Conceptualizing Disability: Three Models of Disability

June 23, 2024 arcal
(Editor’s Note: the following is reprinted with permission from LET’S (Live Educate Transform Society) as posted on the American Psychological Association web site) How people think about disability affects how they feel about disability. Although people have various individual perspectives on disability, these viewpoints can be categorized into three overarching models of disability—moral, medical, and
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What Do You Think

May 21, 2024 arcal
As schools dismiss for the summer, and families start to plan activities for their children with disabilities, it’s important to examine our ideas about acceptance, belonging, and inclusion. When we look to our communities for inclusion on a more regular basis, we are often struck by subtle or more obvious differences. Accessibility can take on
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Mother's Day Tribute

May 13, 2024 arcal
By Kim Spangler To the mom who is raising a child with a disability, I see you. I see your sacrifice and selflessness. I see the long nights spent researching, note taking, and letter writing. I see your tear stained cheeks. I see the sleepless nights spent in and out of the hospital. I see
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Special Needs Planning & Trusts

March 23, 2024 arcal
by Jenny McInerney Nine years ago, I became a stepmom to two teenage girls – Katelyn and Erin. The previous year they had experienced the trauma of losing their mother to cancer. I stepped into the role of wife and full-time stepmom without any experience. At the time, Erin had a diagnosis of ADHD and
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Caregiver Staffing in Crisis

April 11, 2023 arcal
Families and Guardians, Group homes, supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, are struggling to hire staff. Providers are calling it a crisis, with funding from the state among the lowest in the country. The Arc of Alabma is seeing some of our local chapters starting to close group homes and certain services. Your individual
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The Colby Act for Supported Decision Making

February 27, 2023 arcal
“Sometimes the most valuable support is helping a person with a disability advocate for himself.” Supported decision making (SDM) is an effective, less restrictive alternative to guardianship or conservatorship that uses trusted friends, family members and advocates to give people with disabilities the help they need and want to understand the situations they face and the choices they must make, so they can make their own
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Medicaid Expansion

February 8, 2023 arcal
(Editor’s Note: This post reprinted directly From Arise Alabama Post) The workforce benefits of Medicaid expansion in Alabama By Mike Nicholson  February 6, 2023   For nearly a decade, Alabama has been outside looking in on a good deal. While hundreds of thousands of Alabamians continue to struggle without health insurance, state leaders have failed to
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Home & Community Based Services Town Halls

July 19, 2022 arcal
The next two months will see Town Hall Meetings for Home and Community Based Services according to the following schedule: 8/10/22 @ 5:30P.M.   DD Region V Conference Room        Birmingham        Confirmed 8/18/22 @ 5:30P.M.   DD Region IV Conference Room      Montgomery       Confirmed 9/08/22 @ 5:30 P.M.  DD Region III  TBA                           Mobile 9/15/22 @ 5:30 P.M. 
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Social Security Letters

June 12, 2022 arcal
Did You Receive a Letter from Social Security? Here’s What You Need to Know You open your mail to find a letter saying you may be able to get help paying for the costs of Medicare. It appears to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) …but is it for real? Here’s what you need to know.
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Legislative Recap 4/4/22

April 6, 2022 arcal
  Arise’s Jane Adams shares the good news that next year’s General Fund budget includes a provision that would extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to one year after childbirth, up from the current 60 days. The budget has passed both the Alabama House and Senate and has gone to the governor.
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Arise legislative recap: Feb. 7, 2022

February 13, 2022 arcal
(reprinted from the Alabama Arise blog) By Alabama Arise, February 7, 2002 Alabama Arise believes all of us do better when our elected officials support the common good. Arise’s Carol Gundlach details how SB 140 would do the exact opposite, hurting Alabama’s local public schools by diverting hundreds of millions of dollars to private schools
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Gordon Tillman

November 6, 2021 arcal
The following was read at the funeral of Gordon Tillman, whose family donated the building currently used as The Arc of Alabama’s office. Memorial Service for Gordon Smith Tillman October 22, 2021 Presented by Hal Tillman   Gordon Tillman was born October 7, 1956. He died In October 2021 at 65 years of age. His
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What's the Big Deal?

