Golf Outing a "Hole in One" for Persons with Disabilities!
The Arc of Dauphin County's 3rd Annual Million Dollar Golf Outing was a winner!   It was our largest outing yet, and raised funds through sponsorships and player's fees to help underwrite the work of the Arc of Dauphin County's Advocate program, which is otherwise underfunded. We are most grateful for the players who gave up their time on a work day to come out to Deer Valley Golf Course to help support Arc of Dauphin County initiatives.

Please support the folks we list below, who were major sponsors of our Golf Outing, they care about our Consumers-those wonderful people who happen to have Special Needs-and they want us to help them to achieve an Everyday Life!


Plan now for the 3rd Monday in September of 2019 
for  the 4th Annual Million Dollar Golf Outing. Great Fun! We need 18 foursomes, will you put together four people to play? Prizes galore, more than any other golf outing in this region of Pennsylvania! Food! Wonderful time outdoors with friends. Our projected date is 9/16/18.

Craig's Corner
A Message from our President and CEO

Everyone's talking about the change in weather. Soon it will be November-TURKEY DAY!  
But, also, November  brings "mid-term elections," and we are championing the disability vote. We do not advocate any political party, but we do advocate making your voice heard. Voting is advocating for yourself!

With the midterm elections coming next month, it is imperative that the disability community prepare to participate and ensure our elected officials are aware of, and can address, the issues that are important to us.

People with disabilities accounted for over 35 million eligible voters in 2016, according to Rutgers University. That figure jumps to over 62 million eligible voters when you count family members in the same household - over 25% of eligible voters.

The disability community represents an important and potentially influential voting bloc. To make the disability vote count, people with disabilities need to be actively involved in the election process and press candidates to give their positions on issues that affect them and their families. Candidates that support the equality and full inclusion of disabled people will benefit from the power of the disability vote.

Voting is one of our most important rights. Voting is how people decide who they want our leaders to be, and  what they want the government to do. By voting on the people who will represent them in the government, and on the laws we must follow, people choose what they want government to do.
Voting is just as important for people with disabilities as it is for everyone else. If people with disabilities can't vote, laws might be made about us, without us. However, many people with disabilities have trouble voting. This can happen because:  
  • Some people think that people with disabilities don't understand their voting choices even when they do. 
  • The ability to understand and make your own choices, including when voting, is usually called "competency" or "mental capacity." That said, some states have competency laws that take away voting rights for whole groups of people with disabilities - for example, in some cases, persons with a legal guardian (which has nothing to do with whether you know how to vote). 
  • I found the following site while searching which states have laws that restrict voting rights for persons with disabilities. GOOD NEWS: Pennsylvania is one of the very few that has no restrictions on the chart. In fact, the first column states that PA legal statutes going back to the 1970's guarantee the freedom to vote for everyone. You can check it out here: 
Some states have voting laws and rules that can make it hard for people with disabilities to vote. For example, states may have laws that say you have to show your ID before you can vote. Some people with disabilities might not have an ID.
Some people need help with voting, but can't get that help. However, many states and the Federal government, have developed some statutes that protect the right to vote:  
  • States don't have to have "competency" laws for voting, or laws that require the voter to prove they understand how to cast a vote and why they want to do it.

  • States can't bar whole groups of people from voting just because they want to. They are limited by the Constitution and other federal laws. For example, if a state tries to ban everyone under guardianship from voting, that is generally against the law.

  • States can't hold people with disabilities to a higher standard than everyone else. They have to apply voting laws equally.

  • In most states, only a judge may decide that a specific person shouldn't be able to vote.
People with disabilities have the right to get help with voting. They have the right to decide who will help them vote. The only people who can't help you vote are your employer or representatives of your labor union.
  • If you get help with voting, the person helping you has to listen to you when you tell them who you want to vote for and which laws you want to vote for. They cannot make another choice instead. They cannot tell you who to vote for or which laws to vote for.

