The Arc of Monroe Celebrates Disability Pride Month

Advocacy, Programs and Services

Every July, millions of Americans celebrate Disability Pride Month. The celebration began in 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. That same year, Boston held the first Disability Pride Day. The first official celebration of Disability Pride Month occurred in July 2015, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Since then, cities across the country have celebrated Disability Pride Month with parades and other festivities. [1] Disability Pride Month is an opportunity for the disability community to celebrate its visibility and highlight accomplishments in a collective way. At The Arc of Monroe, everything …

Arc Alliance Announces Newly Appointed Co-Chairs

Advocacy

Arc Alliance is a self-advocacy group hosted by The Arc of Monroe comprised of people with disabilities across the Rochester region. 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. In 2022, Reenie Levy and Josh D. were voted to lead the group as the new co-chairs. Meet Reenie 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 …

Understanding The Intersection of Black & Disability History

Advocacy, Stories Of People We Support

For decades, civil rights advocates have led the way in creating meaningful change in American society for many diverse groups of people. As the Civil Rights Movement picked up momentum across the United States in the mid-1900’s, the Disability Rights Movement mirrored many of the same efforts, creating an overlap in advocacy for both populations. Generations of Black people and people with disabilities were treated in horrific ways throughout our nation’s history. In order to help create a more welcoming, kind community, self-advocates and supporting staff of Arc Alliance – a self-advocacy group organized by The Arc of Monroe – …

September is Deaf Awareness Month & International Week of the Deaf Begins September 20

Advocacy, Health and Wellness, Staff Perspectives

September is Deaf Awareness Month and International Week of the Deaf begins September 20! The first International Day of the Deaf was first celebrated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in 1958. The day of awareness was later extended to a full week, becoming the International Week of the Deaf (IWD). Deaf Awareness Week (IWD) is a national week of celebrating deafness. It is observed annually throughout the last full week of September (to commemorate the first World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf, which took place in September 1951). The week focuses on promoting the positive aspects of deafness, encouraging …

Volunteer and Make a Difference for a Family Member with a Developmental Disability

Advocacy, Family Perspectives, Programs and Services, Volunteer

The Arc of Monroe Family Reimbursement Advisory Committee is seeking volunteers to serve as members on the committee. The Arc of Monroe Family Reimbursement Program helps families caring for a family member with a developmental disability with access to purchase or otherwise obtain goods and services needed to support the family member at home and strengthen the quality of life for the person and their family. Requests for the goods and services are reviewed on a monthly basis by the Family Reimbursement Advisory Committee that is includes: people with a developmental disability, family members, community advocates, and Arc of Monroe …

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: “A Mission of Heart”

Advocacy, Staff Perspectives

As Black History Month comes to a close, I reflect on the year that we have experienced and the way in which America has been educated on the experiences of those from marginalized groups. While this “awakening” has been important to the evolution of our life, the work of growth has truly just begun. This work and growth can be uncomfortable. It can be hard to accept that life has not been equitable to others, or that some have experienced privilege. I have found that many people get hung up on the term “privilege.” Privilege is often invisible to those that …

self advocates

American with Disabilities Act

Advocacy

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 …

man with blonde hair and blue shirt

Inclusive language and safe spaces

Advocacy

“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

Advocacy

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 …

#bfair2DirectCare

What is the #bFair2DirectCare initiative?

Advocacy

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 …