September 8, 2021 arcal
I freely admit that I am often mystified by certain aspects of human behavior within American society. The most recent behavior that has me so confused is the hue and cry over mandates, for masks and/or COVID vaccines. It’s an infringement of my freedom, they yell. It’s an example of tyranny, is the frequent shout.
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Nostalgia Strikes

August 8, 2021 arcal
I saw a cartoon recently that I thought was very appropriate for our times. You may have seen it too, as it was circulating on Facebook. It made me sad and thoughtful, and nostalgic. A boy standing in front of his mother asks, “What’s that mark on your arm?”  “That’s the scar from my smallpox
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How We Can Support Children’s Language Development During the Pandemic

May 31, 2021 arcal
(Editor’s Note: Many thanks to United Ability for permission to repost this.) Written by Melissa Pouncey, Katherine Seal, Mary Collins, and Carrie Price / United Ability Speech-Langauge Pathologists COVID has changed things. We’re not sure how exactly or how different we’ll be as communities when this is over, but we can all agree- things are
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The Arc of Alabama License Plate

May 15, 2021 arcal
The Arc of Alabama is seeking 1,000 pre-commitments from individuals or companies that would be interested in purchasing our new distinctive license plate design to go on your personal, company or passenger vehicles. All proceeds from the sale of our distinctive license plates will be used to offset costs associated with the services we provide
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Living With COVID

February 22, 2021 arcal
Life isn’t fair. That’s not a startling revelation. We all know it. Bad things happen to good people. Undoubtedly, parents of children with disabilities have had that thought. Why did this happen to my child? What did we do to deserve this? There are no good answers. Some people find answers in religion. But in
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Address From Our New Executive Director

December 15, 2020 arcal
Dear Members of The Arc of Alabama I am excited to announce that I have joined The Arc of Alabama as the new Executive Director. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I presently live in Talladega, Al with my wife Nancy (we will be relocating to Montgomery). We have been married
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Achievement: Part 2

November 9, 2020 arcal
A year ago, I wrote a post about my efforts to get my son to interact with a new toy. The gist of the post was that after a number of months, I was able to get him to make multiple touches of the keyboard. It was a small step, but it seemed like a
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Protective Equipment and People with I/DD

July 11, 2020 arcal
By Sherry Neal, RN-BC, CDDN Although people might be getting a little weary of hearing about the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still a very real issue and we need to remain highly vigilant. That includes wearing protective equipment when appropriate. When should masks be worn and how do you safely put them on and off?
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Masks: A Business Perspective

July 7, 2020 arcal
If adulthood begins at age 18, then I have been an adult for more than half a century. and in those 50+ years, I have never seen an issue so demonstrative of the stupidity and selfishness that is so rampant in this country as the controversy regarding the simple safety precaution of wearing a mask
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Careless Ignorance

May 12, 2020 arcal
I recently encountered an expression that was new to me but that struck me as being incredibly appropriate for the way many people in the general public interact with individuals in the I/DD community.  Terry Gross, on an episode of her “Fresh Air” program, was interviewing comedian John Moe who suffers from depression and who
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Awareness Means Awareness

March 9, 2020 arcal
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, followed by Autism Acceptance Month in April. The Arc US has made available a set of images and associated copy for chapters across the country to use on their social media platforms. The tag line for the campaign is “New Decade, Old Injustices.” The point of it being that
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Disabilities All Around Us

February 7, 2020 arcal
Seems like I encounter disabilities all around me. Last fall, I bought a new mattress. In conversation with the store owner, I noted that I had a son with ID/D. Turns out his daughter has Down Syndrome. I gave him a recommendation to the local Arc chapter’s REACT program. In December, I had work done
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God Didn't Choose Me to be a Special Needs Parent

January 7, 2020 arcal
Editor’s Note: Heather McCain is a special needs mother and blogger who has graciously agreed to allow us to repost some of her posts as a guest blogger. One of our early blog posts addressed this very same subject , but Heather has brought a different perspective to the subject. You can read her other
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A Sibling's Perspective, Part 1

