Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) has received the 2022 Legislator of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC).
The honor was presented to Friedman at the 44th annual legislative reception, cohosted by the MDDC and The Arc of Massachusetts. This event, held virtually this year March 8, serves as an annual forum for legislators, people with disabilities and their families, and other community members to celebrate March as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
Given her vocal and zealous advocacy on behalf of the disability community, Senator Friedman was a natural choice for MDDC’s prestigious Legislator of the Year Award. The MDDC lauded the senator’s work on issues that directly impact people with developmental disabilities and their families, including addressing the growing healthcare workforce crisis, enhancing mental health care access, and ensuring the most vulnerable in society are not left behind as the state continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, Senator Friedman has been a longstanding champion to protect medically fragile children at home. She is the sponsor of a bill to increase access to continuous skilled nursing services, an essential service for medically fragile children, which has been a priority policy issue for the MDDC for many years.
State Senate President Karen Spilka presented Friedman with her award during the legislative reception.
“The families here know far too well how difficult it is to navigate the complexities of a disability – whether it’s accessing much-needed services, grappling with higher costs, or ensuring increased or constant care for a loved one,” Friedman, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, said during the event, according to a March 17 news release. “These challenges have only been exacerbated by this global pandemic. Fortunately, the MDDC and the Arc are powerful advocates for individuals with disabilities, and one of my goals as a state senator continues to be to partner with organizations like these to do all that I can to help implement positive policy changes on behalf of families and individuals with disabilities.”
Friedman leads on disability issues
Friedman also indicated her support for a number of the MDDC’s priority legislative bills and vowed to continue to serve as an advocate and policy leader for the disability community in Massachusetts.
During the event, the MDDC and The Arc of Massachusetts issued their call to action with legislative priorities, and highlighted members of the disability community in Massachusetts, including self-advocates sharing their stories with legislators and others in attendance.
The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) is an independent state agency funded by the federal government to work with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to better support people with developmental disabilities and their families. To learn more, visit www.mass.gov/mddc.
The Arc of Massachusetts (The Arc) is a statewide advocacy organization representing 200,000 individuals with 17 chapters in the state. Its mission is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, and their families. To learn more, visit www.thearcofmass.org.
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This news announcement was published Friday, March 18, 2022. YourArlington volunteer Kim Haase prepared the news release for publication.
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