Catch up on the latest news and events happening around The Arc of Chester County.

Fall 2019
A Message from Board President, Stephen D. Potts
I'm honored to write to you in my new role as Arc of Chester County's Board President. I have a long-standing connection to The Arc that spans three generations. My parents became involved with what became The Arc, after my brother Tommy was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. The Arc was our advocate, teacher, and a community that continues to enrich our lives today. I've followed in my parents' footsteps and have served on The Arc's Board for nine years. My wife Julie and I have made The Arc a family affair. Our children are the third Potts generation, advocating for their Uncle and a mission we all hold close to our hearts. 

I've also strived to continue advocacy through my law firm, Herr Potts and Potts. Chester County is a thriving community, I believe in part, to the wonderful partnerships between businesses and service institutions. When we work together, we can open opportunities for everyone, and the entire community rises. Did you know The Arc has a Comprehensive Employment Services Divison where they do just that? Check out the featured article on Heart Stone Coffee in Phoenixville and The Arc's own Betsy Ney- when we flip the story about disability, everybody wins. 

We're also gearing up for fall which continues our theme of possibility and partnership. October features our Trunk or Treat event where The Arc transforms into a Halloween destination. Bring the whole family and make the rounds at cars decorated for the occasion. Kids are encouraged to collect complimentary goodies by the trunk full. The fun continues indoors and showcases our Preschool and two-year-old program, which embodies the concept of working together. The all-inclusive program welcomes kids ages 2-5 with and without disabilities. Children learn and play, side by side, in an environment where everyone thrives. December follows with a fan favorite. Breakfast with Santa serves up pancakes, smiles, and memories for a lifetime. Stay tuned!

I look forward to serving as your Board President. Let's work together and continue driving our mission into the hearts and homes of our neighbors, businesses, and friends. Feel free to reach out to me with your thoughts and feedback. Thank you for your continued commitment and I'll see you around The Arc.


Stephen D. Potts
Arc of Chester County Board President 2019-2020

The Arc's Job Placement Program Is Win-Win For Local Businesses & People with Disabilities


SPOTLIGHT: Meet Heart Stone Coffee and the Arc's Betsy Ney

--Betsy Ney, age 51, beams as she waits on a customer at Heart Stone Coffee in Phoenixville. She meticulously prepares a breakfast bagel, ensuring every inch is covered with cream cheese, and gingerly wraps it to go. The customer is a regular and knows Betsy, which is evident by the smiles exchanged. Betsy is working at her dream job where diversity, growth, and a strong sense of community are a part of the cafe's culture and mission statement. 

Previously, Betsy's employment consisted of performing the same daily task for more than five years. She was eager for opportunities to flex her creative and mental muscle. Betsy reached out to her job coach, Patricia (Patty) Samms, for help with her career path. Patricia works for The Arc of Chester County as Business Facilitator and Employment Training Specialist/Job Coach. She supports and empowers motivated job seekers like Betsy and other individuals who may have intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities, through The Arc's Comprehensive Employment Services Division

"The role of any job coach is to find an environment where your job candidate can thrive. Betsy was volunteering at the local coffee house and mastering a variety of different roles. We reached out to the owner to gauge his interest and forged a new job placement partnership with paid employment for Betsy," added Samms. 

Heart Stone Coffee Owner, Peter Mike-Mayer, was on board immediately. He built his business and a community coalition, dedicated to hiring a diverse staff that welcomed individuals with disabilities. "There are many misconceptions out there about people with disabilities and the value they bring to the workplace. Betsy, for example, had wanted to learn the register and it wasn't an option with her other employers. Within one week at the café, Betsy successfully performed over 100 register transactions. People can only rise to the level of expectations and opportunities given," added Peter.

Today, in addition to ringing up customers, Betsy prepares breakfast foods, washes dishes, works special events, and is in the process of learning how to brew coffee. "I like doing different jobs. The register was hard because I had to keep looking behind me at the blackboard. Patty gave me a picture with all the prices that I put next to the register. It's a lot easier," said Betsy.

Patricia's role as Betsy's job coach is two-fold. The Arc's Comprehensive Employment Services Division provides job development, ranging from resume building to identifying employee-employer matches. Initially, Patricia assesses the needs of both future employer and employee, considering qualifications, challenges, and aspirations.

Phase two is job coaching and training. The Arc provides extensive on-the-job training, ensuring both parties (employer and employee) are set up for success. Patricia customizes tools to aid in learning the job, from role play to visual aids, including check lists, videos, and flash cards. She remains at the job site, at no expense to the employer, until their new employee can successfully perform the required responsibilities independently. Patricia adds, "My goal is to support my individual to the point where I basically work myself out of a job."

Currently, The Arc works with a diverse group of employer partners from retail food chains to office settings. "Our partners are invaluable," said Rita Mandik, Director of Comprehensive Employment Services Division. But we need to grow our list, to meet the number of willing and able job candidates who come to us for support. Part of the challenge in opening new doors is debunking some of the myths in the business community. Companies worry that an employee with a disability might be more costly, not reliable, or less productive than their typical coworkers. That's just not accurate." 

