The Arc Mid-South's Community Services Program focuses on public awareness and education. This is essential in promoting a better understanding of the needs and the potentials of persons with disabilities. In addition to our newsletter, we offer seminars and workshops on issues concerning people with disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is the single most powerful disability rights law ever passed. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.
The Arc Mid-South maintains a current Information and Referral system of services throughout the Tri-State area for individuals with disabilities. We work with other service agencies, public schools, colleges, and libraries to offer as resources to our clients. To search for disability services in the Mid-South, please check out our "community resources" on the new Resource Library.
The Arc Mid-South advocates for the rights of all people with all disabilities, including developmental and intellectual disabilities. The Community Advocate offers assistance through information and referral, parent meetings, community education, and early childhood developmental screenings. The Arc also co-sponsors the Volunteer Advocacy Project is a free training program for individuals who are willing to become advocates for families as they navigate their way through the world of special education.
We assist parents with understanding laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A community advocate is available to consult with families about special education disputes and attend Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings when necessary. Click here for Information flyer.
My Voice, My Choice is a support group established to enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities by providing an outlet to express ideas and concerns, to develop leadership and confidence skills, and to learn basic self-advocacy skills and disability rights history. The Arc Mid-South held its first meeting on February 21, 2014 at The Arc Mid-South’s office. The meeting was organized and facilitated by three of The Arc Mid-South's own staff members, Brittany Carter, Liesl Becker, and Leslie Jones, all people with disabilities.
Wouldn’t it be beneficial to have a support group designed for parents of individuals who share a common bond? Raising children with disabilities can be challenging; with the support of other individuals who can identify with these concerns, though, and share solutions that may be beneficial, The Arc Mid-South formed a parent support group.
The Arc Mid-South realizes the importance of parents supporting parents, and these “Parent Support Group” meetings serves as an outlet for both parents and caregivers to express themselves.
Ultimately, this group serves as a channel for parents and/ or caregivers to share their personal stories with others who have similar experiences. This group acts as a springboard to assist individuals faced with similar challenges, and in this way, participants are able to provide and receive the support of others.
The Arc Mid-South hosts workshops and training events to help individuals with disabilities and their families maneuver through the vast array of programs and services needed for proper care giving and fulfilled living. Some of the opportunities are:
- Volunteer Advocacy Project - this 12 week program trains volunteers to become special education advocates who can provide instrumental and effective support to families of children with disabilities.
- Financial Planning Seminar – an event that provides information pertaining to the long-term challenges of disability from a financial and legal point of view.
- Disability Awareness Summit - typically held in the Spring, this summit provides an opportunity to learn more about resources, accommodations, and rights of individuals with disabilities.
- Job Readiness Workshop - held in March as a part of National Disabilities Awareness Month, this 2-day event is assists high school juniors and seniors with disabilities explore opportunities available after high school. This includes breakout sessions on job search, interviewing, resume writing, and post-secondary education options.
- Speaking engagements - Staff from The Arc Mid-South are happy to speak to local organizations about the programs and services available through the agency or on specific topics of interest.
- Disability prevention training focusing on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
The Arc Mid-South announces its brand new Parent Blog! The Parent blog is a place for parents and caregivers to find support, read articles, and meet like-minded individuals to discuss concerns. The blog can be accessed by clicking here.