A man in a pink button down stands in front of the ocean, smiling with his eyes closed. He is wearing glasses.

Meet Kevin: “Yes, I can do it!”

What do you want people to know about Down syndrome?

I want people to know that just because I have Down syndrome doesn’t mean I can’t live a fun and exciting life. I have a great life because of my Down syndrome. I want people to know that people like me with Down syndrome are fun, we are loving, we love to hug and we can own our own businesses.

Be nice to me and respect me because I am human, not because I have Down syndrome. I just want to be treated like everyone else and given the same chance to do things. Yes, I can do it. I just need a little more time.

What is a time you were upset or frustrated by how someone treated you?

I got frustrated one time when my sister Kate took me grocery shopping. I wanted to shop by myself and she didn’t want to let me. I got upset and frustrated. She then let me shop by myself and I did a great job. I was able to check out by myself too!

What is a time someone believed in you?

I was asked to be a guest bartender two different times. Once at El Buffalo and once at Raw and Refined. My nephew, Tyler, and the bar’s owners believed I would do a good job. I was so happy they believed in me. It made me so happy to see all my friends come out and support me too. I did a great job being a guest bartender and wouldn’t have known I could do it if they didn’t believe in me.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my family. I love all my 5 sisters and 1 brother. I love that we all get along. I am very proud that I graduated from North County High School in 2002 and from Gigi’s prep in 2021. I am proud that I can work at my three jobs and make my own money.

I am proud of my life.

What does a good life look like to you?

I am happy with my life. A good life looks like my life now. I want to spend lots of time with my girlfriend Emma. I want to keep going on family vacations with my 5 sisters and 1 brother. I want to always stay living in my house. I want one day for all my sis and brother to live with me.

I hope one day to get married and have my own family. I would love to have my own business, work out more and get healthy.

Roll of red, white, and blue "I voted" stickers on a white table

You Have the Power: Go Vote!

It’s almost time to cast your vote in the midterm election. Are you ready?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 adults have a disability. Any cohort of this magnitude carries significant political power, especially during a midterm election year such as 2022.

People with disabilities and their family members recognize that their votes help elect the officials who will run the government, make laws, decide where government money gets spent, and much more. All these decisions have a significant impact on the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and the workforce that supports them.

The Center for American Progress found that nearly 62% of voters with disabilities cast a ballot in the November 2020 election, compared to just 56% in 2016. This increase is in spite of the fact that people with disabilities continue to face barriers to casting their ballot, such as complex mail-in voting procedures, inaccessible voting locations, inexperienced polling workers, guardianship laws, transportation barriers, and more.

This fall, the disability community and their supporters have another opportunity to make their voices heard through their vote. In this current midterm election cycle, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate are on the ballot.  Additionally, eligible voters in 36 states will vote to install new governors. That’s a lot of opportunity for our community to shape the future of our country by simply going to the polls.

To help you navigate this election season, The Arc has created several resources and put together essential information about voting. At thearc.org/vote you can find the following materials in plain language in both English and Spanish:

  • The Arc’s Disability Voting Guide
  • The Election & You: Thinking About Disability
  • Sample Questions for Candidates

You can also check out The Arc’s Civic Action Center to find your state’s upcoming election information, your closest polling location, and verify if you are registered to vote (make sure you know your states deadline!).

Let’s keep the momentum going and show our civic power again this election season. Take the first step and pledge to vote today!

The Arc logo

Blazing a Path Forward: The Arc’s New Access, Equity, and Inclusion Plan

The Arc is on a journey to become a more diverse organization and movement that is fully accessible, equitable, and inclusive. Since embarking on this journey, we have made vital steps, committing to improving our staff’s racial and ethnic diversity, strengthening outreach to diverse communities, creating a dynamic Access, Equity, and Inclusion (AEI) Team, and investing in new partnerships to advance AEI.

As we celebrate this progress, we also re-dedicate ourselves to our commitment to equity and to answering the key questions that drive our work:

  • What does true inclusion and equity look like for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities?
  • How do we ensure we are centering the voices and experiences of people living at society’s margins?

To help us meet these questions, we have developed a new Strategic Action Plan for Advancing Access, Equity, and Inclusion. This plan is the result of a multi-year process, which involved gathering the opinions and experiences of our community members, chapters, and people and groups from diverse and marginalized communities.

Our plan is available in English and Spanish, with more extended and summary versions also available.

This strategic action plan will guide our path forward to meet changes and challenges for years to come. It will keep us accountable and steadfast on our journey to becoming a more vital, accessible, equitable, and inclusive organization. It will help us grow in our leadership in AEI, ensure The Arc becomes more representative of diverse and marginalized communities, and guide us to promote social justice and follow the lead of marginalized groups, communities, and activists.

This plan supports our Strategic Framework for the Future of The Arc. We also hope this plan will guide our 600 chapters nationwide on their AEI journey.

Now more than ever, The Arc must do its part to strategically build the disability rights movement into a more diverse force for change. We proudly present our Strategic Action Plan for Advancing Access, Equity, and Inclusion as a critical guide on this journey.