  • If you get help with voting, the person helping you must respect your privacy. That person can't peek to see who you are voting for unless you need their help to fill out a ballot or use the voting machine. They also can't tell other people who you voted for. 
Please see our related article, in this issue, "GET OUT THE VOTE!" Let's be sure all of us in the Special Needs community make our voices heard!  The Get Out The Vote article has one of the best reference sections I have ever seen, indicating all the election choices across the country-there are a lot of links, try them all!  Some links take you to information on the U.S. Government Website, others to the League of Women Voters-but all are impartial, and just present all candidates, all ballot issues. The information from the links presented doesn't "take sides," but presents the basic data so that the reader can make up her or his own mind.
Not registered to vote? October 9th was the last date to register in Pennsylvania in order to be eligible to vote in November, but in the 24 months following this November's election cycle, a voter will have other opportunities to vote-so go to the "Get Out the Vote" article and learn where you need to go to register to vote.   Should you need help voting, we plan to assemble volunteers to help people get registered-so give us a call and let us know you might need help getting registered. Please call 717.920.2727 and tell or leave a message for Barbara saying you want to be on the list to receive support with voter registration.

Jonathan's Rainbow

Eve J. Benner is a busy single mother of three and a dental hygienist; her child,  Jonathan, has Down syndrome.

A long time ago, while juggling all that her  life entailed, she decided that she wanted to write about her journey and, in  particular, Jonathan's story. Two years ago she was able to start working on a  book and this month  Jonathan's Rainbow has been published by Sunbury Press It is the story of twenty years of struggle s and successes, tears and laughter, and the  strength that family and friends can create.

Eve will be at the Arc of Dauphin County on November 30 at noon-1 PM to present her book and, if time allows, share her plans for a non-profit to help people with speech and language impediments.

This event is free of charge and attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch. Please call us at  717-920-2727 if you plan to attend.

Time: 12:00-1:00 PM

Location: The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut street, Harrisburg.


From our Friends at The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) 

Upcoming Elections for 2018 Your state or local election office is the best place to find the most up-to-date information on the midterm election in your area, especially county and local elections.

What's on your ballot?
The VOTE411 Voter Guide from the League of Women Voters identifies candidates running for office in your community.

REV UP Issues Guide
The REV UP Issues Guide provides a comprehensive, yet concise overview of the issues, legislation, and regulations that have a significant impact on the disability community. Use it as a tool to educate yourself and others.

REV UP Candidate Questionnaires and Forums
Check the  REV UP State Resources and Events page to see if there is a disability candidate questionnaire or candidate forum organized in your state.

Know your Rights as a Voter
Do you know your rights as a disabled voter?  The  Vote. It's Your Right. guide from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, National Disability Rights Network, and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP covers the information you need to know ( plain-language version for advocates available here).

Help us spread the word:
Use the sample social media posts below to help us spread the word about voter education. 

The REV UP Issues Guide provides a comprehensive, yet concise overview of the issues, legislation, and regulations that have a significant impact on the disability community. Use it as a tool to educate yourself and others. #DisabilityVote18:

Let's make 2018 the Year of the Disability Vote!

The REV UP Campaign, launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state, and local disability organizations to increase the political participation of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. The Campaign focuses on voter registration, education, access, and engagement.  REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!

Video Recommendation

From time to time, we publish a recommendation on a great video to watch, with the suggestion coming from one of our professional staff, or volunteers, or others in the community who alert us to something worth watching.

This month's suggestion comes from Rhonda Mays who works with Craig in our grants and outreach  department. Rhonda is working on finalizing her Master's Degree, and is focusing her Community Development concentration on Inclusive Communities and Community Capacity Building. 

Rhonda notes, "I thought this video about safe socializing would be appropriate viewing. Lots to talk about in this video and it gave me many ideas about future discussions. For instance, the video shows people living with I/DD doing many household (and conceivably, many community) activities independently."
The video describes independent activity including using the Internet safely, as well as how to get out and about with friends in the community safely.  "This information can educate, inspire and motivate people,"  Rhonda added.  

You can see the video at 
Black Friday.  Cyber Monday.  The most important:

Please tell everyone you know! Plan now! Giving Tuesday is November 27th.

Watch your e-mail in coming weeks for more information. On November 27th, from 8: AM until Midnight, through social media or telephone, you can help make 2018 our best year yet for Giving Tuesday!

One of our legacy programs, Advocacy, in existence at our Arc since 1953 (SIXTY FIVE YEARS ago) has been our outreach to families and individuals to help them navigate the human services system, to get students enrolled in school, and to help families who face indecision-What to do? Where to go? What services are available to help us? Our Advocates are out in the field every day, working with families. Here is an example:

An 89 year-old woman whose 53 year-old daughter, Colleen, had been in a state facility for the last 40 years was moved to a group home.  When the daughter was 13 in 1964, there were very few options and all the doctors recommended she send her only daughter to a state facility several hours away.  Not a day goes by that the 89 year-old woman regrets the choice and grieves for time she missed with her girl.  The mother found our Advocate and now our Advocate drives the mother to visit Colleen, who lives in a group house only 20 minutes away.  During the ride back and forth our Advocate listens to the mother's stories and her pain and reassures her that things will be okay.  This mother's one wish is to be able to die knowing her daughter will be loved and taken care of.  

