From The Arc of the United States!Tony

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A newsletter for chapters that connects, engages and informs. MARCH 19, 2012
  Letter from the CEO
Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc
Peter V. Berns
CEO of The Arc
Welcome to The Arc’s Newest State Chapter
We are pleased to welcome AWARE, a nonprofit with and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Montana, as the newest state chapter in The Arc network. In becoming a state chapter, AWARE will provide a presence for The Arc in a state where we have, in recent years, been absent. Larry Noonan, CEO of AWARE, reports that his team is already very active with Montana’s Congressional delegation and in state and local policy advocacy throughout the state, and looks forward to doing even more. AWARE is also the publisher of Apostrophe magazine, a publication by and about people with developmental disabilities, which the group looks forward to sharing with their new colleagues in The Arc network.
That leaves only one state – Vermont – where there are no state or local chapters of The Arc. There are eight additional states where we have at least one local chapter, but not a state chapter: Alaska, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota & Utah. Do you know an organization that would be a good fit to become a state or local chapter of The Arc? If so, let us know by contacting Dee Dee Eberle, Director of Chapter Organizing and Advocacy at As always, you can reach me at
  Resources & Opportunities
PurchasingPoint Reduce Overhead with The Arc’s Group Purchasing Program
Reduce overhead expenses and increase savings in 2012 with The Arc’s Group Purchasing Program – PurchasingPoint. The Arc’s national office invites Chapters to register for this new national discount program which will provide access to discounts on a vast range of products and services through group purchasing power. Find out more about how you can save on office supplies, car rental, copiers, postage equipment, shipping, medical supplies, and more during a webinar on Wednesday, March 28 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Or find out more about this exciting new program at the invitation code: thearc1950). Questions? Contact Darcy Littlefield.
GoDirect Help the People You Serve “Go Direct”
The countdown is on to the deadline for switching to electronic deposits for those who receive federal benefit payments. By March 1, 2013 all federal benefit recipients must receive their Social Security and other benefit payments electronically in a move that will help taxpayers save $1 billion over 10 years and will greatly decrease the risk of identity and check theft faced by recipients of mailed benefits. This will impact many of the people you serve. However, the Treasury Department has attempted to make it easy to set up electronic payments through its “Go Direct” campaign. Organizations such as Chapters of The Arc can take advantage of a variety of free materialsto help the people they serve better understand and act on the mandate to switch over to all-electronic benefits such as newsletter copy, fliers and poster, videos and PSAs and a Countdown Clock you can embed on your website. Plus, the Treasury Department offers free financial education materialsfor the public on its “Go Direct Money Matters”page at
Disability Policy Seminar 2012 Disability Policy Seminar to Include Capitol Hill Reception
Join us for the 2012 Disability Policy Seminar and be treated to a special event, for seminar attendees only, on Capitol Hill hosted by the office of the Honorable Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator from Iowa. On Tuesday evening, April 23, attend an evening reception of light hors-d’oeuvres and drinks and a rare opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow advocates and Capitol Hill staffers. If you have already registered for the Seminar, we need your RSVPfor this special event. If you have not yet registered, please visit disabilitypolicyseminar.organd sign up today. Early bird registration and room rates end March 20 and you must RSVP to attend the reception no later than April 1.
Real Economic Impact Help Dispel Tax Time Myths
National Disability Institute’s Real Economic Impact Tour is working to dispel tax time myths with a “Just the Facts” campaign including PSAs, audio clips and information about the Earned Income Credit, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other tax issues for people with disabilities. Check out their blog for more informationand take advantage of FREE resources to help you get information to the people you serve.
  News & Action Items
The Arc of Pennsylvania The Arc of PA Joins Advocacy Groups to File Lawsuit
The Arc of Pennsylvania is joining other advocacy groups in filing a lawsuit on March 14 against the state’s governor and the its lead agency for intellectual disabilities and mental health services over proposed 20% cuts to critical services for people with disabilities. Read their petition and press release about the lawsuitor go to thearcpa.orgfor more information.
The Arc of Indiana The Arc of Indiana Helps Tornado Victims Through Texts
The Arc of Indiana is providing individuals with disabilities who were affected by the recent tornadoes outbreak with prepaid Visa cards. They are collecting text donations via cell phone to make it easy for individuals to donate to help with immediate needs such as disaster relief or grassroots advocacy actions. One-time donation of $10 are simply added to mobile phone bills or deducted from a prepaid balance. If you would like to donate, you can text “The Arc” to 20222. Or you can find out more about this Chapter’s experiences with mobile donations by contacting Jill Vaughtat The Arc of Indiana.
St. Louis Arc Flash Mobs Take Over St. Louis
On March 7 St. Louis Arc employees, families and friends staged three “flash mobs” at three city landmarks in honor of the “Spread the Word To End the Word” campaign. Multiple media outlets covered the “mobs” including local news channel (KSDK/Channel 5) which interviewed Grace Mehanabout the “R-word.” Grace is an active participant in St. Louis Arc’s Neighborhood Experiences program and a self- advocate. Photos can be seen on Patch.comand aerial footage is now on this Chapter’s YouTube channel.
