Vinfen attended the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers’ (ADDP) Annual Legislative Luncheon on January 26 in the Great Hall of Flags at the Massachusetts State House. ADDP President and CEO Gary Blumenthal hosted the event, which brought together over 300 legislators, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their family members, advocates, self-advocates, and providers. To kick off the luncheon, Vinfen President and CEO Bruce Bird introduced MA House of Representatives Speaker Robert DeLeo, who proudly recounted the landmark legislation that has recently been passed in support of people with disabilities.
Governor Charlie Baker was presented with the ADDP’s 2016 Elected Official of the year award by ADDP Board Member and CEO of Advocates, Inc. Diane Gould, President, CEO, and Founder of Riverside Community Care Scott Bock, and CEO of Northeast Arc Jo Ann Simons. The award recognized the Governor’s continued support of the disability community, and cited his funding for direct support salaries, his unique understanding of the human services field, and his Administration’s commitment to inclusion and transparency in government. The Governor accepted the award on behalf of his entire Administration, crediting them for the victories in legislature and funding that have been made over the past year.
The luncheon featured the live performance of an original song by singer and pianist Tori Ackley and testimonials from a person served through the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) and a parent of a person with disabilities. Massachusetts State Representative Kay Khan, recipient of the Public Official of the Year Award at Vinfen’s 8th Annual Celebration of Family Partnerships, pointed out the dozens of legislators present when she addressed the audience. Also in attendance were DDS Commissioner Elin Howe and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commissioner Adelaide Osborne, who both spoke to the future of services for those with developmental disabilities.
At the end of the luncheon, attendees were invited to seek out their legislators, armed with information on some of ADDP’s legislative goals for the upcoming fiscal year: increasing support to families and promoting work and self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.
To read up on ADDP’s “asks” for the upcoming year, click here.
To find your legislator, click here.