The 65 years your Arc of Dauphin County has been serving the Special Needs Community

$15 each for the two buildings on our small campus.

One dollar each for the six Consumers who make up our Super Six Club

One-half a penny for every mile our Advocate, Kathy, drove last year as she called on families and Consumers.

10-cents for every mile one of our Positive Behavior Consultants drives in a month to call on Consumers.

$1.00 for every Consumer we worked with directly last year.

Support one Consumer meal that Joe prepares at Weekend Respite Camp

$20.00 at each of our First Friday Dances will help underwrite the cost of food at the dances!

One dollar for each numeral of our address added together (2 + 5 + 6 + 9)

Support one Consumer during Summer Respite Camp next summer.

Scholarship one Consumer to be able to go to Weekend Respite Camp any available weekend in 2019

Support one Consumer to be able to receive Rep Payee Services who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate.

Health Alert 

Gregory Cherpes MD, ODP Medical Director

2018-2019 Flu Season Alert 

The Office of Developmental Programs is sending out this reminder to get immunized against the flu. The flu season begins in October and can last into May. As a reminder of the seriousness of the flu season, it was recently reported that "more than 80,000 Americans died of the flu in the winter of 2017-2018, the highest number in over a decade." 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends several flu vaccine options for the 2018-19 flu season. This season, flu shots (inactive influenza vaccine or recombinant influenza vaccine) and the nasal spray (Live attenuated influenza vaccine) will be available. Your health care practitioner can recommend the appropriate vaccine.

What do I need to know for the 2018-2019 flu season? 

Get immunized against the flu annually. The CDC recommends those who are aged 6 months and older get a flu shot each year. Flu shots are especially important for those at risk for complications and for their caregivers. People who are at higher risk for complications include: 

* People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease, blood disorders, endocrine disorders, kidney disorders, metabolic disorders, and liver disorders
* Pregnant women or women who will be pregnant during flu season
* People 65 years and older
* Children aged 6 months to 5 years
* People who have a weakened immune system
* Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
* Persons who are extremely obese (Body Mass Index of 40 or more)
* American Indians/Alaska Natives
* People who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications

Do I need a flu vaccine every year? 
Yes. A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing. The flu vaccine is created each year to keep up with the flu viruses as they change. There are different types of vaccines available and  your healthcare provider can recommend which is best. The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to provide protection from the flu; the CDC recommends getting the vaccine before flu season begins or by the end of October. 

Is there treatment if I get sick with the flu?
Yes. If you get sick, there are drugs that can treat flu illness. They are called antiviral drugs and they can make your illness milder and help you feel better faster. They also can prevent serious flu-related complications, such as pneumonia. 

Can I do anything else to help prevent the flu?
Yes. In addition to getting the flu vaccine, you can help prevent the spread of influenza. You can practice good personal hygiene: wash your hands frequently, cough or sneeze into your elbow and stay away from people if you or they are ill. 

Do I have the flu or a cold?
The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. If these symptoms are present, contact your health care practitioner to determine the best course of treatment.

The flu can lead to serious complications. Immediate medical care should be sought for the following symptoms
* Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
* Sudden dizziness
* Confusion
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* In children: Bluish skin, not drinking enough, not waking up or not interacting, irritability (not wanting to be held), fever with a rash or when flu symptoms improve, but then return with a fever and worsening cough.

Having the flu, can also increase your chances of getting pneumococcal pneumonia. A vaccine for this type of pneumonia is available. Discuss with your health care practitioner if you should receive the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. 

Where can I get more information about flu?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a wealth of information about flu and preventing flu. Their website, listed below, contains posters and fact sheets that you can use to spread the word about preventing flu. Likewise, the PA Department of Health's website on influenza is an excellent resource.

For information about where to get a flu shot, you can contact your health care provider or your local Department of Health regional office. Many pharmacies give flu shots for a small cost but find out first if your health insurance will cover it. The websites below have a flu vaccine finder. Simply enter your zip code to find a flu vaccine location near you, and resources with additional information. 
Where Should You Go To Vote?

This information is supplied courtesy of Senator Mike Folmer, from his newsletter, "Mike's Memo."

