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In the disability community, every missing dollar is keenly felt

The letter from Leo’s Sarkissian, executive director of the Arc of Massachusetts, regarding funding for the disability community cited statistics — the funding shortfall, the numbers, the state budget (“Disability community needs state to step up on funding,” Nov. 16). Didn’t that information seem a bit dry?

Not to those of us caring for our adult children with extreme challenges. While some may be able to walk, express feelings, and tend to basic needs, others require myriad equipment and assistance to simply request and eat a bowl of ice cream.

Caring for our children requires patience, physical endurance, humor, understanding, and love. Fiscal instability is not on their radar when they are hungry, uncomfortable, in pain, or lonely.


Since the closing in March of my daughter’s day center, our daily routine revolves around her care and well-being. We aim for regular neighborhood walks, and she patiently sat in her wheelchair listening to tunes as I planted more than 500 daffodil bulbs around the yard. Spring will be here any minute, right?

But make no mistake, no matter how many steps we took or bulbs I pushed into the ground, two thoughts continued to haunt me. The first is that when COVID-19 finally subsides, there may be no day program for my daughter. The second, and far scarier, is Sarkissian’s not-so-dry detailing of the effects of this virus on those with disabilities.

I am doing my best to ameliorate the latter, and I implore our governor to fund the former.

A huge bunch of daffodils awaits him.

Judith T. Heerlein