December 10, 2019 arcal
by Dustin Phillips Introduction  Hello. My name is Dustin Phillips, and I am a 6th grade Collaborative Education teacher. I am inspired by my older brother Chad to be an advocate for all individuals with exceptional learning needs. There are many different lessons that I have learned throughout my life that have ignited my passion
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Advice to New Parents

November 4, 2019 arcal
A business friend and his wife have been expecting twins. I recently learned from a mutual acquaintance that one of the twins was born with spina bifida, a relatively rare spinal cord defect. I later learned that the couple knew of the defect prior to birth (a predictive medical advancement I was unaware of), so
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2019 Alabama disABILITY Conference Recap

September 26, 2019 arcal
by Bruce Koppenhoefer The 2019 DisABILITY Conference is behind us. The planning committee members are catching their breaths and catching up on all the work that had to be on hold while they worked on the conference. We’re also collecting the final numbers, but if pre-conference numbers hold up, it was a record-setting event, the
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Achievement Comes in Many Sizes

August 10, 2019 arcal
By Bruce Koppenhoefer I’ve been involved in Alabama’s disability community for close to 30 years. and I’ve learned that achievement is a big deal. We strive for, encourage, and celebrate it. So, with last month being the celebration of one of the most momentous human achievements of all time, putting a person on the moon,
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United We Can Achieve Change

June 20, 2019 arcal
by Tate Hall, ADAP In the disability community, it is all too easy to feel like your voice isn’t heard or your opinion doesn’t matter. However, there is one day where all of that falls to the side and everyone’s voice is equal – Election Day. Did you know that in the 2016 President Election,
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Community Services at The Arc of Clarke County

June 14, 2019 arcal
The Arc of Clarke County, Inc would like to share some of the great things happening for the organization. We strive to be at the forefront of our field and to provide quality services to the people we support in Clarke County. Two major accomplishments have to do with employment opportunities for those we support.
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Comments on the "R" Word

May 13, 2019 arcal
By now, all of us have seen, heard, or read about Representative John Rogers’ remarks regarding the abortion bill before the legislature. and hopefully, all of us have also seen, heard, or read about his apology for the use of the “R” word to describe the President’s son. Thank you, Rep. Rogers, for realizing your
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Cerebral Palsy: a Defining Condition?

April 8, 2019 arcal
by RJ Nealon (Editor’s Note: RJ is a member of the Board of The Arc of Alabama, having accepted the Self-Advocate position. This is the first of a series of posts he has agreed to do for us, providing a self-advocate’s perspective on a variety of issues, and it will serve as his introduction to you.
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A Shift in Perspective

March 11, 2019 arcal
As the parent of a child with disabilities, it’s very easy to get wrapped up in our own issues and challenges. Understandable. After all, we deal with those issues and challenges daily. Doctors. Insurance companies. Government bureaucrats. School administrators. Respite care. The list goes on. But occasionally we get a reminder that there are worse
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Leveraging the Power of the Arc's Network

February 5, 2019 arcal
Are you Leveraging the Power of The Arc’s Network? As you probably know, The Arc of the United States (The Arc) has been around for more than 65 years, and it started – and still is – a grassroots organization led by people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD), family members, and professionals. Our mission
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Stop. Look. Listen.

January 24, 2019 arcal
Here’s my message, a plea actually, to male doctors. Set your male ego aside. Focus on the patient. Listen to the parents. They’ve been dealing with the unique medical issues for their special needs child for as long as the child has been alive. They may not have a degree in medicine, but they have
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Holiday Wonder

December 21, 2018 arcal
The other day, while helping my son off the public transport van that carries him to and from his day-hab program, one of his fellow riders and classmates asked me a question that caught me by surprise. “Does Santa come for Brett?” he asked with earnest concern in his voice and on his face.  Full
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Treat 'Em the Same as You Would Your Own Name

