The Illinois Delegation of 30 lead by The Arc President Brian Rubin and The Arc
Vice President Terri Devine
headed to New Orleans, Louisiana with more than 800
disability advocates, professionals, and people with intellectual and developmental
disabilities (I/DD).

We came together to learn, forge connections, and energize the disability movement.
This year’s theme focused on three key goals – To Network, To Improve, and To Lead,
three simple ideas that embody what The Arc stands for. This year’s convention had
a strong focus on criminal justice issues and individuals with I/DD.

We were awed by by award-winning author Ron Suskind whose latest book, Life
Animated, A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism
, shares his family’s 20 year journey
with their youngest son Owen’s autism.

The Arc Board Members, Brian and Benjamin Rubin also presented at The Arc
Convention on Special Needs Trusts with a Focus on Quality of Life.


Brian Rubin                    Benjamin Rubin

We were delighted that our good friend Dr. David Braddock was honored with The
Arc’s President’s Award for his lifetime of work for individuals with disabilities including
his invaluable research regarding long-term care, health promotion and disease
prevention, and public policy toward disability.


Tony, Amie Lulinski & David Braddock

Another good friend from Illinois, Tia Nelis, was honored with The Arc’s Participatory
Action Research Award for her work as a Self-Advocacy Specialist at the Institute on
Disability & Human Development at UIC.


Tia Nelis

Congratulations to David and Tia for their important work!

The business of the convention included approving four new or updated position
statements that will guide our public policy work:

  1. Criminal Justice Position
  2. Family Support Position
  3. Long Term Supports & Services Position
  4. Self-Advocacy Position


New Arc President


President Ron Brown

We also elected Ronald Brown as the new President of The Arc of the United States!
I have known Ron for many years and admire his advocacy and leadership within The
Arc. Ron was the Vice President. He has over 36 years’ experience in the volunteer
arena as an advocate for the disability community serving on the local, state, and
national Board of Directors of The Arc. He began his national board career in 2006 and
has also served as Chair of the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee, and is the
current Chair of the Diversity Committee. His prior service includes his work on the
boards of The Arc of Texas, The Arc of the Capital Area, Austinhaven, Advocacy, Inc.,
and Citizens Resource Information for Special Persons. Ron is retired from the Texas
Department of Public Safety (DPS). Ron has an adult daughter with an intellectual

Nancy Webster, Jack Ford & Peter Berns, CEO, The Arc

We also said congratulations to Nancy Webster for her tremendous work as the
President of The Arc of the United States. Nancy traveled across the nation leading and
spreading the word about the important work of The Arc and its impact on individuals
with I/DD. Nancy was an outstanding President, and I have asked her to strongly
advocate for more sibling leadership and partnerships in her new role as Past President
of The Arc. Well done good friend!

This really was an exceptional convention, and we look forward to next year’s convention
in Indianapolis, Indiana, October 3-5, 2015!

Convention moments!

Jackson Square
Jack in the Second Line!

Joe, Tony, Kim, Martha & Frank at the Illinois Dinner

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)