Dauphin County Polling Place Changes

Five polling place changes in Dauphin County will take effect for the upcoming General Election on November 6th. All impacted voters should have already been notified. Should you have any questions, please contact Dauphin County Bureau of Registration and Elections Director Gerald Feaser, Jr. at 717- 780-6360.

Londonderry Township 2nd Precinct (located in the 48th Senatorial District)

FORMER: Londonderry Township Building, 783 Geyers Church Road, Middletown
NEW : Londonderry Fire Company, 2655 Foxiana Road, Middletown

Harrisburg's 12th Ward

FORMER: Neighborhood Center, 1801 North Third Street, Harrisburg
NEW: Laurel Towers Apartments Community Room, 1531 North Third Street, Harrisburg

Lower Paxton 4th Precinct

FORMER: Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1214 Crosby Street, Harrisburg
NEW: American Legion Post 272, 505 North Mountain Road, Harrisburg

Lower Paxton 25th Precinct

FORMER: Sports City, 4141 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg
NEW: The Village of Laurel Ridge, 399 Ring Neck Drive, Harrisburg

West Hanover 3rd Precinct

FORMER: West Hanover Elementary School Gymnasium, Harrisburg
NEW: Office of MDJ Lowell Witmer, 8010 Bretz Drive, Harrisburg

ABLE accounts are helping people with disabilities across the country save money without jeopardizing their benefits, but there are more than 6 million people with disabilities who are not eligible to take advantage of this important savings tool because they acquired a disability after age 25. At the same time, the pool of potential ABLE account holders should be expanded to strengthen the market for state ABLE programs.

The Arc, along with nearly 160 other organizations from across the country, believes that ABLE should be expanded to include more people with disabilities, and has signed onto a letter urging Congress to pass this bill this session.

Beyond the fairness/equity argument for increasing the age of onset, it has now become a financial imperative to pass the ABLE Age Adjustment Act. There are currently thirty-nine states with ABLE programs, yet data collected by the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) shows that the number of ABLE accounts being opened is much lower than anticipated. The long-term sustainability, availability, and affordability of some ABLE programs for individuals with disabilities are in doubt without this expansion of eligibility (NAST Sustainability Report).

Urge your Senators and Representative to support people with disabilities and their families by cosponsoring the bipartisan ABLE Age Adjustment Act ( S. 817 /  HR 1874).

Please take a few minutes to call or email your legislators to ask them to support the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S.817/HR 1874), which would amend Section 529A(e) of the Internal Revenue Code to increase the eligibility for Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts for onset of disability from prior to age 26 to prior to age 46. Together we can advocate to #ExpandABLE and pass the #ABLEAgeAdjustment Act.

For more information about ABLE accounts, please visit the ABLE National Resource Center at

Upcoming Events

November 2, 2018
First Friday Dance
Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Fee:  $5   

November 30, 2018
Jonathan's Rainbow

Author Eve J. Benner will be presenting her book Jonathan's Rainbow, which tells the story of her twenty year old son with Down Syndrome.

Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Fee:  Free   

December 7, 2018
First Friday Dance 
Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Fee:  $5   


Do you like organization?  The Arc of Dauphin County seeks energized, "want to make the world a better place" volunteers to help us with our many programs and services.  Even one day a month would be wonderful help!  Call Barb Bressler at 717.920.2727.

Your place to socialize and enjoy the music is The Arc of Dauphin County.  For nearly a decade we have been offering "First Friday Dances" complete with a DJ spinning your favorite tunes.  $5.00 covers entrance and hot dogs, cookies, soda, etc. (free to Charter Members of The Arc of Dauphin County). No reservation required.

Help support our friends with disabilities through our advocacy, education, consumer programs, life in the community/inclusion, and so much more!  Your gift ensures our non-profit can continue to provide the best services possible.  Our new Respite Center, now open and operating, will also benefit from your generosity.  Please e-mail Craig George at , or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727.

If you are thinking long term, so are we!  Planning for the future, The Arc of Dauphin County will soon launch a Planned Giving program, which will allow our supporters who own a house or other real estate, who have paid up life insurance policies, or who would like to contribute to a trust or an Arc Endowment, as well as many other planned gift vehicles, to think long term with us.  Did you know without proper planning, the largest benefactor of your estate will be Uncle Sam?  Many planned gifts pass outside of probate from you to your loved ones and other beneficiaries, such as The Arc of Dauphin County.  For a confidential consultation, please e-mail Craig George at or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727.

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