Strengthening The Arcs Presence
Target Audience: Professionals|Family Members|Self-Advocates
When chapters support people with I/DD, staff, and community members to work together to address challenges in the community, everybody wins. The community receives support and assistance from eager volunteers ready to make a difference; people with I/DD get the opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends in the community; and community members learn about the value that people with I/DD bring to their community.
Chapters of The Arc also reap multiple benefits in this win-win scenario.
• First, inclusive volunteering advances The Arc’s belief that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities belong in the community and have fundamental moral, civil and constitutional rights to be fully included and actively participate in all aspects of society and advances our mission to promote the genuine inclusion of people in the community.
• Second, inclusive service opportunities strengthen the reputation of the chapter in the community. According to a 2013 Fleishman-Hillard Lepere Analytics study, consumers in the community view an organization as being much more than services provided to the community. Rather, consumers tend to view the organization as the sum total of everything the organization says and does. By focusing on developing and enhancing community service activities that address critical community challenges, chapters of The Arc can improve connections with the community – with families that may need assistance; with potential members; with community partners that can help advance programmatic or advocacy goals; and with donors and potential funders.
• Finally, inclusive volunteering opportunities can help chapters address how to meet the regulations set out in the home and community-based services (HCBS) final rule. HCBS provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community rather than institutions or other isolated settings. The HCBS Final Rule, published in January 2014, seeks to empower people with I/DD to lead full, independent, and purpose-driven lives in the community by requiring that all settings in which funded HCBS are provided, including day programs, must be integrated and support full access to the community. This means that people with disabilities must be given the following opportunities:
• to spend time with others without disabilities,
• to use community services and participate in activities in their community, and
• to work in the community and to have the opportunity to earn a competitive wage.
Our panelists will describe how inclusive volunteering and community service has helped them advance their organizational goals, The Arc’s mission, and meet the new HCBS final rule in their communities. Panelists will offer practical tips and strategies that you can use to jump-start or strengthen service activities in your community.
Program Manager, National Initiatives
Washington, District of Columbia
Jennifer Sladen is the Program Manager for National Initiatives at The Arc of the United States. In this role, Jennifer contributes to the development, implementation and evaluation of individual and family support initiatives, including the Center for Future Planning®, and leads The Arc's MLK Day of Service volunteer initiative. Since joining The Arc in 2011, she has contributed to several projects relating to autism, employment, health and family support. She received bachelor degrees in International Studies and Political Science from Indiana University and a master degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chief Operating Officer
The Arc of Ulster-Greene
Kingston, New York
Nan has been a member of The Arc of Ulster-Greene family and a champion in the developmental disabilities field for more than 30 years. Since beginning her tenure at The Arc of Ulster-Greene in 1985 as a Direct Support Professional, Nan has been chosen to take on many leadership roles, including Intake Coordinator, Director of Community Support Services and Director of Clinical Services. Having directly overseen much of the programs offered by The Arc of Ulster-Greene, paired with her experience as a direct service provider, Nan was integral in the agency's national accreditation by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). Nan holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Marist College.
The Arc Nature Coast
Nancy's passion for serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) began at an early age when her older brother, Gary, was diagnosed with I/DD and was placed in a state institution. She's tirelessly advocated for inclusion and acceptance for Gary and others all her adult life.
Nancy's background includes advertising, sales and marketing. She has been the Development Director for The Arc Nature Coast for 16 years and has served on the Exceptional Student Education Advisory Council, the Family Care Council, the Family CAFE Delegates Council in Florida and is a graduate of the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Hernando.
A native Floridian, Nancy enjoys kayaking, gardening and spending time shopping and dining with her brother, Gary.
Vice President of Operations
Albemarle, North Carolina
Melissa Hall is the Vice President of Operations where she oversees operations in eastern North Carolina for long term services and supports. Melissa has worked in the human services field for over 27 years. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She recently graduated from Pfeiffer University with a Master of Business Administration. Melissa also completed Leadership Richmond through the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce and the Advancing Strong Leadership Consortium through the DD Council and the University of Delaware. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Melissa moved to North Carolina in 1994, where she and her husband, Robby, have been married for 21 years and have a teenage son and daughter.
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