Easter Seals Arc of Northeast Indiana Easter Seals Arc of Northeast Indiana Receives NISH Award
The NISH (National Institute for the Severely Handicapped) presented the NISH Certificate of Achievement 2011 to Easter Seals Arc of Northeast Indiana in recognition of high standards of performance maintained in providing a product/service for the Federal government under the Ability One Program.
Baby shoes The Arc of the Midlands Draws Attention to the “Step-Up” Campaign
The Arc of the Midlands (SC), formerly The Arc of South Carolina, littered the steps of the State House with 1000 shoes for Disability Advocacy Day as part of a “Step-Up Campaign” sponsored by The Arc and The Autism Society. The shoes were meant to represent the 903 people in South Carolina with disabilities living with aging caregivers to demonstrate to legislators how many people need help. Check out the story and photos on the MSNBC website.
The Arc of Meriden-Wallingford The Arc of Meriden-Wallingford Showcases Aquaponics Operation for the Governor of CT
Gardeners, fish enthusiasts and Connecticut Governor Malloy were shown the best of gardening and fish life Thursday when The Arc of Meriden-Wallingford Inc. showcased its aquaponic food production system. The greenhouse operation is part of a program of The Arc for people with I/DD who feed the fish, sprout the seeds, compost and harvest the vegetables. Governor Malloy was joined by Terrence W. Macy, the state’s commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services, and state Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky.
  Online Education Opportunities
Laptop computer Only $20! The Arc’s E-learning Series Introductory Special!
Take advantage of a special introductory rate through April only on valuable E-Learning Seriessessions from The Arc. Every Thursday at 2:00 p.m. EST, The Arc offers opportunities for chapters to learn about and discuss topics important to the I/DD community without ever leaving your office. Now through April, attend informative and inspiring sessions for just $20 (more than half off the regular rate!). Even better, register now for “We’ve Got the Power”on April 5 for a FREE introduction to the voting campaign and changes for the 2012 elections!.
Siblings Learn How to Bring Siblings of People with I/DD Together
Celebrate National Sibling Day April 10 by joining The Arcand the Sibling Leadership Networkat noon Eastern Standard Time for “Getting Started: How to Bring Brothers and Sisters of People with Disabilities Together,”a FREE Webinar overview of the paths to successful networking. How do siblings learn about each other and meet? What issues draw people together? And, how do groups like The Arc’s National Sibling Councilmaintain momentum to keep siblings engaged and active? Find out more from leaders and siblings involved in Chapters of The Arc across the country.
Autism NOW logo Discover the “Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism” March 20
Join Autism NOW: The National Resource and Information Center and the writers of “Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism: A Very Necessary Book” tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. EDT to find out more about this one-stop resource for clear, thoughtfully presented, balanced, and referenced autism information. This guide was written for and from people with autism, professionals, and parents to share information they wish that they had when autism first became a part of their lives as well as to promote the understanding that autism awareness and acceptance are necessary attitudes in society today. Register today.
  Chapter Focus
 The Arc of Greater New Orleans Chapters Share Success Stories Online
In this and upcoming issues of Fusion, The Arc will feature news from Chapters participating in The Arc and Walmart Foundation-funded School-to-Community Transition Initiative. Forty-nine Chapters across the country have been awarded grants specifically to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their communities overcome issues related to transitioning from school to work, higher education or living in the community as an adult. Find out more about the “Seamless Transition” model developed by The Arc Los Angeles & Orange Counties (CA) to ensure students such as Richard don’t fall through the cracks once they leave high school. A transition plan was put into place to help Richard move seamlessly from his last day at school on Friday to The Arc’s Employment Preparation Program on Monday. Also, learn about how The Louisiana Green Corps transition members worked with community partners to provide valuable environmental services in and around New Orleans, giving Kyle Dixon the opportunity to work as a Crew Leader. Get more inspirational stories from other Chapters working on transition issues on our website.
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Brand Resources

Chapter Resources

The Arc logo
Brand Update
Every chapter in the state of Minnesota is currently licensed to use the new brand! And, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington State each have more than 80% of local chapters on board. How is your state doing?
Which Chapters have signed up to use The Arc’s new brand? Find out on our website.
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month – The Arc will be posting on Facebook, Twitter and our blog all month. Follow the conversation using #DDAware.
Autism Awareness Month is coming up in April. What is your chapter doing to raise awareness? Let us know and we may feature you on The Arc and Autism NOW’s social media channels. Email Shelly DeButtswith your plans.
Upcoming Events

Where’s Peter?

  • April 12: The Arc of New Jersey, Annual Meeting
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Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)