By STEVE FREKER
BOSTON – State Sen. Jason Lewis, a Democrat representing Malden and Melrose, was honored in a State House ceremony as “Legislator of the Year” by The Arc of Massachusetts for his continuous legislative efforts to protect the rights and enhance the lives of those with disabilities.
State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg presented the award in a ceremony attended by Gov. Charlie Baker and other top legislative leaders.
Lewis is a long-time advocate for the intellectually and developmentally disabled and their families. The second-term senator helped expand Operation House Call, a program to educate medical professionals on how to address the unique health care needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
He was also honored for his work to help pass a law to prohibit discrimination based on disability in access to organ transplantation.
Lewis said he is grateful to be able to represent the needs of those with disabilities in the Legislature. One of the parallel organizations serving the disabled along with The Arc, which was founded in 1955, is Triangle, Inc. in Malden, which provides work training, job placement and other services to many disabled residents of Malden, Medford and other communities in the region.
“I’m honored to receive this award, and I look forward to continuing our work to improve the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families,” Lewis said.
Lewis serves as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health and Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.
He said he looks forward to supporting efforts to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to work independently in their communities.
“Through my work with statewide organizations like The Arc of Massachusetts and local advocates like Triangle, which is based in Malden, I have gained valuable insight on how state government can play a meaningful role to help enhance the independence of individuals and support their effort to maximize their potential and ability to play active roles in their communities,” Lewis said.