We had an excellent meeting with Director Kevin Casey on Monday. He brings to the Director’s position great experience and advocacy skills. We are going to need his skills and leadership. This is a time when the Governor has decided to balance the disability system. Remember, the Governor made the decision to close Howe. In this past year, he has agreed to three consent decrees which will move people from community institutions to community living. Now, the Governor is proposing the closing of two more state institutions, Mabley and Jacksonville. We have been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time. We need to support the Governor’s decisions and the people he has put into place like Director Casey to move the disability system in Illinois to community living. We need to support them during this critical transition.The following copy of Fusion features our work with the Chicago Tribune.Tony

A newsletter for chapters that connects, engages and informs. OCTOBER 3, 2011

  Letter from the CEO
  A Challenging Climate for Fundraising, With Opportunities on the Horizon
Each September The Arc receives a dataset from the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) that includes financial data about chapters of The Arc that file either the IRS Form 990 or the 990EZ. We use this data, among other purposes, to provide summary information to both the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Forbes magazine for inclusion in their respective lists of the largest nonprofits in the U.S. The data compiled in August 2011 provides a snapshot of The Arc’s finances at a point in time; the majority of information is from Tax Year (TY) 2009. This year’s tally indicates that The Arc had total revenue (national, state and local chapters combined) of $3.73 billion, up 2% from the tally last year; total expenses were $3.64 billion, up 1.2% from last year. For individual chapters, the revenue ranged from a low of $1,200 a year to a high of more than $225 million. Overall, program services accounts for 90% of total expenses, with 9% of expenses spent on management and administration and 1% spent on fundraising.
Most notable and of great concern in the findings this year, it appears that The Arc’s philanthropic support suffered a significant decline in TY 2009. Total “private support” (e.g individuals, foundations, corporations, net events) was $126 million, declining 21% from the prior year. Private support accounted for less than 4% of the total revenue of The Arc. Of 669 chapters for whom data was available, less than one-fifth of chapters (17%) reported raising $250,000 or more in charitable support; more than two-fifths (43%) of chapters reported raising $50,000 or less. Clearly we have both a challenge and an opportunity ahead to maximize private philanthropic support for The Arc. Now that we have a new, consistent brand identity, we’re well positioned to take up the challenge. For those of you that have already implemented the new brand, please share your stories about how The Arc’s new brand is impacting your fundraising efforts. As always you can reach me at berns@thearc.org. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
  Resources & Opportunities
  Webinar to Help Create HR Policies That Work
Join The Arc for “What your Staff and Volunteers Need to Know” – a webinar to help you create human resources policies that work. What needs to be in your personnel policies? What about volunteers? Creating HR policies is a critical part of your organization. This webinar will provide a practical approach to creating and implementing personnel and volunteer policies that are effective, reasonable and up-to-date presented by Kate Rollason of The Arc of the Central Chesapeake Region. The webinar is October 25 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. Register online now and look for more informative webinars from The Arc coming soon.
  New Medicaid Resource Available from The Arc
The Arc is excited to announce a valuable new online resource to help guide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through the complexities of Medicaid benefits, services and supports. The Medicaid Reference Desk offers detailed, state-by-state information about Medicaid benefits, a glossary of terms, answers to frequently asked questions, person-centered planning resources and a blog from The Arc’s training specialist about issues related to Medicaid, self-advocacy and person-centered planning. The project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities.
  Free Poster Available to Promote Acceptance
Parenting Special Needs, an online magazine, offers an awareness initiative to help spread the word about acceptance of people with disabiltiies. The magazine is offering a free poster with a message about “Different-Ability” awareness and encouraging individuals to participate in the awareness campaign by displaying the poster, sharing a personal story or passing along information about disabilities. The poster can be downloaded from http://parentingspecialneeds.org/downloads just in time for National Disability Awareness Month in October. A list of children’s books that share the acceptance theme can be found in the magazine’s current issue.
  Autism NOW Launches Employment Webinar Series
Individuals on the autism spectrum or who have developmental disabilities often face challenges when it comes to employment; however, with appropriate support, many can be successfully employed. For the next five weeks, Autism NOW will offer webinars focusing on employment and post-secondary education. Upcoming webinars include an overview of the evolution of employment over the past 20 years; useful strategies and techniques for job seekers with challenging behaviors or communication difficulties; job development strategies and information about post-secondary education for students with disabilities. Find out more about upcoming webinars or access webinar archives at www.autismnow.org.
All webinars are scheduled for 2 p.m. EST. Space is limited.

  October is National Bullying Prevention Month
In addition to National Disability Awareness Month, October is designated as National Bullying Prevention Month. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network at PACER are both urging communities nationwide to take an active role in the movement against bullying by getting involved in events and initiatives combating bullying. You can find resources and ideas on the NCTSN website and at www.pacer.org such as petitions, information about nationwide events such as Unity Day on October 12, and classroom and community toolkits to help you talk about bullying.
  Adaptive Toolkit for Religious Instruction Available
The Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit for children on the autism spectrum and with other special needs from Loyola Press enables children with I/DD to participate fully in their faith, including picture cards to use during Mass that remind children of participatory behavior and a matching puzzle that helps the child distinguish between the Eucharist and ordinary food. This kit includes social stories and picture exchange communication system (PECS) strategies and sells for $39.99-$59.99 depending on quantity ordered. Find out more or order online at Loyola Press.
  News & Action Items
  New York Chapters Hard Hit by Hurricane
On August 28, Hurricane Irene reached New York State and left many areas devastated by flooding. Many Chapters of The Arc in the state were hard hit. But thanks to dedicated staff members, most buildings and programs are back up and running. Unfortunately, the staff’s personal lives are far from recovered. Some direct support professionals lost their homes and yet made it a priority to help their Chapters and the people they support before helping themselves. Because of their incredible sacrifices, NYSARC has established the NYSARC Irene Relief Fund to help direct support professionals who lost their homes and personal belongings. An anonymous donor started the Fund with $500 and we hope you will join in and give what you can to help them rebuild. Visit the NYSARC blog and donate today.
  Don’t Forget to Complete Your Convention Survey
Today is the deadline for attendees of The Arc’s National Convention in Denver to complete the survey asking for their feedback on the event and have their name entered in a drawing to win a complimentary registration to next year’s Convention in Washington, DC. Please share your thoughts about the Convention so that we may work to make it a better, more educational experience for all. Take the survey now.
  The Arc of Illinois Builds a Relationship with the Chicago Tribune
Tony Paulauski, Executive Director of The Arc of Illinois had a successful meeting with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune and as a result was able to obtain a well-timed editorial regarding the elimination of state-run centers for people with I/DD in favor of community care on September 30. It’s relationships such as the one this Chapter has established with the mainstream press that will help further our movement and educate the general public on our goals. You can read the editorial here and use it as an example of what can be accomplished if we reach out to the media in a positive, proactive manner rather than simply reacting.
  Chapter Focus
  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. Read about The Arc of Frederick County’s collaboration with Frederick Community College and Frederick County Public Schools on the Leadership Enrichment Achievement Program (LEAP) offering customized courses in leadership, interviewing and campus life. And, check out the St. Louis Arc’s Neighborhood Experiences Through the Year program in which teens and their support staff find volunteer programs and prepared for paid employment. Get more inspirational stories from other Chapters working on transition issues on our website.
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)