What Is the Census?

The 2020 census is coming! It’s important to be counted. Learn about the census and how to complete it in this video (también disponible en español)

Achieving Healthier Futures One Step at a Time

The purpose of this toolkit is to familiarize the user with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It provides communication techniques so you can successfully include people with I/DD in community programs and activities, including a healthy living program. These are suggested techniques particularly helpful for those who don’t have any experience working with individuals who have I/DD.

Airport Virtual Reality Video

This virtual reality video, created by Interactive Media Institute, details step-by-step the air travel process so that individuals can become acquainted with a generic airport environment prior to taking a flight to help prepare them for their trip.

En Español:

Training Needs of Professionals Who Serve People With I/DD and Mental Health Needs and Their Families

Up to 40% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) experience co-occurring mental illness. Despite the prevalence of mental health needs among people with I/DD, little is known about the best approaches for supporting the needs of people with I/DD and co-occurring mental health challenges and their families. This uncertainty has led to the dependence on outdated and potentially bad approaches to mental health care, such as seclusion, restraint, and psychotropics, which may cause individuals with dual diagnosis an increase in their struggles with poor mental health, as well as a lack of family support resources and services available for people and their families.

Previously, The Arc explored the family support needs of families that include a person with the dual diagnosis of I/DD and mental health needs. One critical recommendation coming from this investigation was the need for more training around I/DD and mental health for disability, mental health, and education professionals. In 2019 as part of its work as an FSRTC partner, The Arc conducted focus groups that probed the training needs of and barriers that disability, mental health, and education professionals face when serving people with I/DD and co-occurring mental health challenges. The focus of these groups included:

  • Discussing and better understanding the training needs and challenges that disability, mental health, and education professionals face when serving people with I/DD and co-occurring mental health challenges and their families;
  • Identifying key topics and issues that professionals should be trained on regarding serving people with I/DD and mental health challenges; and
  • Developing recommendations on the best opportunities for training format and delivery across all professionals.

Undisclosed Podcast: State v. Rocky Myers – Episode 4: Of Mice and Men

Through a review of Rocky Myers’ case in Alabama and a discussion with The Arc’s legal director, this episode explores the Supreme Court’s opinion in Atkins and later decisions holding that executing people with intellectual disability violates the constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Do Your Part: Engage With Your Members of Congress

Sharing your point of view with your Members of Congress is an important part of our democracy – it’s their job to represent you and they want to hear from you! There are so many important issues at stake: affordable health care coverage, access to Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income, paid family and medical leave, funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, civil rights protections, and much more.

Do you tell your Members of Congress what it takes to live an independent life in your community? Your Members of Congress need to hear directly from their constituents on how these programs and laws make a difference – and that they should be preserved, not cut.

Tip: Connect with your local chapter. You can find the one closest to you at arcmini.wpengine.com/find-a-chapter.

Reminder: You have three Members of Congress: two Senators, who represent the entire state, and one representative in the House of Representatives. It’s your responsibility as a citizen and disability rights activist to connect with your Members of Congress.

Find your Senator
Find your Representative

1. Pick up the Phone: The easiest way to tell your Members of Congress how you feel about an issue, or ask their support or opposition for a bill, is to call their office.

2. Request a Meeting: In-person meetings are a very effective way to educate elected officials and/or their staff about The Arc and current issues. Contact your local chapter (find yours here) to find out if they have a meeting coming up. Often, your Senator or Representative will not be available. Request a meeting with a member of their staff. Staffers make recommendations and advise their Members of Congress regarding particular issues. Meeting with a staff member is worthwhile.

3. Attend a Town Hall: Showing up matters! Members of Congress often host town hall meetings to hear from constituents during Congressional recess. Find out if your Members are hosting one at townhallproject.com, show up, and ask them where they stand on issues that are important to you.

4. Connect Online: Do you follow your Members of Congress on Facebook and Twitter? Are they posting about topics that are important to you? Comment with your opinion or tag them in your posts.

Employment of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: 2017 Snapshot

Despite recent progress in employment legislation and local-level employment initiatives, finding and securing meaningful and community-based employment opportunities continues to be a major challenge for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) – including people with autism, Down syndrome, and other diagnoses across the country. The Family & Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) survey asked caregivers about some of the underlying causes for the large gaps that exist in employment outcomes for people with disabilities. The results indicate that there is a significant need to immediately address and improve practices that facilitate education and employment for people with I/DD.

2010 FINDS National Survey Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports: Technical Report

Most of the growth in services in the last half century has been to support people living in their own or a family home. However, between 2009 and 2011, the economic difficulties of the prolonged national recession began to slow the growth or in some places to result in actual reductions in publicly funded supports to families throughout the United States. Family caregivers play critically important roles in supporting the well-being of people with ID/DD. This is true for family members who are the primary caregiver as well as for those whose family member with ID/DD live in their own homes or in supported residential settings. As our society continues to depend on the active engagement of family caregivers for the support of individuals with ID/DD, it is important to understand and respond to the needs of those caregivers. In 2010 The Arc of the United States conducted a national internet survey that aimed to capture the perspectives of people with ID/DD and their family caregivers. The Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) survey focused on issues including educational, housing, employment and support needs of people with ID/DD and their families. Family caregivers in 2010 reported substantial ongoing challenges to providing lifelong supports to family members with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

FINDS Community Report Data Tables

As our society continues to depend on the active engagement of family caregivers for the support of individuals with ID/DD, it is important to understand and respond to the needs of those caregivers.

The 2010 Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) survey focused on issues including educational, housing, employment and support needs of people with ID/DD and their families. Family caregivers in 2010 reported substantial ongoing challenges to providing lifelong supports to family members with intellectual or developmental disabilities. View the Data Tables to get a more robust analysis of the data on family caregivers collected throughout the survey.