A study by DePaul University showed employees with disabilities averaged almost exactly the same job performance rating as those without a disability. The study collected information over a three-year period on 314 employees, 95 of whom had disabilities. On a scale of one to three, employees with disabilities received a 2.30 versus 2.31 for those without a disability.

Feedback has been positive from employers after hiring Arc job candidates, supporting the findings. Consistently, initial reservations were proven to be unfounded, changing perceptions. Rita added, "Our partners are happy to report that the employees we place with them, tend to have higher attendance, fewer accidents, and longer career tenures than their typical coworker." 

The Arc also noted that employers see a direct correlation between happy customers and a diversified employee base. "Betsy has been a great addition," said Peter of Heart Stone Coffee. "We did a customer satisfaction survey and 96 percent said the top reason they come to Heart Stone Coffee is the diversely abled staff." 

Betsy says her favorite part of the job is serving the customers and seeing friends. When she's not working at the café, Betsy lectures about self-advocacy as Vice President of Speaking for Ourselves, a non-profit organization run by people with disabilities, to educate the public on her peers' needs, wishes, and potential. Betsy dispels stereotypes and reinforces the need for more opportunities, empowering people with disabilities to achieve success.   

For more information on how to become an employer partner with The Arc, please call: Rita Mandik, Director of Comprehensive Employment Services Division at 610 696-8090 ext. 262.

Photo: Betsy Ney, Heart Stone Coffee barista-in-training, serves up breakfast and a smile to café regular, Karen Jascot of Phoenixville. Betsy is part of The Arc of Chester County's Comprehensive Employment Services Division, where she's receiving on-site training by Job Coach, Patricia Samms. Heart Stone Coffee's commitment to employ a diverse staff, goes hand in hand with The Arc's mission to advocate, educate, and provide services to empower individuals with disabilities, to enhance the quality of their lives.
Pictured from Left to Right: Karen Jascot, Phoenixville resident and Café Patron; Patricia Samms, Arc of Chester County Business Facilitator and Employee Training Specialist; and Betsy Ney, Arc Client and Café Employee Extraordinaire.

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Did You Know The Arc participates in the Box Tops for Education program? Send your clipped box top icon square to The Arc and earn ten cents a box top for the preschool. Mail by deadline October 18th to: The Arc of Chester County 900 Lawrence Drive West Chester, PA 19380 

Did You Know The Arc provides door to door transportation to affiliated day programs? Over 30 Arc participants enjoyed safe, reliable rides in our wheelchair accessible vehicles last year. 

Does your school aged child have an Individualized Education Program (IEP)? Did You Know that Arc Education Advocates can help you navigate the entire process? The Arc ensures your child's success through identifying supports your child needs most to attending school meetings.

Do you have a loved one in need of assistance with in-home and community supports such as life skills, companionship, respite, or other services? Did You Know that The Arc's Agency with Choice provides support and empowers YOU to chose your own service worker? A favorite Aunt, neighbor, or friend already aiding as your family support could qualify. 

Did You Know The Arc has an employment division and partners with over a dozen local businesses, matching our program participants with best fit employers? Comprehensive Employment Services provides free coaching, customized leaning tools, and extensive on-the-job training at no expense to the employer. 

Did You Know The Arc accepts EITC donations? Businesses participating in EITC can designate a contribution to The Arc. Please make sure to identify The Arc of Chester County as the fund recipient. 

Looking for a Preschool Program?

Play and Learn 
at The Arc of Chester County Preschool 

It's not too late to enroll in the Arc of Chester County Preschool 2019-2020 program. Children ages 3-5, with and without disabilities, learn together in the all-inclusive environment.

Students benefit from a research-based curriculum, lessons targeted to each child, technology to enhance learning, and small teacher to student ratios. This program works with children of all abilities to help them achieve success.

For more information, or to set up a tour, contact Sarah Kuser at or call 610-696-8090 x 217.

Upcoming Events

Trunk or Treat at The Arc!
Thursday, October 17 from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM. 
FREE event. Open to the public- calling all little boos and ghouls.

Kids collect complimentary goodies by the trunk full! Plus local food trucks will offer snacks for purchase: Dia Doce's™ famous cupcakes and delicious Sabatinos pizza. Indoor fun includes games and activities hosted by The Arc's Preschool. Volunteers interested in decorating their trunk and handing out candy can register by clicking here. Register to attend here.

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, December 7 from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM. 
Save the date! Join The Arc for food, fun, and festivities, at our popular Breakfast with Santa event.

Enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast, arts & crafts, and picture taking with Santa. 

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of the Main Line for making this event possible and for their continued support.

Stay tuned for more details!
The Arc of Chester County | 900 Lawrence Drive, West Chester PA 19380 | 610-696-8090 | |
The mission of The Arc of Chester County is to advocate, educate and provide services to empower individuals with disabilities and their families to enhance the quality of their lives.

The official registration and financial information for The Arc of Chester County may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free within Pennsylvania 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement. The Arc of Chester County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization - contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Affiliated with the United Way, The Arc of Pennsylvania, and The Arc of the United States.