our rights. As Lydia said: ‘Let’s be active in this fight, and be leaders to the next generation of parents, children and adult residents that will inevitably learn to face the hardships of what it means to have special needs.’

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