The Arc of Lancaster County’s mission is to empower people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) to lead lives of their choice. However, in order to live that life we find people with disabilities and their families need help understanding and navigating the I/DD system and services. When a person’s time is spent managing the details of the disability, there is usually very little time left for researching or understanding the nuances of policy, regulations, and conditions of funding and services. That is where The Arc of Lancaster County steps in and walks alongside the person and their team through our Community Education program consisting of SibTalk, Family Info Sessions, Disability Acceptance Training, ArcAngel, Community Outreach, and individual and system Advocacy.
– Our trained staff are experienced in the qualifications of funding, the rules related to school Individualized Education Program (IEPs) or adult Individual Support Plan (ISPs), and are knowledgeable about the community service providers.
– We work closely with Lancaster County Behavioral Health & Developmental Services Supports Coordinators who are the point persons for those who do receive funding.
– We hold regular Family Information Sessions on topics important to those with disabilities like Guardianship, Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts, Autism, federal regulation changes (such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act WIOA), and Special Education topics (to name a few). These sessions also allow the parents and caregivers a time to connect with others experiencing similar life situations, reducing their isolation and emotional fatigue.
– We partner with the YWCA to provide Relationship and Boundary Training to adults with disabilities helping them to more easily acclimate to work and social situations.
– We coordinate the ArcAngel gift giving program over the holidays connecting volunteers, who last year gave over 700 gifts, to those in the community who may not have someone to give them a gift.
– We reach over 1600 students and scouts with our Disability Acceptance Training, helping them to understand disability in order to help them accept and include their peers who have a disability.
– We work with community partners to collaborate on system barriers, such as the meeting we coordinated with Red Rose Access and local vocational facilities in an effort to reduce the travel time for those needing to utilize the shared ride program.
– We participate on local and statewide coalitions and committees (such as housing and transportation) to bring the voice of those we serve to the discussion making sure their needs are represented.
– We work to create a world where disability is integrated into our culture, removing the stigma and isolation often felt by people with disabilities and their families.
Maureen Westcott, Executive Director
116 West Airport Rd, Suite A
Lititz, PA 17543
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