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The Arc Across a Lifetime

The Arc is the largest organization in the country advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. Nearly 700 chapters strong across the country, we promote and protect the human rights of people with I/DD and actively support their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. Yet, too few people in the general public know us and are aware of what The Arc is doing in their community – so The Arc is taking to the television airwaves to raise awareness of our organization.

Thanks to the generosity of Comcast/NBCUniversal, The Arc’s new public service announcement (PSA) will air in their markets throughout 2015, and Comcast/NBCUniversal has committed funds for 2016 too. The PSA captures how The Arc is there with people with I/DD and their families throughout the arc of their lifetime – from birth, to school, to young adulthood, through their journey to employment, and even into the twilight years.

Meet Simon and all the stars of the PSA, along with some of the people who helped us make this commercial happen!

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Simon
 
Simon King
 
The Arc of
Northern Virginia
The fourth child of Peter and Shana King, Simon, was born on September 9, 2014. Like most parents, they first reached out to friends to begin the process of figuring out what to do to get Simon all the support he will need. A friend recommended that they contact The Arc of Northern Virginia, where Peter and Shana sought out information on Medicaid and any other programs designed to help Simon. They also attended a Lunch Bunch session where four or five families met to discuss their needs, wants, concerns, questions, and desires, all in a relaxed and conversational environment and where they were able to learn more about federal, state, and local programs that could also benefit Simon. Through their local chapter, The Arc of Northern Virginia and Lunch Bunch sessions, Peter and Shana have found a wonderful support network at The Arc.
Patxi
 
Patxi
Uy
 
The Arc of
Northern Virginia
Patxi has always been an inquisitive learner. When he was a baby, his family began to understand how he learns through early intervention. They were committed to supporting his education and having him be included in his neighborhood school just like his peers. However, finding an appropriate placement for Patxi proved to be a difficult road. Through his school’s Parent Resource Center, the state’s Parent Information and Training Center, and support from The Arc of Northern Virginia, Patxi’s family learned how to be an advocate for his education. They taught them about the Special Education process, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and his rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Over the last 60 years, The Arc has laid the groundwork through policy advocacy for Patxi to receive an appropriate, inclusive education and for the school system to have high expectations for him. The work of The Arc’s policy team in shaping these federal laws has allowed Patxi’s family to achieve their intended goals for a better future for Patxi as well as other students with disabilities.
Group
 
Jordan, Jamilla, & Maurine
 
The Arc of Montgomery County

Jordan Gould

Jordan has been volunteering in The Village at Rockville, an assisted living facility, for almost two years. He “officially” helps in the laundry room, but really he enjoys working directly with the senior citizens. He escorts them to various activities such as balloon volleyball, exercise classes and concerts. Jordan especially likes playing Wii with the seniors and assisting them with arts and crafts as well as puzzles. They all look forward to his infectious smile and miss him if he isn’t there! Jordan receives support services from The Arc Montgomery County’s Vocational & Day Services division. In his free time, Jordan enjoys spending time with his family and shopping at Union Station in Washington, DC. He’s also a big country music fan who likes listening to the latest artists.

Jamilla Rudder

Jamila is originally from Barbados and she lives with her mom in Silver Spring. She’s worked at Victoria’s Secret and Michael’s, is a big fan of the game Candy Crush, loves getting her hair and nails done, and loves meeting new people. She was part of the initial class for The Arc Montgomery County’s Transitioning Youth Retail Project (TYRP), a rigorous training program that prepares young adults with disabilities for careers in the retail sector. “Taking part in TYRP was a great experience. I learned new things and also met new friends. It gave me a chance to improve my skills and I know the program will help me to be a better employee,” says Jamilla. When she is not working at Urban Thrift, she’s furthering her education by participating in the Challenge Program at Montgomery College.

Maurine Yap

Maurine is a triplet who loves listening to music, going to concerts, spending time with friends, watching extreme sports (especially skateboarding), and science. She lives at home, but is very independent and uses public transportation to get to work and meet her friends. Maurine completed the Transitioning Youth Retail Project (TYRP) at The Arc Montgomery County, which focuses on building retail skills for young adults. She interned at PetSmart and has just been hired at Sunflower Café. “It’s cool to be part of TYRP. The class was interesting and I learned how to organize things and stay on task and not give up,” she shared. Maurine hasn’t completely committed to retail work, though, because she dreams of becoming a biologist.

Charles
 
Charles McGhee
 
The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region

Charles McGhee loves his job – working at Acadia Windows and Doors in Baltimore, Maryland for the past 9 years has given him a feeling of accomplishment, good pay and benefits, and a sense that he is part of a team. Charles runs various machinery on the factory floor, completing tasks involving heavy frames and glass that many may assume a person with a disability cannot do. Charles works hard, and receives job support services from The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region to help him retain successful, integrated employment.

