This year– we shared with you inspirational stories about three individuals who are working to create a better future for their families, their peers and the nation as a part of The Arc’s nationwide movement towards independence and inclusion for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families. Each of them are champions for The Arc’s movement.
Champions like David — creating a future for himself while helping his brother achieve his dream of sustaining employment in the community. Champions like Kim — advocating so strongly about inclusion for both of her daughters that she founded a nonprofit to foster an inclusive environment for kids in schools across the country. Champions like Joe — dedicating his life’s work to creating a better future for himself, his brother, and his peers as a selfadvocate and teaching others to be their own best advocate.
David, Kim, and Joe are a true inspiration. Looking to the future, it is clear that we need many more champions to realize the vision of individuals with I/DD getting all the supports they need to lead a fully inclusive life.
This year, The Arc engaged in groundbreaking work to innovate and address the needs of individuals with I/DD through our national initiatives including: Wings for Autism, our Center for Future Planning, and our National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability, all while continuing to aggressively pursue our legislative agenda.
Our Wings For Autism® program really took off this year. A travel training simulation for families that have a son or daughter with autism or other disabilities continues to gain traction and is being implemented by chapters of The Arc at airports across America including in North Carolina, Florida, Alaska, Oklahoma, Washington, Arizona, Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
The Center for Future Planning a resource center designed by The Arc to help families and individuals with I/DD to create person-centered future plans. The center will support families by empowering person centered planning in order to help them articulate what they would like to achieve over the course of their life and then providing a concrete plan to help them do so.
We also broke ground to protect the rights of people with disabilities in the criminal justice system, through the launch of our new National Center for Criminal Justice and Disability funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.
However, these initiatives require the dedication and generosity of champions like you to ensure they become fully effective, sustainable and continue to meet community needs into the future.
The collective voice of champions like you will advance and protect the human rights of individuals with I/DD and help them achieve full inclusion and participation in their communities today and into the future. Please become a champion for The Arc and Donate Today!