A Message from Chief Development Officer
Dr. Susan Vanscovich
September is always a very busy time of year! While we are sad to see another summer season come to an end, we are filled with excitement and anticipation for the many events that come each Fall. As you can see from this issue, it’s a flurry of activity at The Arc of Chester County! We begin the month by calling special attention to all Direct Support Professionals during DSP Recognition Week, who selflessly and tirelessly work to provide for individuals with disabilities all year long - THANK YOU! 

The Arc’s Annual Chat n Chew Training Series for parents, caregivers and professionals supporting individuals with disabilities and their families is open for registration as well. These are free virtual trainings that offer a wealth of valuable information. We invite you to check them out in the upcoming events section below. As we continue to ramp up programming to pre-COVID levels, we are excited about the Fall Recreation Schedule of Events. It will be wonderful to be see more and more of our Arc friends coming together making memories and having great fun!

As we continue our 70th Anniversary Year of Celebration showcasing and highlighting our journey toward equity and inclusion thanks to the dedication and generosity of thousands, we invite you to join us! The Arc’s Annual Achieve with us Appeal is what provides critical budget dollars to help fund what individuals with disabilities and their families need to live with dignity, inclusion and respect. We hope you will continue to support us with a donation this year. Every dollar is needed and greatly appreciated! 

In closing, let me take a moment to honor and recognize an extraordinary person who lived a life dedicated to improving the lives of others. We dedicate this issue to Charles E. Weber, Jr. (March 31, 1941 – July 30, 2022), longtime friend, loyal supporter, past volunteer and board member of The Arc of Chester County and the Chester County MH/IDD. As one of the original parent advocates in the 70's, Charlie was instrumental in helping students become mainstreamed and included in the classroom. The Arc Family is eternally grateful for his service and commitment to individuals with disabilities and their families. 

Wishing you a wonderful, safe, and enjoyable Fall. Be well and thank you!
With gratitude,
Dr. Susan Vanscovich
Chief Development Officer
Arc Spotlight
Advocacy Assistive Technology
In the early Spring the Arc was contacted by a parent of an elementary student with a dual diagnosis of autism and communication needs. At this time, the parents had concerns regarding their child’s the lack of assistive technology (AT) as well as communication concerns. Our Advocate reviewed the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) paperwork and met with the parents to address their concerns and outline a plan for the upcoming IEP meeting. Prior to the IEP meeting, the family met with our Advocate and outlined their concerns via email and set the agenda together. This way the school and family were on the same page walking into the IEP meeting.
At the IEP meeting, the parents and advocate met with the school team to review the parental concerns, Reevaluation Report (RR) and IEP. During this meeting, our Advocate was able to support the family through outlining the needs regarding AT and the immediate need of parental training. The district was receptive and scheduled a follow up training for the parents to learn the AT device. In conjunction with the parental training, the student received the AT for home and school use. In addition, the school district provided additional school/family-based trainings for the student’s educational use of the AT to be fluid from school to home.

 In addition to the AT needs, communication between teacher and family had also been of major concern. Through the collaboration with our Advocate and the District, a Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) was created in which communication was clearly outlined for school to home and number of occurrences within the school calendar. This SDI was also reviewed with both the regular and special education teachers as well as support specialists. Since the implementation of this SDI, the family reports that communication has greatly improved.

 Working with the Arc Advocate helped bridge the communication gap between what the district should provide and what the family was receiving. In this case, the family received the training they needed to effectively implement AT in the home to support a fluid educational opportunity for AT in the home and at school. It should be noted, prior to coming to The Arc this family was considering pulling their child from the district for an alternative placement. Through collaboration with our Advocate and the district, they saw immediate changes in their child’s education and supports provided. They are no longer considering an alternative placement and their trust in the teacher and district has greatly improved. 
Learn how The Arc of Chester County can be your Assistive Technology Resource :

In the News
The Direct Support Professional Crisis Continues!
Many of you are familiar with Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). You see them helping individuals engage in our community or you may have a loved one that lives with you who has a DSP or two. Perhaps you may know someone that lives in a group home staffed with DSPs or maybe your loved one is waiting to get a DSP. You might have even known someone who was participating in a program that has closed due to a lack of DSP staffing.