Neill Christopher, Vice President of Manufacturing, Acadia Windows and Doors, says, “Our partnership with The Arc Northern Chesapeake has made Acadia a better company. Our employees from The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region are among our most reliable and productive employees. Out team has been strengthened as we work together to make it possible for individuals like Charles to have meaningful employment. It’s a win-win for all involved.”

Couple
 
Linda
& Ted
 
The Arc of
Howard County

Linda

A lifelong resident of Howard County, Linda has received services from The Arc of Howard County since 2005. She currently lives in Laurel, Maryland with two other roommates, and participates in The Arc’s Supported Retirement Program. She loves to talk about old Ellicott City and life in the country before the area was developed. She enjoys visiting her family in Sykesville and going to church with her extended family. She has a wonderful sense of humor, and enjoys visiting the county senior centers. During her visits, she participates in knitting, arts and crafts, bingo, and puzzles.

Ted

Ted has received services from The Arc of Howard County since 1982. He lives in Ellicott City, Maryland with two housemates. Before retiring 15 years ago, he was a landscape and warehouse worker. Like his longtime partner Linda, he participates in The Arc’s Supported Retirement Program. He enjoys the movies, musicals, and all types of animals but his favorites are dogs and horses. Ted and Linda have been together for about seven years. They have traveled extensively together, including a trip to the Bahamas, and are always ready for their next big adventure. A true gentleman, Ted will not let anyone else sit next to Linda at The Arc of Howard County social events.

Alex
 
Alex
Pikas
 
Director
Ever since sitting on a bus Brooklyn, New York in 1999 in the rain, watching someone working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), Alex has wanted to become involved in the disability community. After writing a screen play featuring people with I/DD, he approached The Arc’s CEO Peter Berns about creating a PSA. The Arc jumped at the opportunity to work with him after hearing his creative concept. Alex’s creativity in action, his professional skills in videography and his innate ability to work with people with I/DD have made him a pleasure to work with. The Arc has been so impressed with Alex and grateful for his generosity. Alex is incredibly happy with the final product, saying, “This project was a great opportunity to apply my skills to a worthwhile cause for a wonderful group of people.”
 
The Arc would like to extend a heartfelt thank you our talent and to the following people that made this PSA possible.

Chapter Staff of the Arc

Rikki EpsteinThe Arc of Northern Virginia
Lucy BeadnellThe Arc of Northern Virginia
Deborah K. MarkThe Arc of Montgomery County
Shawn KrosThe Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
Julie ChmuraThe Arc Northern Chesapeake RegionNicole HazelThe Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
Debbie Wagner The Arc of Howard County
Carol BeattyThe Arc of Howard County
Mónica Sanjur,The Arc of the United States
Casey NitschThe Arc of the United StatesIeshia KinneyThe Arc of the United States
Alexander PikasDirector
Alexandra PikasDirector’s helper
William KalenchCrew
Charlotte YakovleffCrew
Kavi ChittajalluMisc. Talent
Daryn JohnsonVoice Over Talent
Terry MacDonaldMisc. Voice Over Talent
Todd WatkinsMontgomery County School Transportation
Emma MataMontgomery County School Transportation
Nora GladdenBrookside Gardens
Gopal KapoorAmerican Tap Room restaurant
Neill ChristopherAcadia Windows and Doors
Cathy KadesMakeup Artist
Mary Ellen TasilloMakeup Artist
 
Thank you to the chapters of The Arc that donated to the production of our new PSA:
The Arc of Acadiana The Arc of Adams-Clay The Arc of Atlantic County The Arc Jackson County The Arc of Pennsylvania The Arc of Wayne County The Arc of Dickinson, Inc. The Arc of Spring Branch Memorial The Arc - Jefferson, Clear Creek &
Gilpin Counties
The Arc of Bristol County The Arc Brockton Area The Arc El Paso Gateway Services, Inc. The Arc of Pueblo The Arc of Volusia, Inc. The Arc of Ventura County The Association for Community
Living in Boulder County
The Arc of Westchester
The Arc of Litchfield County, Inc.The Arc of Shelby County The Arc of Ulster-Greene The Arc of Hunterdon County The Resource Center - Chautauqua Developmental Services of Dickson County The Arc of the Midlands The Arc of Washington State The Arc of Greater Lawrence The Arc of Monmouth The Arc of Barnes County The Arc of Prince George's County The Arc of Owensboro The Arc of Delaware County The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport The Arc Baltimore Herkimer Arc The Arc of Texas The Arc of the Central Chesapeake Region, Inc.