Heading to LaGrange today for meetings with the Family Support Network.Here is Arc Fusion from The Arc of the United States.
A newsletter for chapters that connects, engages and informs.
AUGUST 20, 2012
Letter from the CEO
Peter V. Berns
CEO of The Arc
Does Your Board Know?
Recently, we met with a group of board leaders from chapters of The Arc in New York. They offered the observation that many parents, family members and community leaders serving on local chapter boards of directors, while intimately aware of what The Arc does at the local level, don’t know much about The Arc’s work at the national level. So we’ve created two new resources for you to use. The first document explains how one of our constituents, Andy, is affected by what goes on in DC. The second document briefly describes the national office’s functions and key projects.
These are great handouts to use as part of your annual board orientation meeting or as a handout to all board members at a regular meeting. While you are at it, you might want to also want to orient your board to where The Arc’s headed by sharing the Strategic Framework for the Future of The Arc, 2010 – 2019. We have a “cliff notes” version that is only 10 pages or you can share the full 24 page document which is also available on the website.
And don’t forget to check out the resources we have on Board Orientation as part of our Standards for Excellence program. For additional information about the Standards for Excellence, contact Kate Hull at email@example.com. As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources & Opportunities
Early Registration Deadline September 3
The Arc’s National Convention & International Forum is fast approaching. Be sure to register before the early registration deadline of September 3 for the best rates to attend a global gathering of the I/DD community. Check out the wide variety of informative sessions and special events we have planned for you in Washington, D.C. this October 25-28. Join international advocates Judy Heumann and Eric Rosenthal along with a hundred other presenters discussing the issues most important to you. And be the first to hear Inclusion International’s special report on living and being included in the community. Register now and save!
Does Your Chapter Receive Federal Discretionary Funding?
While The Arc was successful in helping to prevent cuts to the Medicaid program last year, many other essential programs are facing severe reductions. Under the Budget Control Act, federal discretionary programs that people with disabilities rely upon to live in the community (early intervention, education, employment, housing, transportation, and more) are slated for unprecedented cuts starting in 2013 unless Congress changes the law. First, they will be cut by about 6% over a decade. Then they are scheduled to be cut by an additional 8% by across-the-board cuts starting in early 2013. At this point no one knows how those cuts will work. The programs we care most about could possibly be cut by even greater amounts or eliminated entirely! To help protect these critical programs, we need help from our chapters. We need information on which chapters receive discretionary funding and how these funds are used. Please complete a brief online survey. Learn more about the Budget Control Act or efforts to protect discretionary programs.
Bridging the Gap Conference Addresses Violence
Register now for the 2012 National Conference on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Against People with Disabilities October 31 – November 1 in Louisville Kentucky. For more information on the conference, or to register, visit the Accessing Safety Website. Learn about existing promising practices for serving survivors with disabilities; explore emerging issues at the intersection of violence and disability; and network with peers who are working to end violence against people with disabilities.
Join The Arc’s New Peer Learning Community
Plan to be a part of a new Peer Learning Community by joining us for an intensive multi-week exchange among chapters from across the country. Learn from experts in the field, each other, and through resources exchanges via conference calls, webinars, a resource library, and message boards. The first session, beginning September 10, will focus on Transition. Presenters include Dr. David Test, University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Carol Blessing, LMSW, Institute for Community Living; sub grantees from the Wal-Mart School-to-Community Transition program; and self-advocates. Up to five participants from your chapter can participate for the duration of the session for only $199! Since this is an online community, you’ll never have to leave your home or office to participate, but a telephone and computer with internet access is required. Space is limited, and registration is required before September 6.
Help Federal Benefit Recipients Go Direct
The Treasury Department provides toolkits and other resources for organizations who serve people who receive Federal benefit checks to help them switch to electronic payments ahead of the March 2013 deadline. As of March 1, 2013, all recipients of mailed federal benefit checks must set up direct deposit accounts. Visit GoDirect.org for newsletter copy, news briefs, talking points and more.
News & Action Items
The Arc Receives CDC Award for Cutting Edge HealthMeet Project
The Arc has been awarded a three year cooperative agreement through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to run a new project called HealthMeet. This cutting-edge project aims to improve the health of people with I/DD through training for medical students and health professionals, community-based health assessments for individuals with I/DD, data collection and analysis of outcomes, comprehensive information and referral, and a public awareness campaign. The project will use innovative strategies and technology to reduce some of the most serious health disparities people with I/DD face, and it will contribute to systems-change efforts in health care access. In addition to the CDC, The Arc will work with chapters with expertise in the arena, including The Arc of San Francisco, The Arc of New Jersey, and Achieva, along with Therap, AUCD, AAIDD, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, Autism Speaks, and the National Down Syndrome Congress.
