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Website Home June 13, 2013
ACHIEVA HealthMeet
Fitness experts from Eruption Athletics help out at ACHIEVA's recent HealthMeet event
HealthMeet in Action – Changing Lives One Screening at a Time

The Arc’s HealthMeet program, which aims to reduce health disparities and increase the longevity and quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) by providing free community-based health assessments and individualized referrals, is up and running in 5 states and making an impact! The health assessments are already changing lives by helping to identify health threats, showing people with I/DD healthier ways to eat, exercise, and live, and exposing health care professionals who otherwise may not interact with this population to people with I/DD and their health needs – seeding the future of our medical system with professionals experienced with this population.

And in Pennsylvania, The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh (also known as ACHIEVA), is getting people moving at their screenings. With local fitness experts from Eruption Athletics, which aims to empower people with I/DD with exercise, they are offering exercise tips on site at many events and connecting with people with I/DD who are interested in starting an exercise program.

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Doctor and patient 2013 National Convention Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Learn How the Affordable Care Act Can Benefit You Register Now - Achieving Momentum in Bellevue, Washington! Historic Verdict on Behalf of Workers with Disabilities
The enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marked the most significant law for people with disabilities since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. Now comes the tricky part - implementation. What does that mean for you and your family? What does it mean for individuals with disabilities? The Arc is hoping to shed a little light on the many questions surrounding the ACA. Please check The Capitol Insider Blog's Health Care section for resources on implementation of the ACA.

You can also join our Action E-List to receive Capitol Insider and other policy alerts.

Have you taken advantage of early bird registration for The Arc’s National Convention? With registration discounts ending on July 5, now is the perfect time to register! All attendees will participate in three very different plenary sessions that will provide insight, new tools and spawn a lot of great conversation. Our plenaries will include speakers from Verizon, Microsoft and Starbucks. We are also thrilled to be welcoming acclaimed author Buzz Bissinger as a keynote speaker to share his journey as a parent. You will also pick from over 36 breakout sessions on a variety of topics.

In addition to the program, we plan to have a lot of fun! There will be a variety of daytime and evening events to join, including “Red Hot on the Red Carpet” and The Arc & Sprout National Film Festival which will be our big closing event. Don’t miss out on all the excitement, register now and save!

Last month, an Iowa jury awarded damages totaling $240 million to 32 men with intellectual and developmental disabilities who worked for Henry’s Turkey Service in Atalissa, Iowa. It was the largest verdict in the history of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Just one day after hearing closing arguments, the jury agreed with the EEOC that Henry’s Turkey Service subjected the men to severe harassment and discrimination that warranted punitive and compensatory damages for each man. Due to a provision in federal law, the amount awarded to each individual may be reduced to $50,000 each. Despite this reduction, this is a huge, historic victory for our movement. To read The Arc’s statement visit our blog.

New Resources Available on Self Advocacy Online
In 2010, The Arc asked people with I/DD and their families a series of questions about the services they and their loved ones receive in the FINDS survey. The results were compelling and shed new light on the challenges facing individuals with I/DD. In the “Research for All” section of the Self-Advocacy Online website, you can read, see, and listen to the results of this and other research presented in a way that empowers self-advocates to educate others and advocate for themselves.

The Research and Training Center on Community Living at the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota partnered with The Arc to create a full report on the FINDS data in 2011 and is also creating "knowledge translation" of the data for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to use. Armed with facts, self-advocates can be powerful agents for change.

Siblings Helping to Grow The Arc’s Reach
The Arc’s National Sibling Council is growing - we currently have 183 members from chapters in 32 states! The National Sibling Council offers opportunities for networking, support, advocacy and leadership development on a local, state and national level. Currently, there is a big task to accomplish – we need volunteers to assist in identifying all the great sibling activities that are happening in our chapters to enable a comprehensive directory for siblings to use as a resource and to be connected. If you can volunteer your time to call and survey the chapters in your state, please contact Laurie Edson on The Arc's national staff.

You can also support the important work of the council, by donating to The Arc today!

Self-Advocates Expressing Themselves Through Art
Art gives individuals a unique outlet to express their emotions, experiences, fears, and triumphs. A single piece of artwork can be interpreted a thousand different ways. The local chapter of The Arc in Evansville, Indiana has been empowering people with I/DD that participate in their adult day services program to express themselves through artwork for years.

Last month, they partnered with a local art gallery to host their first art show highlighting the work of these artists. Each self-advocate that participated had a powerful message behind their artwork. Visit our blog to see some of the pieces featured in the show.

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