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.

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.

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.

Serious Star Power Coming to The Arc’s National Convention

Dr. Temple Grandin

You might need sunglasses to attend The Arc’s National Convention in Denver this September. We’re bringing serious star power to the stage with major wattage coming from Hollywood and the intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) sector.
First up is Dr. David Braddock, a major star in the I/DD community as head of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities and the driving force behind the “State of the States in Developmental Disabilities” which offers insight into crucial public policy issues. Dr. Braddock has just updated this vital report for 2011 and will share his thoughts on where we stand on disability policy today.

Plus, Lauren Potter from the hit TV show GLEE will be on hand to present this year’s Image and Inclusion Award for accurate and positive portrayals of I/DD in the media. Lauren, who has Down syndrome, is not only a talented actress but has recently become a very visible spokesperson for the I/DD movement. She filmed a compelling PSA for Spread the Word to End the Word campaign against the “r” word with her co-star Jane Lynch and has spoken out against bullying. She was recently in Washington, D.C. with The Arc to help us publicly release the results of the landmark FINDS (Family and Individual Needs for Disability Support) survey and taped a special message to close our newest PSA currently airing across the country.

Finally, Convention attendees will be treated to a keynote presentation from best-selling author and noted animal scientist Dr. Temple Grandin, who has autism. Dr. Grandin’s life and work was the subject of a popular 2010 HBO biopic starring Clarie Danes. The film was highly-praised and recognized with Emmys, Golden Globes and a Peabody Award.
As you can see, it’s an all-star lineup so grab your autograph book and make your reservations now for The Arc’s National Convention September 16-19 in Denver, CO.

Are You Coming to Denver for The Arc’s National Convention?

Dr. Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin

Registration is now open for The Arc’s 2011 National Convention in Denver, CO, September 16-19. You should join us this year. It’s simply the biggest and best opportunity to connect with others in the intellectual and developmental disability community such as members of The Arc, chapter staff and volunteers, professionals and experts in the field plus individuals with I/DD and their families.

This year, we’ll be Achieving New Heights with special appearances from Dr. David Braddock, the force behind the “State of the States in Developmental Disabilities” assessment of state performance on issues important to the I/DD community and Dr. Temple Grandin, the noted scientist and subject of the award-winning biopic Temple Grandin, a film about her accomplishments and living with autism.

We have a special treat for those of you who attended last year’s Convention. Actress Lauren Potter from Glee, who stole the show along with her co-star Robin Trocki in Orlando, returns this year. Lauren, who has Down syndrome, was a delight at last year’s event, meeting and greeting fans for hours.

In addition to the roundup of informative and enlightening sessions covering topics such as advocacy, leadership, innovation, and public policy, we’re bringing back the popular Exchange – a roundtable discussion group. And, we’re turning the Exhibit Hall into a dynamic Marketplace where you can find out more about programs, services and products designed especially for you. Look for Entrepreneur Alley, where budding businesspeople with I/DD can showcase their entrepreneurial spirit.

Register now before August 5 for discounted registration and room rates at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. Check out the full Convention Schedule and find out more about our beautiful host city at www.thearc.org.

Temple Grandin to Keynote at Convention

Dr. Temple Grandin, the real-life inspiration the biopic which recently won Claire Danes an Emmy and a Golden Globe award, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at The Arc’s National Convention in Denver, CO in September.

Dr. Grandin is a woman with autism who became one of the top scientists developing groundbreaking methods for the humane treatment of livestock. Make your plans now to attend the Convention this fall. Early registration begins soon at www.thearc.org.