self advocates

American with Disabilities Act


July 26, 2020 marks thirty years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed. This law was the first official step in ending discrimination against people with disabilities. In addition to physical accessibility, it guarantees equal opportunity in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications. It gives people who were once excluded a chance at a successful and fulfilling life. Many things have improved in the last thirty years with people’s attitudes and accessibility, and in many ways things still have a long way to go. The Arc Alliance, a self-advocacy group at The Arc …

A Message of Solidarity


A Message of Solidarity from President & CEO of The Arc of Monroe, Barbara Wale As I take time to reflect on the recent protests locally, regionally and nationally, our mission and vision stay top of mind for me. The Arc of Monroe’s mission is to create an inclusive society and ensure that the people we support are integrated wholly into our community, where diversity should be honored. Racism, injustice and violence have no place in our society and cannot be tolerated. Yet we continue to be unable to make enough progress regarding diversity in our country. Now, more than ever, …

man with blonde hair and blue shirt

Inclusive language and safe spaces


“Be You, Be the Arc” is not just a catchy slogan that we say at The Arc of Monroe, it’s a reflection of who we are and what we are all about. Our agency is an inclusive place where we empower everyone to find what it is that makes them unique and where we celebrate the diversity that each of us brings. We live our mission statement: “a progressive community that welcomes diversity, fosters meaningful relationships, and cultivates a life of fulfillment for those we support.” In order to welcome diversity, we strive to make every Arc location a safe …

Rallying to support direct support Direct Support Professionals #bfair2DirectCare


Speech given by Nicholas Wager, Direct Support Professional at The Arc of Monroe, at the #bFair2DirectCare Rally held on March 8th, 2019. “I would like to thank everyone for being here – our New York State elected officials, those who organized this rally, fellow Direct Support Professionals, and most importantly the people that we support. My name is Nick Wagar, and I am a direct support professional at The Arc of Monroe. I became interested in this field when I was working as a manager at the Dollar Tree. You see, people would come into the store almost daily, and …


What is the #bFair2DirectCare initiative?


A Message from The President/ CEO of The Arc of Monroe, Barbara Wale For nearly eight years, non-profit agencies which serve New Yorkers with developmental disabilities went without a funding increase. To address this issue, #bFair2DirectCare formed and waged a statewide educational campaign to win funding for a living wage, phased in over six years. In 2017, Governor Cuomo made the commitment to a six year plan for the state to provide an increase in wages for direct support professionals. When fully implemented, the living wage for a DSP would be roughly $16.40/hour upstate. The first two years of the plan were …

Getting around Rochester with a disability


What do you do when you need to go somewhere in Rochester?  You use your car and drive, right?  This is not an option for everyone, including people who have disabilities. How about public transportation? People with disabilities often depend on public transportation to get them places they need, like work, or want to be, like the movies.  But what happens if you don’t live near a bus line?  What if your wheelchair doesn’t fit up the ramp to the bus?  What if you want to be spontaneous about going somewhere? For people with disabilities transportation involves hours of planning …

A living wage for Direct Support Professionals


Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide around-the-clock care to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are professionals who are highly trained in a wide variety of critical areas that include administering medications, giving first aid and CPR, de-escalating dangerous situations, behavioral intervention, and providing for the safety of those they support. Despite the high demands of this job, these dedicated staff do not earn a living wage. Direct Support Professionals make between $10 and $13 per hour. The living wage in New York State is $15.44. What is a living wage? Families and individuals working in low-wage jobs make insufficient …

Election Day, November 6, 2018

Make Voting a Priority


It’s mid-term election time!  Are you going to the polls tomorrow November 6th?  It takes time and research and, yes, it’s a real responsibility, but it’s our chance to really participate in our government. In the last mid-terms only 42% of registered voters participated. Let’s change that this year! We need you to help make a difference tomorrow. Why Vote? This is your chance to make your voice heard.  We are lucky to live in a democracy where we have the opportunity to choose our representatives. Who you vote for can affect your bank account, your rights, your health, and so …

What is Person-Centered Language?


Think of a time when you typed up an email or posted a comment on Facebook really fast. Before you hit send, you looked it over and thought “wow, that’s now how I wanted that to come across.”  You then found yourself going back and typing it all over again to send your message in the way it was intended. While the intentions in your remarks probably weren’t negative, the words that you used set the wrong tone for what you were trying to say.  Thinking about what you’re saying and how you’re saying are huge components of person-centered language. …