March-National Disability Awareness Month
March has been recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month since 1987 when President Ronald Reagan made a public proclamation - dedicating the month to increasing public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. The goal is the same today and also focuses on the importance of inclusion and living life side-by-side.
Year round, The Arc works to help people of all abilities build rich meaningful lives. We inform and educate people of the rights of individuals with disabilities to live, learn, work and play as valued and contributing members of society resulting in stronger and more diverse communities. But sometimes the barrier has nothing to do with the width of a doorway or an employer’s hiring practices. Sometimes the barrier is as subtle as a nervous glance from an uninformed person in line with you at the market.
The Arc invites you to join us in March to help raise awareness about people with developmental disabilities. If you are a person with a disability or know someone who does have a disability, simply make plans to go out somewhere in public with them numerous times in the month of March. Plan a day out and enjoying the things you like to do. And, in the process help raise awareness and generate some conversation about people with disabilities during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This will serve to harness our collective power to gain allies, foster understanding, dispel myths, encourage a greater understanding among people without a disability and will be helping break down those social barriers.
October-National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month."
The Arc is proud to be a part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Every day, people with disabilities add significant value and talent to our employers and economy. They conduct business, educate our youth, deliver goods and services, and serve our communities.
The Community Information and Referral Liaison attends the school IEP or 504 planning meeting as part of helping the team in putting together all the necessary pieces to assist that individual with disabilities and their family in connecting up with formal and informal supports. They inform the student, family and school staff of the resources available with emphasis on preparing for life after high school.
Through this process it is the goal of The Arc that students, their families and school staff will have a better understanding of the services available, appropriate to the age of the student, such as Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) (respite care, community inclusion, employment and personal care), Social Security Administration (SSA)’s Social Security Income (SSI) (cash assistance), Transportation and housing.
The Arc of Grays Harbor always looking for people to join the Liaison Team! Community Liaisons are volunteers who agree to attend a 1 day training at The Arc to learn the landscape of services available to students with disabilities, especially those who are in transition to adult services. They also agree to attend IEP meetings when available upon invitation by the Arc, family member or a local school district. During the meeting, they are expected to provide information about local services available, appropriate to the student's age. They are not expected to provide educational, parenting or legal advice to the school or the parents.
For I.E.P./504 Liaison assistance or to volunteer to be a Liaison, please contact:
The Arc of Grays Harbor Phone: 1-360-537-7000
Autism or autism spectrum disorder is characterized by specific behaviors that an individual presents. These challenges are not limited to just social awkwardness. They may include social skills, speech, repetitive behaviors, a preference to being alone, and unusual insistence on routine. Diagnoses of autism usually occur at a younger age with a higher prevalence for boys over girls. (It is four to five times more common in boys than girls). Based on information from the CDC 1 in 68 people in America have ASD. If these statistics hold true for Grays Harbor County, then there would be approximately 1071 individuals with ASD. Despite how common it is, there is nobody in Grays Harbor County, who can diagnose ASD. There are also no qualified ABA therapists in the county. For families that are taking care of a loved one who has ASD their trek for help begins with a long wait and ends with an even longer drive.
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