VALPARAISO | Melissa Justice, trust director for The Arc of Indiana, visited OE recently as part of a series of “We are The Arc” visits throughout the state. Eleven staff from The Arc of Indiana and Self-Advocates of Indiana traveled to Arc chapters and member organizations throughout the state to visit and share their appreciation for the work done on behalf of individuals with disabilities.
During her visit to OE, Justice spoke to a group of about 50 clients, staff, and board members, and then toured the facility. Her remarks shared the successes of The Arc and its supporting organizations, discussed the challenges they face, and reflected on opportunities for future growth and achievement.
“Indiana’s 43 local chapters of The Arc and our 20,000 members make us the second largest state in The Arc. The support of Opportunity Enterprises and other organizations across the state has enabled The Arc to assist more than 2,500 individuals and families with advocacy efforts through The Arc Network, serve over 2,200 statewide through The Arc Master Trust program, serve 300 Hoosiers with disabilities through The Arc’s Winter Heating Assistance Program, and support 42 self advocate groups statewide,” said Justice.
“We ask that OE continues to join The Arc in facing our challenges head-on, including decreases in government spending with an accompanying increase in the number of people needing services, a growing population of children needing special education services in schools with stretched resources and a trend toward segregated classrooms, a 70% unemployment rate among adults with disabilities and a need to recruit, train, and retain quality workers that create their own career path and have wages that reward such efforts, and an aging population of care-giving parents who will one day be unable to care for their adult children with disabilities."
The Arc of Indiana was established in 1956 by parents of children with intellectual and other developmental disabilities who joined together to build a better and more accepting world for their children. For more information, visit www.arcind.org. The Arc Master Trust, the nation’s premier special needs trust, is celebrating 25 years of service. Visit www.thearctrust to learn more.