Leaders in The Arc:
It was a busy and productive Arc Convention in Denver this past weekend. Our Illinois Delegation was very active with presentations and awards! Nancy Webster, a Past President of The Arc of Illinois, is now Vice President of The Arc.
I attended “Building The Arc’s Organizing & Advocacy Capacity” to learn
more about grassroots advocacy. The half-day session related to our ability
to organize and mobilize constituents to win policy victories. We focused on
Medicaid and Waiting List issues.
I also attended “Don’t Cut Our Lifeline: The Arc’s Medicaid Campaign.” There
are efforts in Washington D.C. to cut Medicaid funding and to transform
Medicaid into a block grant program. The Arc’s campaign is designed to
combat that effort. Click on Don’t Cut Our Lifeline to learn more.
Arc IL President Brian Rubin presented “A Parent to Parent, Heart to Heart
Presentation – Special Needs Legal & Future Planning. Brian’s room was
Arc Board member Katie Arnold and Tamar Heller, Ph.D. and Emily Shea
presented “Siblings: Tomorrow’s Advocates. Their session was also
Other important sessions I was able to attend included “Washington Update
O Federal Public Policy Issues and “Advocacy in Action – Addressing Waiting
Lists in the States.
The opening plenary session was the one and only Dr. Temple Grandin,
“Achieve Your Dreams: Contributing to Your Community & Enriching Your
Life!” Temple continues to amaze me. We have booked Dr. Grandin to come back
to Illinois for an Autism Conference on September 27, 2012.
Another plenary session was our good friend Dr. David Braddock. His
presentation “Challenges in Developmental Disabilities, State of the
Nation” was a call to action because everything we have worked so hard for
in the past fifty years is at great risk. This was one of David’s best
presentations that I have seen. Here is a picture of Arc CEO Peter Berns,
Dr. Braddock, me and Brian Rubin!
Christine McTaggart, Executive Director of The Arc of Iroquois County
received The Arc’s Creative Branding Contest. Way to go Christine!
Another good friend and former Illini was Richard Hemp. Rick was presented
with The Arc’s Distinguished Researcher in Intellectual & Developmental
Disabilities Award. Good for you Rick!
I encourage you to join me for our annual “Disability Policy Seminar 2012
in Washington D.C., April 23-25, 2012.