Advocacy Does Matter!

Joe Arridy and his Mother image

Joe Arridy and his mother.

If you’re planning on attending The Arc’s National Convention this September, you’ll get to hear firsthand the dramatic story of how The Arc of the Pikes Peak Region along with Bob Perske, David Martinez , fought for and won a pardon for a man with intellectual and developmental disabilities who was wrongly convicted of murder.

On January 7, 2011, seventy-two years and one day after Joe Arridy was wrongly executed, justice was finally served. Thanks to tireless advocacy efforts, years of public awareness campaigns, former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter granted Joe a posthumous pardon. Joe was diagnosed with an intellectual disability and committed to the “Colorado State Home and Training School for Mental Defectives” at the age of 10. The institution determined that Joe had an IQ of 46. While on trial for the murder of the young girl, physiatrists testified that Joe had “the mind of a 6 year old” but that he was not “insane.” Though his attorney worked tirelessly against the highly questionable prosecution, Joe was found guilty and executed.

The Arc of the Pikes Peak Region dedicated itself to clearing Joe’s name. Working with advocates in the community, local attorneys, and even screenwriters to raise awareness of the injustice, the story of Joe Arridy began to spread throughout Colorado. Their dedication paid off. Now those advocates are being honored with the annual Advocacy Matters! Award at The Arc’s National Convention in Denver, CO September 16-19.

More National Convention Awards! Check the full Convention schedule for the dates and times of the awards presentations.

Image and Inclusion Award

Presented to Dr. Temple Grandin for inspiring an award-winning movie with her life and work. “Temple Grandin,” starring Claire Danes has been recognized with Golden Globes, Emmys and most recently a Peabody Award, helping to raise awareness about autism.

Research in Action

Presented to Ashley A. Wolfe for significantly contributing to participatory action research efforts in the I/DD field.

Distinguished Researcher in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Award

Presented to Richard E. Hemp for his critical contributions to data on family support and the federal expenditures that support people with I/DD.

2 thoughts on “Advocacy Does Matter!

  1. A couple months ago three 8th grade bullies brutally attacked a mentally handicapped 5th grade child, and posted a video of the attack on youtube. It was not publicized that the victim was mentally handicapped, but this is a fact and can be verified. It is probably why he was targeted. The attack violated several Florida laws, and posting it on youtube violated a federal child porn law. However, law enforcement and the Florida State attorney have not arrested or charged anybody. They know who the bullies are, but appear to be trying to ignore the attack. Is there anybody at ARC who can help bring the criminals to justice? A local newscast about the attack can be seen here:

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