The mission of the Arc of Yates is to empower individuals with developmental disabilities to lead self-directed, meaningful lives.

The values of Arc of Yates are: Diversity, Integrity, Quality, Respect, Results.

 

Arc of Yates is a non-profit organization that serves adults, seniors, and children with disabilities throughout Yates and surrounding counties.

With a focus on key values of integrity, diversity, results, quality, and respect, Arc of Yates is poised to help individuals with developmental disabilities achieve their maximum potential for independence and inclusion in the community. Learn more!

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March is Disabilities Awareness Month

  • 20 March 2017
  • Author: twindheim
  • Number of views: 2471
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March is Disabilities Awareness Month

Penn Yan, NY (March 6, 2017)- Each March we take the opportunity to recognize the approximately 4 million Americans who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Locally, the Arc of Yates supports over 400 individuals with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities in our community.

It has been thirty years since President Ronald Reagan declared March National Disabilities Awareness month as he called upon Americans to provide the “encouragement and opportunities” necessary for people with developmental disabilities to reach their potential.

Much has changed in the treatment and inclusion of individuals with disabilities since that time.  As the nation deinstitutionalized and greater numbers of individuals began living in the community, organizations like the Arc have pushed for greater inclusiveness, job training, and residential supports to allow individuals with differing abilities to live and work in the community.

Individuals with Autism and Down Syndrome became active members the workforce and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act ensured their right to apply for a career free of discrimination. 

The 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act assured Americans received necessary early intervention services, special education, and services to transition from school into adulthood. 

Locally, the Arc of Yates has expanded programs and provided new opportunities for individuals of all ages and levels of ability to lead self-directed meaningful lives.  Unique programs like DRIVE (a collaboration with Keuka College and the Penn Yan School District) and Keuka Lake School (an early intervention pre-school and integrated Universal Pre-Kindergarten program) provide innovative programs and services to the individuals in our community.

Although we’ve come a long way in the last thirty years we still have challenges to overcome.  The exclusion of fair pay for Direct Support Staff in the proposed State Budget threatens the quality of care and services provided to individuals in our community and across the state.  Continued prejudices and discrimination against individuals deemed “different” slows the progress of individuals and prevents their full inclusion into the community.

We’ve made great gains, but our challenges remain great.  I am grateful for the support of the many communities in Yates County that have allowed us to continue to grow, providing a lifetime of opportunities for those we support.

                                                                               

 

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