National Coming Out Day for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Staff Perspectives

Every year on October 11, we recognize National Coming Out Day, which celebrates coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+). “Coming out” refers to the disclosure of sexuality or gender identity to friends, family, or colleagues. It is a courageous and life-changing act that allows people to live authentically as themselves. People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) come from all different backgrounds and are also diverse in their sexuality and gender identity. Emerging research shows that many people with IDD don’t accept the rigid binaries of gender or sexuality and identify themselves as part of the …

Back to School and Mental Health

Health and Wellness

With the first few weeks of school behind us, I am reflecting on what it was like this time of year for my kids as they got ready to board school buses for their first day of class or move into dorms. During this back-to-school season, it’s normal for parents and kids to have mixed emotions of being both excited and scared, but so much has changed over the past two years. All of us can relate to how the pandemic caused widespread disruption to our lives and the lives of our children, especially as far as school is concerned. …

Chronic Pain and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Health and Wellness

Studies have shown that pain has long been recognized to have a negative effect on emotional status, ability to work, social activities, interpersonal relationships, and functional ability and leads to the increased utilization of healthcare services. I chose this topic because it is personal to me. I have bone-on-bone arthritis in my hip, and my quality of life has been greatly effected because the pain is exhausting.  With that said, I am lucky because I have the tools to either ask for help or get help myself. Can you imagine having chronic pain and not being able to express your …

Dementia and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Health and Wellness

What is Dementia? Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Although it is well known that older people are at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, it is less well known that individuals with intellectual disabilities, especially Down syndrome, are also at high risk of the disease, and research shows that people with IDD have a prevalence of dementia. What are some signs of Dementia? Early signs may include changes in health, and in …

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 …

7 Tips for Protecting Skin While Supporting People with IDD

Health and Wellness

With the people we support at The Arc of Monroe getting older and having more medical complexities, one of the most important things we can do is protect their skin. Pressure ulcers (AKA “bedsores”) are a dangerous type of skin breakdown that can lead to infection, pain, or even death. They are caused by pressure on an area of skin that interferes with blood flow to the area causing the skin and underlying tissues to break down. A mild pressure ulcer may just look like redness or discoloration on the skin, but if left untreated, it can progress through the …

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 – …

Decking the Halls at Ballantyne Day Services!

Programs and Services, Stories Of People We Support

We decked the halls at Ballantyne Day Services this week with dancing, a bell choir, and a visit from the big guy himself, Santa Claus! . We designed Ballantyne to support the specific needs of aging adults, including those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit Check out the photos from our 2021 Celebration:

Guardianship Program Celebrates the Holidays

Programs and Services, Stories Of People We Support

This week we celebrated the holidays in style with a festive lunch with delicious food and loads of gifts, presented by The Arc of Monroe’s Guardianship Committee! Each guest was given a bag of gifts, each personally chosen just for them! The Arc’s Guardianship Advocates become a part of a person’s life, listening to their wishes and needs, and supporting them with decision-making in the areas of medical care, finances, personal life decisions and many other areas. For more information, visit Check out the photos from our 2021 Holiday Luncheon!

Celebrating A Toast to The Arc!

Arc Foundation of Monroe

On Friday night we celebrated with A Toast to The Arc! We kicked off the night by saluting our Special Guest of Honor, Tori Campbell, who was selected for exhibiting determination and grit to overcome obstacles or challenges in her life in a continual effort towards growth and independence. 2021 Outstanding Champions This year’s 2021 Outstanding Champions were selected for their accomplishments and for their work to champion independence and success for all people: Cornerstone Award Warren Heilbronner This award is presented to a person or persons who stands for ingenuity and perseverance, and have been integral in sustaining and …