Did You Achieve New Heights with Us?

Temple Grandin Speaks at the 2011 National Convention

Temple Grandin speaks to attendees during the opening plenary at the 2011 National Convention.

The Arc’s 60th Annual Convention was extremely productive and enjoyable for all attendees. Aside from the educational aspects of the convention, advocates from different corners of the nation were able to come together and get to know each other. By sharing the work they are doing locally and their stories, convention turned out to be a great networking opportunity in addition to a place for individuals to learn and grow together.

From the Board Meeting where important decisions on how to keep The Arc moving forward in 2012 were made, insightful breakout sessions where dozens of topics including standards for excellence in chapters and marketing were discussed, and finally the closing plenary where attendees were given a crash-course in community organizing by Don Elmer, a great deal was accomplished during the last day of Convention.

Excitement is already in the air for 2012’s Convention in Washington DC! The Arc will be taking their message international by partnering with Inclusion International for next year’s convention.

We look forward to hearing how chapters across the country are using new ideas and concepts they took away from convention. We are certain that everyone returned home invigorated and excited to continue working and advocating for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Please share with us in the comments any new ideas and programs that this year’s convention inspired!

New Heights in Denver

Day one of The Arc’s National Convention was extraordinarily successful. This year’s theme “Achieving New Heights” resonated through each session on our agenda. Together we are achieving new heights and finding new and innovative ways to grow as a movement, as an organization, and as individual advocates.

In our first day of activities we had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Temple Grandin about issues facing individuals with autism and how to provide better employment opportunities for them, presented Ashley Wolfe and Ricard E. Hemp well deserved awards for their remarkable work in I/DD research, and had the great pleasure of listening to Dr. David Braddock whose work remains a benchmark for advocates to use in their efforts to improve resources for families and their loved ones with I/DD. Not to say we didn’t also have fun with events like “Lucky Nights at Lucky Strike” where Lauren Potter from the hit television show “Glee “spent the night bowling and dancing with other attendees.

Check back to our blog for more updates from Denver!

To see photos from the convention check out our blog or our Flickr set.

To view recent media coverage on the convention, check out this blog post.

Just Believe

Colorado’s 9News did a feature story on The Arc’s National Convention, tying it to a hate crime that occurred two weeks ago in Denver, and how The Arc is working to raise more awareness on the issues that surround people with disabilities. Check it out, and as the story says – believe.

Temple Grandin, Lauren Potter, and Hope Salazar Share the Stage at The Arc’s National Convention

Denver, CO – Dr. Temple Grandin, whose life and work inspired the award-winning HBO biopic starring Claire Danes, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s national convention of The Arc, the country’s leading and largest organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Dr. Grandin will be presented with The Arc’s Image and Inclusion Award by last year’s recipient Lauren Potter, from the hit television program Glee.

Dr. Grandin, who has autism, is one of the top scientists developing groundbreaking methods for more humane handling of livestock. She is renowned for her design of animal handling facilities – currently, half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled in equipment she designed. Dr. Grandin has also developed animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and consults with McDonalds, Wendy’s International, Burger King, and other companies on animal welfare. She is a professor and researcher at Colorado State University, and was honored in Time Magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.”

At age two, Dr. Grandin was non-verbal, and exhibited all the signs of severe autism. Through intensive teaching and speech therapy, she learned to speak. As a child growing up on an Arizona ranch with her aunt, and with the guidance of a high school science teacher, Dr. Grandin was motivated to pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.

“Dr. Grandin’s appearance at The Arc’s national convention is sure to inspire the hundreds of members, staff, volunteers, families and individuals with I/DD that will gather in Denver in September. This convention comes at a critical time in our efforts to reinvigorate our movement and grow The Arc,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc.

In addition to Dr. Grandin, other well respected advocates in the disability community will be on hand, including actress Lauren Potter from Glee, Hope Salazar (wife of U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar), and Dr. David Braddock, the force behind the “State of the States” report on disability issues. Dr. Braddock is a former recipient of The Arc’s Distinguished Research in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Award and will be a featured speaker at the convention in addition to participating in a panel discussion with attendees. The 2011 Convention will take place in Denver, Colorado, September 16 – 18, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

The Arc advocates for and serves people with I/DD, including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 700 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.

Follow The Arc’s 2011 National Convention

Dr. Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin

The Arc has achieved so many great things this year with your help and support. We’ve rolled out a new brand, unveiled new public service announcements, created a fantastic resource for people with autism and other developmental disabilities, released an authoritative study of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and so much more.

