The Arc of Illinois Delegation Heading to The White House
What an honor it is to be invited to the White House for briefings on disability issues exclusively for leaders in The Arc. Thank you for your membership in The Arc. You play a major role in our advocacy in Illinois and across the nation. We are recognized for our leadership because of your membership.
It is possible that video of this event will be streamed live. Please check our website (www.thearc.org) for the link to view it.
Members of The Arc of Illinois Invited to the White House for High Level Briefings and to Advocate for People with Disabilities
Friday, Nancy Webster, Terri Devine, Dorelia Rivera, Bob Okazaki, Dan Strick and Tony Paulauski will join 150 leaders of The Arc from across the country to attend a White House Community Leaders Briefing. Over the course of the day, leaders of chapters of The Arc, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), will be briefed by high level White House and Administration officials on topics ranging from Medicaid to education to community living to Family Support and employment for people with I/DD, and have the chance to engage with and ask questions of these officials. This day-long briefing is specifically for The Arc’s network, and comes just weeks before Developmental Disabilities Awareness month, which is in March and will be marked with efforts across the country to raise awareness of issues facing people with disabilities.
“We are honored to be invited as members of The Arc to attend this White House Briefing. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents and professionals to interact with White House Officials. This invitation also highlights the leadership The Arc has exhibited over the years on the behalf of infants, children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” stated Orland Park Resident Terri Devine, Vice President of The Arc of Illinois.
During the day-long event, participants will hear from senior White House officials including Jon Carson, the Director of the Office of Public Engagement. Additionally, there will be a series of policy breakout sessions that will allow for more detailed discussions on certain issue areas, like community living, education, and Medicaid. The purpose of these briefings is to allow White House and administration officials to hear from leaders of The Arc about how government policies affect the lives of people with I/DD and impact their ability to live full, independent lives. This unique, face-to-face opportunity to speak directly to people in positions to make change from within the government will allow leaders of The Arc to make the voices of the millions of people with I/DD heard at the White House.
As The Arc gears up to raise awareness of I/DD during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March, chapter leaders can take home new tools to help individuals in their communities utilize programs of the federal government.
“The Arc of Illinois is engaged with a major rebalancing of the disability system here in Illinois. These discussions at the White House will provide us with an even more knowledge to advocate for the changes we need here in Illinois,” Tony Paulauski, Executive Director and resident of Tinley Park.
“The Arc, as one of the largest organizations working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, brings a wealth of experience and insight to discuss today’s most important concerns facing persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We’re looking forward to having them here at the White House to deepen our partnership, and to discuss the issues we care about most,” Jon Carson, the Director of the Office of Public Engagement.
The Arc advocates for and serves people with I/DD, including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 700 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423