The Arc Launches eXplore eRecycling Project
The eXplore eRecycling initiative, funded by a $465,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, rolls out to 10 chapters to help develop or enhance electronic waste management programs that offer community-based employment opportunities for people with I/DD. Participating chapters will be able to take advantage of a peer learning network and an Expert Advisory Committee to help identify best practices.
Congratulations to our eXplore eRecycling Subgrantees:
AHRC Nassau – Long Island, NY
Genesee ARC – Batavia, NY
Kreider Services – Dixon, IL
Seneca Cayuga ARC – Waterloo, NY
SouthStar Services – Chicago Heights, IL
The Arc of Clarion and Venango Counties – Clarion, PA
The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport – Haverhill, MA
The Arc of Hamilton County – Chattanooga, TN
The Arc of Madison County – Huntsville, AL
The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula, Inc. – Hampton, VA
Self-Advocates with FASD in Action (SAFA) Announce a New Web Site
The Self-Advocates with FASD Network (SAFA) unveiled a new web site last week, giving people with FASD a central place to connect on-line and helping the world of disability and self-advocacy become familiar with SAFA and its overall mission. This easy-to-use web site provides information about SAFA activities and presentations, short bios and pictures of SAFA members, and a resource page with a private message board. The message board is open to SAFA members only, but membership is free and those interested in joining can submit their application on the site. If you know someone with an FASD who would like to get involved, or if you have an FASD and want more information, contact Leigh Ann Davis at email@example.com or (202) 534-3727.
FASD Resolution Passed By the ABA
The American Bar Association passed a resolution urging attorneys and judges, state, local, and specialty bar associations and law school clinical programs to help identify and respond to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in children and adults, through training to enhance awareness of FASD and its impact on individuals in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and adult criminal justice systems and the value of collaboration with medical, mental health, and disability experts. The resolution also urges the passing of laws and the adoption of policies at all levels that acknowledge and treat the effects of prenatal alcohol exposures to better assist individuals with FASD.
Online Education Opportunities
The Arc’s E-Learning Series Presents Medicaid 101
Register now for Medicaid 101 – a FREE webinar from The Arc’s national public policy team. Learn about the issues surrounding this lifeline for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and how the issues impact you. Join us August 30 at 2:00 p.m. EDT for this informative and easy-to-understand session. Register on The Arc’s website.
Web Accessibility Webinar for Non-Techies
The Arc’s E Learning Series continues with a new Webinar about accessibility in the modern digital era. If you don’t have a technical background, how do you get that target in your sights? On September 6 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, The Arc’s Online Communications Manager, David Kennedy, will cover what web accessibility is and how to define it for your chapter, what web standards are and how to work with vendors and find more information and resources. The session is geared toward the non-technical and gives participants a view from 50,000 feet. You also have a chance to get answers to your most pressing accessibility questions. Register now.
Twins Transition to Adult Life
The Arc Jackson County’s School-to-Community Transition Program targets “at-risk” students, engaging them year-round. Students engage in meaningful activities improving their quality of life and helping them achieve full community inclusion. When the opportunity arose for twin brothers Josh and Jamie to participate it was perfect timing! Through the additional support provided, they successfully moved into their own apartment. The Arc’s Transition Specialist worked with the twins on a regular basis. Because of the trusting relationship developed, when extra supports were needed or they were confused, they felt free to ask for assistance without feeling judged or ridiculed. Get more information at thearcjackson.org.
The Arc’s application for a registered trademark has been finalized. This means the ™ (trademark symbol) currently following the words “The Arc” on our logo will convert to an ® (registration symbol). Any chapters receiving logo artwork from this point forward will have a version with that symbol. For chapters already using the logo with the TM symbol, you don’t need to do anything. Your logo is still protected from infringement, but we will work with you soon to replace your artwork for consistent usage down the road.
September 9 is National FASD Day – The U.S. Senate resolved to designate September 9 of this year as National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day and encourages observance of a moment of reflection during the ninth hour of September 9, 2012 to remember that women should not consume alcohol during pregnancy.
September 13, 2012 – MetLife Special Needs Planning Symposium, Dallas TX
September 20, 2012 – Parlor Meeting, Chicago, IL
September 28, 2012 – Presidential Candidate’s Forum, Columbus, OH
September 29, 2012 – The Arc of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
Find us on:
We encourage you to share this publication with other staff members and volunteer leadership of The Arc, and have them become an online user to gain valuable information in the “For Chapters” section of our website. For online access to “For Chapters,” click on the “For Chapters” link at bottom left of The Arc home page under “Chapter Resources.” If you’re already logged in, you will be brought directly to the “For Chapters” section. If you’re not logged in, you will be prompted to follow a link to the login page. If you’re a member, simply enter your username and password and click login. If you’re not a current member, click on “New User Registration” and complete the new user form. Under “Chapter Involvement,” please be sure to select “Employee of a Chapter.” Within 24 hours you will have access to the “For Chapters” section of the website.