BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council and the Arc of Massachusetts honored state Sen. Jennifer Flanagan, D-Leominster, with the Legislator of the Year award during their 36th annual legislative reception.

"Senator Flanagan is a tremendous ally of the advocacy community and has taken strong positions on issues that truly matter to individuals with developmental disabilities," said Dan Shannon, executive director of MDDC. "We look forward to continuing to work with her on this important issue."

MDDC chose Flanagan as the recipient of the Legislator of the Year award for her continued support of legislation to support people with developmental disabilities. During discussions for the fiscal 2014 budget, Flanagan, who is vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, successfully advocated for increased funding for the Turning 22 program, Family Support Services program and Community Day and Work programs.

Flanagan is currently working with her colleagues to advance the priorities set by the Autism Commission, including legislation to expand the Department of Mental Health and Department of Developmental Services service options for individuals with autism.

"I am so honored to have been chosen by the MDDC," said Flanagan. "I see the work that the MDDC does in my District and around the commonwealth; they truly strive to make lives better. I'm very humbled."

The MDDC is an independent agency, funded by the federal government, dedicated to empowering people with developmental disabilities and their families to enjoy full and productive lives by promoting self-sufficiency, community inclusion and opportunity. For information about the council, visit mass.gov/mddc or find us on Facebook.