November 26, 2018 arcal
I’ve been encouraged lately, as I’m sure many of you have, with the number of TV shows, movies, and even commercials featuring people with disabilities. My own favorite is “Speechless”, though I have to admit that I haven’t seen all of them. Such social consciousness growth can’t help but improve acceptance and respect for the
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Advocacy Versus Politics

September 30, 2018 wpengine
Let’s be very clear from the start, The Arc is a non-partisan 501(c)3 organization that does not espouse any particular political ideology or take partisan-based political positions. Our constituency is made up of Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. Our role is to advocate on their behalf, all of them, without regard to politics. That
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2019 Alabama Disability Conference

August 30, 2018 wpengine
If you’ve never served on a conference planning committee, you may have a hard time appreciating what our conference planning committee has gone through for the past several months. The hard-earned success of the 2018 ADC was barely behind us when we started discussions about dates and a location for 2019. Finding the Right Venue
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Medicaid Work Requirements in Alabama

July 31, 2018 wpengine
The following is excerpted from an attachment to a letter submitted to Governor Ivey asking that Alabama withdraw its proposed work requirement for Medicaid benefits. It was also sent to the State Medicaid Office. The Arc of Alabama is very concerned that the policies described in the Alabama Medicaid Workforce Initiative Application for a Section
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Reflections on Father's Day

June 20, 2018 wpengine
I don’t know how other fathers of special needs kids feel about Father’s Day, but for me it has a strange aura around it. There are none of the typical celebratory activities. No father-son ball games or fishing trips. No congratulations phone calls. No hand-made cards or gifts. My wife signs his name to a
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Did Your Representatives Vote to Protect SNAP?

June 6, 2018 wpengine
Did your Representatives vote to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a program that helps millions of people with disabilities put food on the table? Find out and thank them or hold them accountable! On May 18, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also known as
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Collaboration: Working Together to Achieve, Again

May 22, 2018 wpengine
In the beginning, there were just parents. Parents of children with special needs. Some needs were physical, some intellectual, some behavioral, and many were combinations. They were looking for ways to improve the quality of life for their children, resources to assist with care and education. Over time, they found each other. They began collaborating
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2018 Conference Review

March 24, 2018 wpengine
We’re three weeks since our 2018 Alabama Disability Conference, and the planning committee has had a chance to meet and discuss what we can do better next year. Some of the discussion points are presented below. Registrations: Our inexperience with the on-line event platform allowed one person to buy multiple tickets without specifying individual names
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Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser

March 24, 2018 wpengine
Visit Texas Roadhouse in Montgomery on Tuesday, March 27th, 5-9pm. 10% of all food purchases will be donated to The Arc of Alabama when you present a voucher card. Call Texas Roadhouse for reservations or pick-up orders (334-396-7774). For general questions call The Arc of Alabama (334-262-7688). #ddawareness18
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Karama Tadamun (Dignity and Solidarity)

March 2, 2018 wpengine
Perseverance. The official definition is a steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. This is the word that I think of when I reflect on the work being done by governmental agencies, local and regional NGOs, and family members who are supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. If this resonates
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Ramp Up Your Advocacy with The Arc in 2018

February 24, 2018 wpengine
Ramp Up Your Advocacy with The Arc in 2018 Last year was a year of grassroots advocacy for The Arc in Alabama and across the country. Throughout the year, people with disabilities, family members, and advocates, like you, fought to protect important programs and services. Through calling and meeting with members of Congress, sharing your
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Alabama disABILITY Conference

January 18, 2018 wpengine
The programs and speakers are all in place for the 2018 Alabama disABILITY Conference, coming up March 5–7 in Montgomery. This year promises to be another great conference, with programs that span a wide range of subjects that speak to self-advocates, care givers, family members, and professionals. The lineup includes a full day of QDDP
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Special Parents

December 22, 2017 wpengine
Often, upon informing an acquaintance that I’m a parent of a child with special needs, the person I’m introducing myself too will respond with, "God gives special children to special parents." You may have received a similar comment, or you may even have said those words to someone you’ve met who is such a parent.
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