Arc Alliance Self Advocacy Group

Arc Alliance is a self advocacy group organized by The Arc of Monroe that is comprised of people with disabilities. The group meets monthly to talk about the latest issues that people with disabilities face in their communities, as well as practical solutions to bring meaningful change.

Want to get involved? The group is open to anyone in the greater Rochester area! Members do not need to receive services from The Arc of Monroe to be part of Arc Alliance. Email Jessica Blondell to learn about how to join.

2023 Goals & Discussion Topics

All goals and discussion subjects are planned out by Arc Alliance members and staff leaders to engage attendees and the community in healthy discussion about issues and topics surrounding people with disabilities. Some examples for 2023 include:

>> Learning about The Arc of Monroe's advocacy goals
>> Common language about disability
>> Law enforcement 
>> Facebook scams and staying safe online
>> Dating in 2023
>> Medicaid, Medicare, and healthcare 
>> Deaf and hearing topics
>> Voter registration
>> Disability History Week recognition
>> How a bill becomes a law
>> Diversity, Equity and Inclusion  

Arc of Monroe Contacts

Christen Smith
Director of Marketing & Communications
(585) 773-8535

Jessica Blondell
Marketing Manager & Interim Arc Alliance Leader
(585) 643-0097

Arc Alliance meets monthly at The Arc of Monroe headquarters and on Zoom. Email Jessica Blondell if you have questions or need the Zoom link.

2060 Brighton Henrietta Townline Rd.
Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 271-0660

Upcoming Events

Join us for an upcoming meeting or event! All monthly meetings are hybrid (Zoom and in-person).

January 26, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | 2023 Advocacy Goals
February 23, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | NYS Budget 
March 23, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Discussion with Assemblymember Jen Lunsford
April 27, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | DEI Discussion with Fernan Cepero
May 25, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Online Safety & SANYS Membership
June 22, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Personal Safety & SANYS Conference 
July 27, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | National Advocacy with The Arc US
August 24, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Discussion with Assemblymember Demond Meeks
September 28, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Mobile DMV & Board of Elections Hands-on Workshop
October 19, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | IDD and the Media with Local & National Reporters
November 30, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Visit with Senator Samra Brouk
December 21, 2023  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Holiday Party

Interested in joining the Arc Alliance self advocacy group or have questions? Fill out the form below, and someone from our team will connect with you!

Meet the 2022-2023 Co-Chairs

Every year, the Arc Alliance Co-Chairs work with the group's Arc of Monroe staff leader to determine what projects to work on, facilitate meetings and advocate in their community. Reenie Levy and Josh D. were voted to lead the group in 2022 by other members.

Reenie Levy

I have been at the Arc of Monroe since 1985 when I worked in the Arc workshop until I was 40. I advocated to take the R word out of our organization’s name when I saw it on our paychecks –  Association for “R” Children. It was then that I wanted to know about starting a self-advocacy group. I was told that a lady named Sandy was going to see if anyone wanted to start a self-advocacy group, and I said, “YES!” So, I was immediately on board. Soon after, I went to meetings in Batavia and the State conference in Albany. After a brief leave of absence from the group for personal reasons, I rejoined when Brian Potvin began to lead the meetings. Now, I am co-chair of the Arc Alliance group!

I have a disability, and I am Deaf in both ears. In December of 2020, I had a Cochlear implant put into my right ear. What a difference it has made for me to hear! And soon I will be getting my left ear done! I have wires and a magnet in my head, so I have bionic hearing.

I am definitely very happy with my family and friends, and I owe a lot to The Arc. My niece is now working with Job Path and loves it as well! I also want to thank Person Centered Services and Brian Potvin, my mentor. I mostly want to thank the people at The Arc of Monroe for their understanding and hard work for people who need people.

Josh D

I joined Arc Alliance in 2018 as I was in the process of relocating to the Rochester area and wanted to be involved in a local self-advocacy group. Since then, I have also joined other committees and groups including GiGi’s PlayhouseSisters and Brothers in Advocacy, Advocacy Masters, Powers that BeBest Buddies Friendship Walk, the Self Advocacy Network of NYS (SANYS), The Arc’s National Council of Self Advocates, and the Special Olympics.

I love being part of groups that educate people about disabilities and learning about everyone’s stories. It gives me a sense of community and the feeling that I fit in with everyone else. Being co-chair with Reenie for Arc Alliance this year is an honor. We are excited to work together to help bring more people from across The Arc and other organizations into the group so we can have a bigger and stronger voice in our community. I enjoy networking with other advocacy groups to expand our community.

One of my main goals is to help educate people, both in our community and those who want to join our group. If anyone is interested in SANYS courses or joining Arc Alliance, I would be happy to share more about the opportunities we offer.

Check out these photos from past events and Arc Alliance meetings!

More Advocacy Resources from The Arc of Monroe

If you're interested in learning more about how The Arc of Monroe is leading the way in advocacy efforts for people with disabilities in our region, we invite you to visit our advocacy page. There, you will find information about how to contact your local government representatives, our agency's stance on various disability issues and how to help empower people in your community to take action. 

Learn More