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Website Home February 13, 2013
Fiscal cliff debate
Party leaders meet during fiscal cliff debate
2012 Ends with “Fiscal Cliff” Deal – 2013 Begins with Same Threats

In the New Year, Congress passed legislation so that middle class families with people with disabilities won’t see their income taxes rise in the New Year. The deal also protected critical programs like Medicaid from cuts. But throughout the negotiations, there were proposals on the table that would have greatly harmed people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including a new way of calculating Social Security benefits known as the “chained CPI.” The Arc and our advocates responded to those threats – thank you!

In 2013, there is mounting pressure to generate more revenue and to find additional cuts in the federal budget, including the Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security programs. The Arc’s advocates will be vigilant, putting pressure on Congress to protect these lifeline programs. Are you on our Action List?

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HealthMeet 2013 Disability Policy Seminar Social Security Administration
Get Involved with HealthMeet® Today! Does What Happens in Washington Really Matter? One Step Closer to Erasing the R-Word
Are you interested in improving the health of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID), or even just learning more about public health issues in the disability community? If so, HealthMeet®’s webinar series is perfect for you! The next webinar will take place on February 20 and will feature guest presenters Dr.Robyn Filipink and Dr.Rebecca Kronk discussing the spectrum of disorders associated with the FMR1 gene mutation: Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), Fragile X Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (FXPOI), and Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS). To sign up, visit the HealthMeet® events page.

HealthMeet® is a project of The Arc made possible by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control to promote better health among people with ID. If you have any questions about the webinar series contact Kerry Mauger.

Yes! Can you make a difference? You bet! Every day millions of Americans with I/DD are impacted by the public policy decisions – big and small – made by their representatives in Congress. And each year, hundreds of advocates attend the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, DC to learn more about and discuss the hottest topics in disability public policy.

We invite you to join us April 15-17 for an opportunity to advance the grassroots movement for people with I/DD and make sure your elected officials know what’s important to you. Find out more and register now at www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org.

Recently the Social Security Administration announced its intent to stop using the phrase “mental retardation” and start using “intellectual disability” in its official Listing of Impairments. The Arc applauds SSA for this action which comes in the form of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

While this is a huge step forward, we still have work ahead of us! We need advocates like you to voice support for this rule to ensure that it is enacted. To read more about the importance of this announcement, and how you can submit a comment expressing your support, visit our blog and read a post by Marty Ford, Director, Public Policy Office, The Arc.

Empower Yourself, Empower Someone Else
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and The Arc will take this opportunity to raise awareness of the issues important to people with I/DD. However, the real strength of our message and our movement comes straight from the individuals we serve. No matter how effective our organization’s advocacy may be, no one is as powerful an advocate for people with I/DD as a person with I/DD. The Arc would like to empower all individuals with I/DD to appoint themselves as their own advocates and help us “turn up the volume” on awareness efforts. During March, be sure to follow us online via our blog, Facebook and Twitter, and chime in on the conversation.
Sharing Their Hopes and Dreams for the Future
What are your hopes and dreams for the future? “My dreams are to think big and to say that people with I/DD have a lot to offer,” is what Jill said when asked that very question. Like many self-advocates asked for their thoughts, Jill’s answer focused on empowering herself and others with I/DD. Others shared their desire to have a family, advocate for others, or to live independently – all dreams that people across the country can personally relate to.

The Arc’s mission is to help individuals like Jill and countless others achieve their goals. Make your gift to The Arc today and help real people with I/DD turn their dreams into reality through a donation to The Arc.

Self-Advocacy Online and The Arc!
When it comes to highlighting the priorities of the disability community and fighting for equality, there is nothing more powerful than the voice of self-advocates. The Arc has always known that stories from self-advocates are not only compelling, but key to promoting the full inclusion of individuals with I/DD.

To better highlight self-advocates and their message, The Arc has partnered with the Research and Training Center on Community Living at The University of Minnesota to promote Self-Advocacy Online (SAO). This website is a powerful tool to assist and empower self-advocates across the country. Check out some exciting new interviews with self-advocates and hear from them what they think about a variety of topics.

Have a Question about Autism? Ask The Arc Online
The staff of Autism NOW takes pride in their ongoing engagement with the public. This interaction has guided updates to their online resources and helped them better understand what people are looking for. Now, they have a whole new way for you to connect with experts and get answers to your most pressing questions!

Autism NOW has launched the Autism NOW Answers Series, an exciting new initiative to involve the public. Through the series individuals can submit questions online and get answers to their most pressing questions about autism and other developmental disabilities directly from one of Autism NOW’s experts. It’s that simple – ask a question and get an answer.

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If you like The Arc's E-Newsletter, you'll love Empower, our quarterly member newsletter. Not a member of The Arc yet? Sign up on our website. Share this with your friends and family. Let's get even more people involved in the movement for people with I/DD.
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