Groundbreaking FINDS Report Picked up by National Media

Peter Berns and Lauren Potter

The Arc CEO Peter Berns and Glee actress Lauren Potter

The Arc recently released the results of its groundbreaking Families and Individual Needs for Disability Support (FINDS) survey and media across the country have been covering the startling statistics.  A major goal for this project has been to raise awareness of The Arc and the urgent unmet needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), and the media has responded by reporting  findings from the survey to the general public and highlighting the work of local chapters.

We know that while we have come a long way in promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD, there is still much more work to be done.  Throughout our efforts to bring about greater awareness, two findings from the survey have struck a nerve – one-third of parents and caregivers (potentially 1 million families) reported that they are on waiting lists for government funded services, with the average wait more than five years.  And in this recession, 62 percent of caregivers reported a decrease in services for their family member with a disability, leaving them financially vulnerable.

On the morning of June 14, we released Still in the Shadows with Their Future Uncertain, our report on the FINDS data. The Arc’s CEO Peter V. Berns and Lauren Potter, star of the hit FOX show “Glee,” participated in more than twenty television and radio interviews in top media markets across the nation, including Boston and Greensboro, NC.  Peter and Lauren shared the findings of the report and talked about what needs to be done to improve the lives of people with I/DD.  Following these interviews, The Arc hosted a press conference at the National Press Club to officially unveil the report, and the national newswire Reuters quickly ran a story.  Throughout the day, media continued to pick up on the report, interviewing local Arc executive directors and self-advocates, like Jamie Liban and Katherine Olson from The Arc of Virginia who did an in-studio interview at WTVR in Richmond.

The FINDS survey continues to have momentum, as Health & Home Report, one of the longest running syndicated video magazines on television, will begin airing on July 1st one of the television interviews with Peter and Lauren.  Health & Home Report is hosted by an award winning reporter and anchor, Laura DeAngelis, and has gained a loyal following because of its useful consumer tips and interesting stories.  The show is distributed to 20 broadcast stations and 91 cable systems across the country, reaching an audience between 3 to 4 million.

We encourage you to read the FINDS survey report and spread the word about The Arc’s call-to-action to motivate 1 million Americans to join the movement for people with I/DD. Use this information to make the case to everyone you know that more needs to be done to help people with I/DD be fully included and participate in the community throughout their lifetimes. Build on the publicity generated by media coverage of the report and share this blog with your networks. Thank you!

3 thoughts on “Groundbreaking FINDS Report Picked up by National Media

  1. It’s a shame that many are without services but much of that blame goes right back to the people who masquarade as advocates. People forget about the economies of scale, the reality of which makes the dollar go further and serve more people.

    The move of eliminating congregate care only increases the cost of care of many of our disabled. In so doing, rather than being able to serve more, fewer are served at a higher cost. This is very poor advocacy and I hope that agencies such as The Arc, realize the mistakes they have made and learn to utilize the economies of scale.

    Here in Washington State, due to some advocates, two young men have been moved from concregate care where they were healthy and stable into a community residence. The cost of care for these two individuals is over $500,000 a year each. When advocates push for moves such as this stating that communtiy residence is less costly, they are not doing anyone any favors.

    When people realize what it costs to move people, maintain a quality of care, maintain the assessments and evaluations and everything else that goes into maintaining non-congregate care homes, they will hopefully realize that congregate care is not only cost-effective but is the better care for many of our citizens.

    • Thank you for your comments on our FINDS survey report. The Arc has been a leader in the movement over the last 60 years to protect the civil rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to advocate for their inclusion in their communities. Nothing is more illustrative of inclusion in society as where someone calls home. The Arc has fought for a shift away from institutional living and into community living situations of an individual’s choosing that allow for as much independence as possible along with the services and supports necessary. We cannot go back on our commitment to people with I/DD and their families to bring them out of the shadows, and that’s why we are asking people to join with us in our efforts.

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