(May 2017) Catherine Read talks with Lucy Beadnell, Director of Advocacy for The ARC of Northern Virginia, about the programs and services they provide to people in our community with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The ARC is celebrating 55 years of supporting the IDD community in our region and continues to add programs, services and staff to their robust suite of resources.
Lucy talks about the ARC’s public speaking program “A Life Like Yours Toastmaster’s” which is an adapted Toastmaster’s model pioneered by People First. The drop-in group includes both people in the IDD community and their allies. In a recent Fairfax County Budget Hearing, Elizabeth Carter and Frank Stephens spoke to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on behalf of preserving resources for human services agencies like the ARC. These two young people wow’d the crowd with their great public speaking skills and their ability to so clearly advocate on behalf of themselves, their community and the organizations that support them.
Some of the exciting new initiatives involve app based technology. The Arc of Northern Virginia has partnered with SpecialNeedsWare, Inc to develop a travel training curriculum called TravelMate, which helps people to more confidently use public transit. Kymberly Deloatche, Travel Training Coordinator for the ARC, works with teachers, job coaches, therapists, assistive technology specialists, disability providers and family members on how to use this new technology. Newly added to their suite of tech tools is EmployMate which uses a similar model to help people navigate their employment tasks by acting as a guide, memory tool and resource.
In the ARC’s Special Needs Trust Department, Lucy talks about the work of Megan Rusciano, Beneficiary Advocate and the many services she provides to families from case management to life planning and many thing in between. It’s a needed support for families looking toward the long term well being of their family members.
It’s no surprise that The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce selected Lucy Beadnell as a nominee for the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards in the Emerging Leader Category. The Corporate Citizenship Awards honor individuals, businesses and non-profits for above-and-beyond business leadership and corporate social responsibility. Lucy’s work, and that of the entire ARC of Northern Virginia staff and their Board of Directors, continues to be a model for effective direct services and advocacy. Under the leadership of their Executive Director, Rikki Epstein, they are relentless champions for integrating those in the IDD community into every local community where they live in Northern Virginia.
Keep up with the ARC on both Facebook and Twitter @TheArcofNoVa