DSPs do many different things to support individuals with disabilities. They are lifelines for many that have no family and need help accessing doctors, groceries, banking, and other personal needs such as cooking, bathing, and cleaning. The support provided by DSPs often allows individuals to not only access the community but live a meaningful life. Without them many would not be able to achieve their goals and dreams.

Unfortunately, DSP salaries are tied to state rates set by The Office of Developmental Programs(ODP). Providers are limited in what they can pay these very important professionals. Current rates are not sufficient to employ and maintain staff. Turnover is tremendous as DSPs often must leave a job they love to work elsewhere for more money. This puts many individuals at risk for not being adequately supported. The Arc, as well as other provider agencies and advocacy agencies, continuously advocate to the Governor, legislature and ODP to fix this crisis by implementing an inflationary index and or budgeting money for adequate and annual rate increases. DSPs help transform the lives of individuals with ID/A. The Arc is committed to highlighting this crisis and to advocating for DSPs to get the wages and recognition they deserve.

The Arc gratefully acknowledges all that DSPs do by celebrating Direct Support Professional Recognition Week September 11th – 17th. We take this wonderful opportunity to honor these outstanding and dedicated professionals. We recognize the important work they do and how grateful we are to have them. You will hear many stories of the wonderful things they do, the enormous lengths they go, the differences they make, and how much individuals with disabilities truly appreciate them. If you see or know a DSP, be sure to smile and throw a compliment their way, they are extraordinary people who do extraordinary work!
Inside the Arc
The Fall Recreation Calendar is in Full Swing

Book Club, Phillies Games, and some Disco Dancing are just a few of the exciting things our Family Support Service department has planned for the Fall Recreation Program! Click Here to view Septembers full schedule.
Congratulations to our 2022 Pre School Graduates
This August, The Arc of Chester County graduated seven students from its licensed preschool program. The Arc has been revolutionizing early learning for over 70 years and is the only inclusive preschool program where children with and without disabilities learn side-by-side, excelling both academically and socially in Chester County. 
The Arc’s Inclusive Preschool Program is taking Applications TODAY!! Open Enrollment has begun.

🍽💻The Arc of Chester County is pleased to offer our Free Fall 2022 Chat n Chew Speaker Series.
We have seen an overwhelmingly positive response to this series being held virtually so we plan to continue this format this season. We are thrilled to offer amazing presenters to bring important information to you, our wonderful partners. Register Here !

👏👏👏Direct Support Professional Recognition Week
September 11-17, 2022
THANK YOU! to Direct Support Professionals who selflessly
and tirelessly work to provide for individuals with disabilities.
We applaud YOU - this week and every week!

Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Support the Annual CCDSIG Buddy Walk
Sunday, October 9, 2022
visit www.ccdsig.org to learn more!

Sunday, May 21, 2023
West Goshen Park
Details To Be Announced
Ways to Give
Donors have many options when it comes to making gifts. The method of giving depends on both your financial situation and your philanthropic goals. The Arc of Chester County accepts:
Outright Gifts are gifts of cash, check, credit card, or from donor-advised funds (DAF) and/or pledges that are paid over a fixed number of years.
Appreciated Securities - in the form of stocks, bonds, securities, annuities, or other tangible property such as real estate, artwork, vehicles, etc. provide immediate support.
Bequests – in writing a will or living trust, where you specify The Arc of Chester County as the beneficiary of all or part of your estate can provide a legacy of your support.
IRAs & Qualified Retirement Plans – where you make a gift from your IRA or designate The Arc of Chester County as the beneficiary of your required minimum distribution or the remainder balance of any retirement fund.
Life Insurance – which is an economical way to give a larger and more lasting gift without drawing on your assets now or depleting your estate by designating The Arc of Chester County as the beneficiary of all or part of your life insurance.
Planned Gifts - such as Charitable Gift Annuities or Trusts which are partnership planned gifts that benefit you and The Arc of Chester County today and in the future.
Susan Vanscovich at 610-696-8090 Ext 202 or by email at svanscovich@arcofchestercounty.org to learn more.
Phone: 610-696-8090 Fax: 610-696-8300
900 Lawrence Drive, West Chester, PA 19380