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From the Executive Director 

(Turn and face the strange)
Oh, look out you rock n' rollers!

-David Bowie

2017 brings about lots of changes. At the national level, we have installed a new President. At the state level, we see a few new faces representing Aurora in the legislature, and at The Arc of Aurora, we too, are experiencing some changes.

Over the past few years, we have published up to three newsletters monthly: News You Can Use , Schoolhouse News , and The Vulnerability Trail (VTrail) . Whew... that is a lot of publishing! One of our 2017 changes includes producing one newsletter/ month  - publishing schedules are as follows:
  • News You Can Use: January, April, July, October
  • Schoolhouse News: February, May, August, November
  • VTrail: March, June, September, December
We hope this new streamlined schedule will allow us to provide information in a timelier manner through a more vigorous social media outreach (Facebook and Twitter links). We also will provide outreach through our soon-to-be-live improved website!

"Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" ...  Let me know what you think.

Darla Stuart, Executive Director
Members' Corner

16+ Years Old and Love to Bowl?
Then join The Arc of Aurora's "Sunday Get-Together Bowling League"! The group meets at the AMF Aurora Lanes at 16700 East Mississippi Avenue in Aurora 80017, on Sunday afternoons. Practice begins at 12:45PM, games at 1PM. Cost is $9/week for 3 games and shoes. Use a wheelchair? No problem! Supervision is NOT provided. Questions -- call Dottie at 303.337.5540.

Is Your Arc of Aurora Membership Current?
The Arc of Aurora's membership calendar is September 1 - August 31. In addition to access to advocacy support, Contributing Members are eligible to apply for annual scholarships offered by The Arc of Aurora (other criteria must also be met -- see the links below) and receive a 15% discount card for arc Thrift Store shopping throughout the year. Click here to renew your membership online, or check in with your advocate for a printed form and payment by check or cash.
Hot Topic - Annual Scholarship Time

It's scholarship application time!  The Arc of Aurora Board of Directors has again budgeted funds to offer two scholarships to qualified The Arc of Aurora Contributing Members:  Glen Talladay Scholarship and Sibling Scholarship.  Applicants MUST be a Contributing Member (paid or volunteered for membership) and meet specific criteria which are outlined in the application.  Deadlines are strictly adhered to.  If you need assistance completing an application, contact your The Arc of Aurora advocate.  
Policy Profile - Now is the Time for Action!
Contributed by Darla Stuart, Executive Director

The House and the Senate began the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by passing budget bills during the second week of January. This was the first step in taking away health care before having a plan to replace it.

The Arc opposes the repeal of the ACA because it will undermine the basic health and long-term supports provided by the Medicaid program. Because of the ACA:
  • Health insurers can't deny people with disabilities their health insurance simply because of a disability or chronic condition;
  • There aren't financial limits to how much health care a person can get in a year or a lifetime;
  • 20 million adults and children now have health insurance, thanks to Medicaid Expansion and health insurance subsidies;
  • More people with disabilities receive supports and live in the community, not institutions, most of which are funded by Medicaid.
People with disabilities' lives are at stake! Now is the time for The Arc members and friends to take action. There are two ways you can help today:

Call your member of Congress and let him/her know why the ACA is such an essential lifeline for people with disabilities and their families. Click here for more information.

The Arc of the United States is collecting stories on how the ACA has helped people with disabilities. Even if the ACA is repealed in the upcoming weeks, it will need to be replaced with something that will work for people with I/DD. Thus, it is critical that the I/DD community be a part of any discussion about repealing and replacing to ensure that changes meet the needs of people with disabilities.

The Arc US's staff will review your story and may reach out to you with follow-up questions. The Arc of the United States is getting requests from members of Congress and the media for stories from people with I/DD and their families. The Arc US commits to following up with you for permission before sharing your story. Click here to sign up now.
Spotlight On... 2016 Sibling Scholarship Winner

"One of the best teachers I've ever had is my brother. He happens to have autism. When I was little, this took a while to sink in. My parents would try to explain it to me, but it was very difficult as I was young and naive at the time. But as I grew older, I slowly came to understand that he has a developmental disability and that he is different.

I slowly became aware that my life with my brother was much different than the lives of the other kids at school. There were nights when my family and I had to go to [Aurora] Children's Hospital because his medication was not balanced. There were times when we would all get frustrated because we could not understand what was going on in his mind.
However, I started to realize something else just a few years ago. While others call autism a disability, I call it a different ability. My brother is undoubtedly one of the kindest and sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. When I'm upset, he is the one person who knows right away and rushes to comfort me. I would not be the person I am today if my brother had not been a part of my life. I learned compassion from him. He loves animals, and he has created an environment of love and shown me how to treat pets as well as other people. My brother is different, all right, but it is because he is different that I have learned to be accepting of things that I don't quite understand. And for that, I am forever grateful."
-2016 Sibling Scholarship Winner

Over the years, the Arc of Aurora, through its two annual scholarships, Glen Talladay and Sibling, has supported college and trade school for siblings, and for people with I/DD, we have supported vacations, swimming lessons, and even a class on how to learn to drive. Think an opportunity like these is for you?  Read the application guidelines carefully, and if you meet those guidelines, consider applying before the deadline. 
  • Click here for the Glen Talladay Scholarship application
  • Click here for the Sibling Scholarship application
The Arc of Aurora | 720-213-1420 | www.thearcofaurora.org
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