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Website Home August 22, 2013
 Self Advocates discuss
An exchange during the Convention
The Arc Has a Blast in Bellevue, Washington!

Earlier this month, The Arc’s network of disability advocates and professionals descended on Bellevue for The Arc’s Annual Convention. The three day event was an exciting mixture of education, inspiration, and of course, fun.

A keynote address by award-winning author Buzz Bissinger was a highlight for many, especially when Buzz’s son Zach, who has a disability, joined him on stage for a question and answer session. This year’s technology focus was also a great hit with amazing tech demos and speakers from Verizon and Microsoft.

To read more about this year’s Convention, visit The Arc’s blog. Also, start planning for next year’s Convention in New Orleans from September 30 - October 2, 2014!

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Governor Jack Markell wine glass Alcoa logo
Nation’s Governors Issue Report on Employment for People with Disabilities The Arc Reacts to New Book on Pregnancy Risks, Including Drinking Alcohol The Arc’s Recycling Initiative Expands With the Help of The Alcoa Foundation

At the National Governors Association (NGA) meeting on August 2, outgoing NGA Chair Governor Jack Markell (DE) wrapped up his year-long Chair’s Initiative “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.” The initiative focused on the employment challenges that affect individuals with intellectual and other significant disabilities and the role that both state government and business can play in facilitating and advancing opportunities for employment. At the NGA meeting, Governor Markell released a final Blueprint for Governors summarizing the initiative’s activities, findings, and recommendations. Learn more on The Arc’s Capitol Insider blog and read our take on the new report.

The media is paying attention to a recently released book, “Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know,” by Emily Oster. As the leading organization supporting people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), The Arc is pushing back on claims in this book that could lead women to believe that light drinking during pregnancy is statistically safe.

“Why risk it? That’s the question we should be encouraging women to ask themselves when they consider drinking alcohol while pregnant. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the nation’s top doctor, there is no absolute safe amount of alcohol that a woman can drink during pregnancy without risk of harming her unborn baby,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc.

To learn more visit The Arc’s blog.

The Arc is pleased to announce that through generous funding from the Alcoa Foundation, we will be supporting three additional Chapters of The Arc in their recycling initiatives. These programs support employment and skills development for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in collaboration with local Alcoa facilities.

The goal of The Arc’s recycling initiative, in collaboration with local Alcoa facilities, is to create employment and skills development opportunities for individuals with I/DD and to further the importance of recycling as a means for environmental sustainability in local communities. The initiative includes a range of programs including textile and bottle recycling, collection and recycling of shipping waste, and bottle and can return programs.

New sites for The Arc’s Recycling Initiative are:

  • Ulster-Greene ARC in Kingston, NY
  • The Arc of Montgomery County in Rockville, MD
  • The Arc Knox County, Sunshine Services in Knoxville, TN
From Verizon to CareerBuilder, How Big Businesses are Helping The Arc Achieve Momentum
Verizon, arc Thrift Stores, Mutual of America, Marsh, Starbucks, Met Life, Rest Assured, MediSked, CARF, Relias Learning, CareerBuilder, Hammer Travel and Apostrophe Magazine represent a broad range of businesses, but what they all have in common is their support as sponsors of The Arc. Our most sincere “thank you” to all of them for their contributions to our 2013 Convention, and we encourage you – The Arc’s self-advocates, families, caregivers, experts and professionals serving the intellectual and developmental disability sector – to support those who support us. Without the backing of government, foundations and individual contributions as well as corporate support, The Arc cannot continue to be successful in the pursuit of our mission.
Micah Feldman, Making a Difference in Washington, DC

How did you spend your summer? It seems like an easy enough question to answer, right? Not if you are as busy as Micah Feldman. Micah is an amazing self-advocate who spent his summer chasing his dreams as a participant in the AAPD internship program.

Serving as an intern for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this summer, Micah was busy learning about the hottest issues. His daily routine at work varied depending on what was going on, but the experience allowed him to learn about a wide range of topics including the Affordable Care Act and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

To learn more about Micah’s summer, you can read an interview with him on The Arc’s blog.

The New Health Care Law – What Does It Mean for Employers?

Are you an employer? Then check out the new edition of The Arc’s National Policy Matters, “The Affordable Care Act: What Non Profit Employers Need to Know”. Although the Obama Administration recently announced that many of the provisions have been delayed one year, employers will still need to plan for the new requirements. This publication provides an overview of what the ACA requires of employers, what penalties are imposed on large employers, information about whether employers can keep their current health insurance, whether non-profits can apply for tax credits, and what additional provisions apply.

Follow the Capitol Insider Blog's Health Care section for additional resources on implementation of the ACA.

Looking for a Special Needs Trust? Look to The Arc
Chapters of The Arc provide many services, and some do run special needs trusts for families looking for this financial planning resource. This summer, AARP featured an article in their newsletter, which reaches more than 23 million homes, about special needs financial planning. The Arc’s Senior Executive Officer for Public Policy, Marty Ford, was extensively interviewed for the article and The Arc was named as a resource for families seeking special needs trusts to help them financially plan for their loved ones. Learn more about our chapters who provide this resource on our website.
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