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 …

Juneteenth flag

Juneteenth Resources and Events

Staff Perspectives

Juneteenth It is the oldest known holiday that commemorates the end of slavery and celebrates the emancipation of African-Americans in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19th (the name is a combination of the words “June” and “nineteenth”) On June 19th, 1865, the Union Army landed in Galveston, Texas and informed enslaved people that the Civil War had ended and slavery had been abolished. Union soldiers were there to enforce President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had actually gone into effect more than two years earlier, on January 1, 1863. (In fact, Lincoln himself had been assassinated a …

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 …

Roc the Love

OFC fundraiser benefits the Arc of Monroe

OFC Creations Presents ROC the LOVE! A Benefit for the Arc of Monroe Saturday, February 15, 2020 at Comedy @ the Carlson ROC the LOVE is a benefit variety performance for the Arc of Monroe. From comedy to vocals to dance… ROC the LOVE is dedicated to inclusion, love, and bringing our community together. Featuring performances by Sky Sands, Thomas Warfield, Diane Chevron, Dresden Engle, Garth Fagan Dance, OFC’s cast of Mamma Mia and many more. Join us for an unforgettable performance as we start 2020 off with nothing but love! For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. …

ArcWorks, Contract Manufacturing

ArcWorks integrating people with disabilities into the workforce

Programs and Services

By: Velvet Spicer November 27, 2019 published in the Rochester Business Journal. In 2017, just 6 percent of Monroe County’s more than 57,000 disabled residents were employed, and of the nearly 20,000 total individuals unemployed in the county that year, some 19 percent were people with disabilities. ArcWorks, a program of the Arc of Monroe, is looking to improve that. “We’re an integrated contract manufacturer that employs assembly operators and individuals with disabilities,” said ArcWorks’ business development manager Melissa Mayo. “Many people who come in to take a tour, I don’t know what their thoughts were in the past, but when they …

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 …

Special Olympics Walk for Inclusion 2019

2019 Special Olympics New York Walk for Inclusion  Sunday, September 15th, 2019 Registration:  8:30AM – 9:45AM Walk for Inclusion Starts:  10:00AM Pittsford Community Center 35 Lincoln Ave, Pittsford, NY 14534 Inclusiveness. Improving our Health.  Celebrating 50 Years of the Eternal Flame of Hope. WHAT IS THE WALK FOR INCLUSION? Celebrating 50 years creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all. Celebrating a new state of the art training facility that symbolizes inclusiveness and the investment of improving the health of our athletes.  The Walk for Inclusion serves as the spark for people to commit to making their community more inclusive, …

Woman smiling

Youth with autism can get job training

Programs and Services

As Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis increases, how can we help prepare youth on the spectrum for adulthood?  In April of 2018 the Arc of Monroe’s Job Path service launched the Autism Community Employment Initiative (ACE Initiative) to help high-school aged youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  This service is in collaboration with Norman Howard and provides students with a short-term internship program that teaches work readiness skills.  Norman Howard works with ACCES-VR to place students in this service. Before the internship begins, students participate in after-school work readiness training to prepare for the experience.  This training focuses on regulating emotions, handling …

New Logo

Board member influenced by sister and friend


My inspiration for getting involved with the Arc Foundation’s Board of Directors came from my desire to grow my professional network and get more involved in the community.  I didn’t know much about the Arc of Monroe but I had experience with close family and friends who had disabilities.  As an adult, my sister became disabled with mental illness.  My childhood influences were the many neighbors who were our family’s friends.   Particularly, the family next door had a daughter with a disability who was my age.  From an early age I became aware of the struggles and difficulties that face …

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 …