Celebrate Autism Awareness Month in April with The Arc and our Autism Now Project. Also The Arc is seeking partners within our membership on electronic recycling with the Walmart Foundation. See details below.


  Letter from the CEO
Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc
Peter V. Berns
CEO of The Arc
Why don’t they know that The Arc serves people with autism?
Last week, the CDC issued its latest estimates of the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Based on data from 14 states in its Autism & Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM), the CDC now estimates that 1 in 88 children, age 8, have autism. In the sites where IQ data were available, 38% were identified as having an IQ of 70 or below. The official report can be found on the CDC website. The CDC also released a “Community Report”to describe the state-by-state findings in a format that would be more understandable to the general public, while also listing some available resources in each state.
Curiously, The Arc is listed as a resource in only one of the 14 states where the ADDM is taking place. This is unfortunate given that The Arc is the single largest provider of advocacy, services and supports for people with I/DD, including autism, in the country and that the vast majority (93%) of our chapters report they serve people with autism and their families. So take a minute and consider, do individuals with autism and their family members in your community know that The Arc is there to advocate on their behalf and serve them? If not, how can you make sure that they do? In the 13 states that left The Arc off the list, please reach out to the individual researchers in the ADDM network and introduce them to The Arc and to all that we have to offer. It will be time well spent. As always, you can reach me at berns@thearc.org.
  Resources & Opportunities
Walmart eXciting News: eXplore eRecycling Grants Available!
Thanks to the Walmart Foundation, Chapters of The Arc have an opportunity to apply for grants to support them in developing or enhancing electronic waste management programs which will not only help improve the environment, but offer inclusive, community-based employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc’s national office is now accepting applications from local and state Chapters in good standing interested in exploring or refining models of electronic waste recycling operations and blazing a trail for other Chapters to follow into this exciting and expanding field. Notification of Intent to Applyshould be received by April 11, 2012. And all grant applicationsMUST be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 27.All Notifications of Intent and Applications must be mailed or hand delivered to The Arc’s national offices – electronic submission (fax or email) will NOT be accepted. Check out this free pre-recorded Webinarfor more information.
Atom model White House Seeking STEM “Champions”
The White House Office of Public Engagement, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Education are partnering to highlight individuals doing great work to increase Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) opportunities for people with disabilities in education and employment. Do you know a “champion” of STEM opportunities? Nominate them on the White House websiteand pass the word. Submissions will be accepted through April 7.
Ernst & Young Survey Seeks to Connect Local Employers, Job Seekers
Ernst & Young Business Incentives Division is seeking participants in a surveydesigned to help connect local employers and their clients to agencies such as The Arc and the people we serve. The results of the survey may lead to job opportunities for the people you serve while expanding your involvement with local employers. There is no charge to take the surveyor for participating in any outcomes that may result from your response. Questions? Contact Ernst & Young at 866-834-5115.
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 at http://thearc.purchasingpoint.org(enter the invitation code: thearc1950). Questions? Contact Darcy Littlefield.
  News & Action Items
Girl in classroom New Federal Data Shows Autism on the Rise
The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) is rising, according to new data releasedby the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is reporting that one in 88 children has autism or a related disorder. The Arc released a statement on Thursday expressing concern that this rapid rise in the prevalence of autism comes at a time when Congress is proposing to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the Medicaid program. According to the CDC, medical costs for children with ASDs are estimated to be six times higher than for children without ASDs. The Arc urges the CDC to continue to not only try to figure out causes of, but also life solutions for people with autism. Read the full statement on The Arc’s blog.
The Arc Audi Racing Team The Arc Connects the Motorsports World to People with I/DD
The Arc is excited to race into cities across the country with Istook’s Motorsports. to raise awareness of The Arc, I/DD and employment among racing fans everywhere. Supported in part by Volkswagen Group of America, we officially kick of The Arc Audi Racing Programat the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 15. Twenty individuals including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from select Chapters will serve as honorary crew members for our team as they compete in the Pirelli World Challenge Series. The Arc’s national office will be posting updates from the races on Facebook, Twitter and their blogin the coming months. And you can see the races live onlineand on later broadcast by NBC Sports (full broadcast schedule).
