Vinfen was honored to attend the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers’ (ADDP) 2018 Legislative Luncheon on January 23 at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, MA. Vinfen staff and persons served joined dozens of other service providers and community organizations, people with disabilities, family members, advocates, self-advocates, and legislators for the event.
The event was hosted by Mandy Nichols, Interim President & CEO of ADDP. After opening the luncheon, she was followed at the podium by Jean Phelps, ADDP Chair of the Board. “Today we are providing services in what is probably the most difficult of times,” Jean said. “We need and we must do more.”
After Jean, MA State Representative Kay Khan shed light on a piece of legislation that would create a registry of caretakers who had substantiated abuse against people with disabilities. Vinfen President and CEO joined Bay Cove Human Services President and CEO Bill Sprague to introduce State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. She and Representative Khan were honored for their work supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be active members of their communities.
Cornelius, a direct support staff member and immigrant from Zambia, shared his story of transitioning to human services work. He spoke about the positive effect supported employment and day programs have on the lives of people with disabilities and described his struggles to make ends meet when his wife was injured on the job and couldn’t work.
Executive Director for The Arc of Massachusetts Leo Sarkissian also spoke at the event, reminding all those in attendance of the importance of getting to know their legislators personally. Road to Responsibility President and CEO Chris White then took the podium to present the ADDP Representative of the Year award to Representative Patricia Haddad, Speaker Pro Tempore. She spoke about how access to higher education raises the ability of people with disabilities to be part of their communities.