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     December 2010                                                                                                                             

Student with Down syndrome Ousted from Southern Oregon University Class

In November, Southern Oregon University’s dean of students upheld the school’s decision to drop a 20-year-old woman with Down syndrome from auditing a university-level ceramics class because she was not academically qualified, despite an outpouring of support for the student from the community, disability advocates and her fellow students who pointed out that she simply wanted the experience of attending college like anyone else.

Eliza Schaaf received a certified letter just before Thanksgiving from Dean of Students Laura O'Bryan stating that no accommodations are available to Schaaf that would enable her participation without altering the coursework. The school objected to the presence of a personal assistant to help Eliza and had sent her a letter earlier ending her enrollment with just seven classes remaining in the course. Eliza’s supporters were surprised by the notice, contending that she had initially been accepted by the school and was seemingly doing fine in her class.

 Read the blog post.


This Just In:

  • The Arc’s new Autism NOW information and resource center is now on Facebook and Twitter. “Like” and “follow” us to get the latest information about Austim NOW as it develops.
  • Also, hot off the presses, The Arc’s 2009 Annual Report – read it here.



Glee's Lauren Potter with fans at The Arc's 2010 Convention.

Looking Back, Looking Forward: 2010 Wrap Up

It’s been an amazing year to be a part of The Arc. The support of people like you has been crucial in furthering our mission to provide hope and opportunity for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Looking back on 2010, our 60th anniversary year, we are in awe of what you have helped us accomplish. And, looking forward to 2011, with your continued support, we are poised to accomplish even more.

Read the blog post.

Mohan Mehra, The Arc's newly-elected president.

The Arc Elects New National Board

“It is my privilege to serve as the new President of The Arc,” said newly-elected president Mohan Mehra who has served on The Arc’s Board of Directors since 2004. A new board of directors was elected at The Arc’s national convention in Orlando, Florida in November.  The new board includes a vice president of T. Rowe Price, one of the world’s leading investment groups, a former Policy Director for a United States Senator, a corporate attorney, an executive with MetLife and a coach with the Washington Redskins football team.

Read more. 

Do you want to be a TV star?

Film Company Seeks Families Living with Autism

Pie Town Productions, which has produced television shows for Discovery, TLC and A&E including the Emmy award-winning A Baby Story, is seeking families with multiple children diagnosed with Asperger’s and/or autism. They are planning a documentary-style series to shed light on misconceptions about the disorders and show how different individuals experience autism spectrum disorders.

Read the blog post. 



Michigan is Institution Free!

Thanks to the tireless work of The Arc of Michigan, its members, partners and countless advocates through the years, Michigan has the distinction of being Institution free for persons with developmental disabilities and has no one living in a public or private ICR/MR. Michigan is the largest state (pop. 10,000,000+) to accomplish either task and one of only two states to accomplish both.


2011 Disability Policy Seminar Early Registration Ends January 11

On the heels of a game changing election, The Arc and its partners in the intellectual and developmental disability community are preparing for the 2011 Disability Policy Seminar February 14-16. The deadline for reserving rooms and taking advantage discounted rates is January. Book your room at reduced seminar rates and sign up for a savings of $80 off now.

Register Now!



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