Combined Federal Campaign The Arc Is Part of the Combined Federal Campaign
The Arc’s national office is part of the 2012 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) which means we will be published in the 2012 CFC Charity List distributed to Federal employees and military personnel in the U.S. and overseas this fall and advertised nationally. As an approved CFC charity, those individuals can designate donations to The Arc using #11296. Please encourage Federal employees and military personnel living in your community to designate The Arc if they contribute to the Combined Federal Campaign this year.
The Arc’s New York chapters kicked off the NYSARC Gives Back President’s Project last week. The week-long collaborative effort of NYSARC’s 55 Chapters and the Food Bank Association of New York gives back to the community through volunteer programs. At the St. Lawrence County Chapter, preparations are underway for more than 25 volunteer activities. At PARC, NYSARC’s Putnam County Chapter, volunteers will serve Meals on Wheels, organize local recycling projects, and deliver food to pantries and soup kitchens. The Genesee County Chapter has partnered with FoodLink, Food Bank Association of New York State’s Rochester-region bank, to organize a food drive, and the Steuben, Schuyler, and Chemung County Chapters are collaborating on a food drive with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.
Autism NOW logo Celebrate Autism Awareness Month with The Arc and Autism NOW
April is Autism Awareness Month! Celebrate with The Arc and Autism NOW – The National Resource and Information Centerwhich is a national initiative of The Arc funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. This month, be sure to visit the Autism NOW websiteand blogfor fresh posts and information about ASDs. Please share this important resource with the people you serve and be sure to encourage them to join in the conversation online during April by using the hashtag #AutismAware on Facebook and Twitter.
Sprout Film Festival Annual Sprout Film Festival Set for April 27 in NYC
The annual Sprout Film Festival featuring films by and about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will take place Friday, April 17 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Check out the festival websitefor the full schedule and to purchase your advance tickets. If you can’t make it to New York, check out The Arc & Sprout National Film Festival touring event at a Chapter of The Arc near you. The next events are April 10 at Herkimer Arcand April 14 at St. Lawrence NYSARCin New York.
  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. ET, 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!). There’s still time to register for “We’ve Got the Power”on April 5 covering The Arc’s efforts to support voter education, registration and engagement for advocates of people with I/DD in 2012 and beyond. And don’t miss the April 12 session on developing programs to support parents with I/DD.
 Pumpkin patch sisters 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 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 April Webinars Celebrate Autism Awareness Month
Autism NOW – The National Resource and Information Center is kicking off Autism Awareness Month with two brand new webinars during the first week of April! Register now for “Autism Awareness vs. Autism Acceptance: How Self-Advocate Groups are Challenging the Tragedy Model of Disability Time”tomorrow from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET to discuss the importance of autism acceptance, as well as share the experience of leading a disability-focused group, ASAN. Also, join us on Thursday, April 5 at 2:00 p.m. ET for “Autism 101.”Autism NOW co-director Amy Goodman will cover the definition of autism, common characteristics found in individuals of different age groups and an overview of possible causes and risk factors associated with autism.
  Chapter Focus
 AHRC 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 Arc of Shelby County’s Employment Preparation Program focusing on teaching basic skills for employment success in Birmingham, AL or take a person-centered practice journey from middle and high school to what lies beyond with AHRC. Get more inspirational stories from other Chapters working on transition issues on our website.
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Brand Resources

Chapter Resources

Brand Update
When we launched the new brand, we took steps to separate The Arc from the acronym ARC, which no longer represents what we are all about. When you’re implementing the new brand, it’s important to pay attention to how your name appears in print. It should always be The Arc, capital “T”, capital “A,” never all upper case and never without “The,” which instantly distinguishes it from the outdated acronym. Find out more about this distinction on page 5 of your Visual Identity Guidelines.
Which Chapters have signed up to use The Arc’s new brand? Find out on our website.
April is Autism Awareness Month. Follow The Arc and Autism NOW – The National Resource and Information Center online using the hashtag #AutismAware during April and join in the conversation.
Please welcome New Hope Center in Dolton, IL back to The Arc’s chapter network.
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)