IN THIS ISSUE
From the Executive Director’s Desk
The Arc was fortunate to welcome a new Director, Nofre Vaquer, who is poised to take The Arc of Philadelphia to the forefront of advocacy efforts in the Commonwealth. Through the hard work of many advocacy organizations including the Arc of PA and many local chapters, the Adult Protective Services act was passed, ensuring that people with disabilities have access to a program of protective services and the least possible restriction on the exercise of their personal and civil rights. The Arc programs such as “Include Me From the Start”, our partnership with Wal-Mart “Creating Environments for On-Going Success”, and the multi-lingual community outreach, are all moving forward, growing and evolving, and serving many people.
The work that we are engaged in is life- changing, and donors and volunteers are at the heart of what we do. I hope that as we welcome another new year, you will consider joining our efforts in any way that you can – we are so grateful for your generosity.
The Arc of Philadelphia ... A New Energy
We ‘d like to introduce you to the new face of the The Arc of Philadelphia. We are very fortunate to have appointed Nofre Vaquer as the new director. He is very familiar with our organization and has an unwavering commitment to our mission. With his team, Nofre has embarked on an ambitious strategy to solidify the Arc’s position on legislative issues that affect everyone. The Arc of Philadelphia’s approach is postive, collegial, and seeks to educate and include. We welcome you to get involved and become our partner in achieving our goals of collaboration, inclusion, and equality.
Be a voice, make a difference and help shape the community around you.
Dear Friends of The Arc of Philadelphia,
Hello, and thank you for welcoming me. I am proud to be serving as your director. With a background in finance and operations management, I am committed to promoting growth, awareness and sustainability.
In the coming months, we will continue discussions with our lawmakers advocating for needed changes and we will continue to educate our community on the necessity for inclusion for all individuals. Now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to convey our message, raise questions, and seek resolutions from our representatives. Our message is simple: Equal opportunity for every individual must be honored.
Nofre Vaquer, Director of The Arc of Philadelphia
Executive Director Bruce Hulick and New Arc Director Nofre Vaquer shakiing hands with Governor person .. photo credit Bonnie Squires
The Arc of Philadelphia ... Back to the Basics
The Arc of Philadelphia believes that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have strengths, abilities, and inherent value; are equal before the law; and must be treated with dignity and respect.
The Arc believes in and supports a democratic process. We involve our members and the community as we generate our position on important issues, policies, and programs.
Vocal in the community, we lead with integrity, accountability, and through open, honest and timely communication. We work with individuals, organizations, and coalitions collaboratively.
We work toward and believe that the best way for us to have our message heard is through the community. DIVERSITY
The Arc values and insists upon diversity in its leadership and membership. We pursue and welcome diverse groups from all walks of life in support of our mission.
INTEGRITY & EXCELLENCE
The Arc conducts its advocacy efforts with integrity. The Arc reflects quality and excellence in all its work and has a strong voice in the community because of this continued standard.
The Arc works with you to ensure that your needs are met and your rights understood. No matter what your question is, or what kind of support you are seeking, when it comes to intellectual and developmental disabilities, our team can help.
LEGISLATIVE POLICY PROJECT
We are the voice that serves as your direct link to local representatives and policy makers through regular and ongoing meetings intended to better meet the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
SCHOOL TO COMMUNITY TRANSITION
A Wal-Mart funded School-to-Community Initiative providing our community with a system for transitioning students with intellectual and developmental disabilities from the classroom into paid employment opportunities.
INTEGRATING CHILDREN INTO REGULAR CLASSROOMS
Include Me from the Start
Provides training and technical assistance to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to create the best possible learning environment from early education into young adulthood. Our aim is to help build inclusion capacity within the student’s school districts.
MULTI-LINGUAL SPECIAL EDUCATION OUTREACH
Helping families who speak little or no English understand Special Education Law and understand their basic rights. The Arc assists and guides parents and students of intellectual and developmental disabilities with translation needs. We can assist you with IEPs, communicating with the School District and teachers, and being present as an advocate.
The Arc in Action ...
Multi-Lingual Special Education
When John O. survived a car accident leading to multiple developmental disabilities, his parents were relieved just to know their son had survived. Unfortunately, that relief soon turned to desperation. With parents that couldn’t speak English, a lack of information, improper planning, and a misguided IEP, John’s educational development had become almost a lost cause…
In May, the Arc received a phone call from a doctor at Belmont Hosptial explaining that her client, 14 year old John O., needed an advocate. A result of the accident, John’s academic achievement reached only a third grade level.
His parents, Cambodian natives, were confused as they knew very little about the Special Education system, laws, and services, and they didn’t know where to turn.
With the help of the staff and friends of the Arc, John O. entered the Multi-Lingual Special Education Outreach Program. Funded, in part, through a grant from the PA Developmental Disabilities Council, John and his family were guided every step of the way in informing the family of their rights, the processes and procedures in the special education system, and of the services that are available to their son—all in their own language.Get Involved ... The Arc Needs Volunteers
The Arc is a place where people from all backgrounds and all walks of life join their hearts and hands, values and visions, and time and talents to build brighter futures for Philadelphians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Interested in helping to support our mission? If so, GET INVOLVED and help create opportunities for inclusion. Volunteers and members make the difference. Won't you join the effort?
The Arc of Philadelphia is funded by private grants and donations.
Support HB 704
Special Education Funding Reform
The current funding system does not provide enough resources for special education in the right places. It sets the number of students eligible for state funding for special education at 16% regardless of whether the district has fewer or more students receiving special education. It also does not focus the funding on strategies that have a track record for improving student performance.
Contact your legislator today!
1. Support House Bill 704 in the Senate Education Committee and on the Senate floor.
2. Support reform of the state funding and accountability system for special education.
3. HB 704 has 66 bipartisan co-sponsors. It was approved 173-25 by the full House of Representatives in June of 2010.
4. The school districts you represent need additional resources and support from the state, and must be held accountable for results.
5. I have personal experience with how this system affects children with disabilities and all students. (Describe your experience.)
Contact your legislator today.
|Spirit of Service
CHESTNUT HILL COLLEGE
Thank you Chestnut Hill College students, for showing your community spirit by volunteering.
Students and alumni from Villanova University came to help us with our Fall Clean Up and to help wash our agency vehicles. Go Wild Cats!
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