The Arc: Featured in TIME Magazine

TIME Magazine September 12 Cover

Cover image courtesy of TIME Magazine

Did you happen to read the September 12, 2011 issue of TIME Magazine? If so, you and 19 million readers nationwide would have seen a two-page spread all about The Arc. Missed it? Don’t worry, we have it here! The feature focuses on the incredible work The Arc and our network of 700+ Chapters does as illustrated through the stories of some of the people we serve.

The Arc of the United States Announces the Launch of its New Medicaid Reference Desk

Washington, DC – Today, The Arc of The United States is announcing the launch of the new Medicaid Reference Desk. This resource is intended to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families as they navigate the complexities of Medicaid benefits, services and supports.

The Medicaid Reference Desk is an accessible, detailed, state-by-state information source about Medicaid benefits, which includes a glossary of terms, answers to frequently asked questions, person-centered planning resources and a blog from The Arc’s training specialist about issues related to Medicaid, self-advocacy and person-centered planning.

“This website helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and others access and gain knowledge about Medicaid, which is an essential lifeline for millions of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. As the largest organization defending the civil rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we are excited about the opportunities the Medicaid Reference Desk can provide to families across the country,” said Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc.

For people with disabilities and for those who provide their care, Medicaid serves as a valuable safety net. Often the only source of financial assistance for health care, Medicaid plays a critical role for people with disabilities in providing coverage and access to care. At least half of the funds for Medicaid programs come from the federal government with the remainder coming from state funds. Federal law contains detailed requirements and limitations on eligibility, services, and financing, but state laws vary.

This project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities (Grant No. 90 DN0215). You can explore the Medicaid Reference Desk on The Arc’s Website: www.thedesk.info.

The Arc advocates for and serves people with I/DD, including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 700 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.

Autism Bill Now Law – Celebrate, but Back to Work!

Thanks to many of you who reached out to your Members of Congress as the clock ticked down on the Combating Autism Act – President Obama signed a three year extension of the law on Friday. Without approval by the House and Senate, and President Obama’s signature, this important law for children on the autism spectrum could have disappeared.

The Combating Autism Act provides funding to educate professionals about proper screening, diagnosis, and intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. It also funds autism research and surveillance. The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program is just one of the things that the law supports.

While this is a moment to celebrate our success, our work is far from over. In 2014, Congress will need to revisit this law, and The Arc is committed to pushing for the next version to include services and research across the lifespan.

New Medicaid Resource Available from The Arc

The Arc is excited to announce a valuable new resource available at www.thearc.org to help guide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through the complexities of Medicaid benefits, services and supports. The Medicaid Reference Desk offers detailed, state-by-state information about Medicaid benefits, a glossary of terms, answers to frequently asked questions, person-centered planning resources and a blog from The Arc’s training specialist about issues related to Medicaid, self-advocacy and person-centered planning.

Medicaid is the largest source of financing for disabilities services in the United States.  For people with disabilities and for those who provide their care, Medicaid serves as a valuable safety net.  Often the only source of financial assistance for health care, Medicaid plays a critical role for people with disabilities in providing coverage and access to care. Medicaid is, however, extremely complicated.  At least half of the funds for Medicaid programs come from the Federal government with the remainder coming from state funds.  Federal law contains detailed requirements and limitations on eligibility, services, and financing. But, state law varies widely.

This project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities (Grant No. 90 DN0215). We encourage you to explore the Medicaid Reference Desk via www.thedesk.info.