December, 2018
Happy Holidays!
from Chester County Intellectual Disability Services
New Board Member for
Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance

Karen Hayes, a self-advocate for almost 40 years who has worked at the Arc of Chester County since the 1970's, has joined the Board of Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance. Pictured to the right, Hayes was one of the first members of Speaking for Ourselves in the 1980's and she served on the Arc of Chester County's board of directors in the 1990's. Read More.

Pennhurst Documentary
to be Released in Spring 2019


Jodie Alexander Taylor's new documentary on the shuttered Chester County state school and hospital has only one word in the title. Pennhurst chronicles the stories of people whose lives are part of the history of the institution that housed thousands of mentally and physically disabled children and adults for decades. The film is scheduled for release in the spring. Click to watch the trailer .
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Holiday Self Care

The holiday season can be a time to connect with family and friends, enjoy traditions and celebrate. The flip side is that the added activity can add stress. And for those already struggling with grief, recovery or persistent life stressors, the holidays can become the most difficult time of the year.

For these reasons, the season of giving should also be the season for self-care. There are many tools available to help us manage, from downloadable apps and mindfulness practice, to daily affirmations and simply taking time to breathe. The Mayo Clinic offers additional information on stress management during the holidays. Basic self-care tips are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  
For her Girl Scout Silver Award Project, Lizzy Stahelek created a free dance class for all abilities. The program, Everybody In , will be held at Grove Church on Boot Road in West Chester. It begins in January and will run through April. Click here for the flier and more information.
Places to Go & Things to Do in Southeastern Pennsylvania

A New Handbook for Families from Vision for Equality ~

Find out about opportunities for community inclusion for people in the intellectual disability and autism communities. Click here to find out more about this important resource!
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Chester County Code Blue

The temperatures have been dropping, creating potentially dangerous situations
for individuals left out in the cold. There is a risk for hypothermia, frost bite, or other
cold-­related injuries when temperatures dip to 35 degrees or below. But Code Blue can help.

Chester County has Code Blue resources, including day and overnight shelters
and places to get hot meals. Find out more about these potentially life-saving resources located throughout the county. Click here .

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Resources & Training, Opportunities

There are several other county departments who send out community newsletters and announcements just like this one. If you're interested, sign up here .



Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care has online training, resources and support.

Chart A Course for Life - Click for the latest LifeCourse Flier

The Peal Center works with families, youth and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs to help them understand their rights and advocate for themselves. 


Refer Web - Chester County's source for human services
Chester County Department of Mental Health / Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
601 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA


Chester County Commissioners
Administrator: Linda Cox
Deputy Administrator: Bridget Thrash