We’re excited about what’s next, and you’re an important part of it! We’ll be marching on this weekend at The Arc’s National Convention in Denver, Colorado. If you can’t achieve new heights with us in person, don’t worry – there are many ways you can be a part of the Convention online:

  1. Follow this blog. We’ll post all the news and information coming out of convention each day, and try to post as many photos as we can. You can find the latest headlines from the blog right on our home page, in the bottom left-hand corner.
  2. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Each day, we’ll be posting real-time updates on our social media profiles as well, in addition to meatier updates here. On Twitter, you can use the hash tag, #thearc11, to follow the conversation centered around the Convention. If you’re at Convention, and tweeting, please join the discussion.
  3. Visit our Flickr page. Flickr, a place to share photos, we’ll be the first place we post photos each day from Convention events. Also, if you’re taking and posting photos there, we invite you to post them to our group page.
  4. Use the Convention website. Our Convention website is still the best place to go for all the Convention particulars, like the schedule, list of sponsors and exhibitors and more.

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.

Are You Coming to Denver?

Lucky Strike Lanes

Lucky Strike Lanes

There’s still time to take advantage of early bird rates for The Arc’s National Convention September 16-19 in Denver, CO. Register now and make your reservations at The Sheraton Downtown Denver and get discounted rates saving you hundreds on your trip to the biggest and best opportunity to connect with the intellectual and developmental disability community this year. We’ve extended early registration discounts until August 19 and hotel room discounts are valid until August 14.

We’re expecting a huge crowd for 3 days of informative and inspirational sessions on topics important to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and those who serve them such as:

The Medicaid Crisis, Waiting Lists, Voting, Protecting Social Security, Supporting Families Holistically, Providing Leadership for a Stable Organization, Special Needs Planning for Parents, Self-Advocacy Initiatives, Social Enterprise, Involving siblings and Affordable Housing.

And, don’t miss The Arc and Sprout National Film Festival Luncheon spotlighting people with I/DD or the spectacular Opening Event hosted by The Arc Thrift Stores and The Arc of Colorado at Lucky Strike! Only a short time left to scoop up early bird rates, so don’t delay. Register now here.

Need help getting to Denver? No problem. Hammer Travel is the official travel sponsor of The Arc’s National Convention offering customized, comprehensive travel arrangements for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Visit www.hammertravel.org or call 1-877-345-8599.

Special Thanks to our 2011 National Convention Sponsors: AGS, Diversified Nonprofit Services, Essential Learning, Hammer Travel, The HSC Foundation, Irwin Siegel Agency, Inc., Liberty Mutual, Medisked, MetLife, Managance Consulting, Mutual of America, Rest Assured, Simply Home, Tandem Select, Arc Thrift Stores of Colorado and Trips, Inc.

Temple Grandin Brings Her Celebrity Status and Autism Advocacy to The Arc’s National Convention

WASHINGTON, DC – Dr. Temple Grandin, whose life and work inspired the award-winning HBO biopic starring Claire Danes, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s national convention of The Arc, the country’s leading and largest organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Dr. Grandin, who has autism, is one of the top scientists developing groundbreaking methods for more humane handling of livestock.  She is renowned for her design of animal handling facilities – currently, half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled in equipment she designed. Dr. Grandin has also developed animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and consults with McDonalds, Wendy’s International, Burger King, and other companies on animal welfare. She is a professor and researcher at Colorado State University, and was honored in Time Magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.”

At age two, Dr. Grandin was non-verbal, and exhibited all the signs of severe autism. Through intensive teaching and speech therapy, she learned to speak. As a child growing up on an Arizona ranch with her aunt, and with the guidance of a high school science teacher, Dr. Grandin was motivated to pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.

“Dr. Grandin’s appearance at The Arc’s national convention is sure to inspire the hundreds of members, staff, volunteers, families and individuals with I/DD that will gather in Denver in September. This convention comes at a critical time in our efforts to reinvigorate our movement and grow The Arc,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc.

In addition to Dr. Grandin, other celebrities in the disability community will be on hand, including actress Lauren Potter from Glee and Dr. David Braddock, the force behind the “State of the States” report on disability issues. The 2011 Convention will take place in Denver, Colorado, September 16 – 18, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

The Arc advocates for and serves people with I/DD, including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 700 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.