Warm greetings! As we send this to you, we are all battling an international pandemic, and engaging in an intense national discourse about race relations and civil rights. The events that have transpired in the last several weeks leave us feeling beleaguered both for those struggling to combat the virus, and for those fighting for justice and to have their voices heard. Nevertheless, there is so much capacity in the hearts and minds of our country that we remain confident that a way forward will be found on both fronts. 
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are some of the most vulnerable and underserved in our society. Some of our members have experienced prejudice in their lives because of their disability. We believe in everyone’s individual right to dignity, respect, and justice, and are committed to creating a caring community of inclusion . We will continue to advocate for persons with intellectual disabilities and ensure everyone encountering our organization is treated with respect. While there has been much upheaval the last few months, including at ITA, we have exciting changes brewing as we prepare to launch a slow reopening.
In the immediate future, we are focused on staying financially afloat. Through access to federal, state, and local grants and loans, ITA was able to rehire the talented and dedicated staff that were furloughed in the beginning of the pandemic. As a result, we have been able to keep our members connected and engaged.

Bi-weekly Zoom Afternoon Activity Club meetings, hosted by Cody Ogren and Michelle Thompson, have taken participating members on a journey through the continents. Starting with Africa, this guided online exploration is supplemented with printed materials hand delivered to members’ homes. Additionally, biweekly personal phone calls with staff and members have complimented remote programming.

Despite these efforts, it is not surprising that some of our members are losing valuable skills during this time. Without ITA's consistent support - delivered by our compassionate and qualified staff - families report losses in communication, personal care, behavior, job and life skills. Now that Kitsap County is in Phase 2, we are eager to slowly reopen and help members get back on track!
Visit our website: islandtimeactivities.org or vitalizekitsap.org to find out more information about reopening. Current target date is June 22. Please note new services, a different schedule and registration requirements, and the launch of ITA’s a brand-new name...

Our values:

Mission: to empower people with intellectual disabilities to lead lives of meaning and self-determination.

Vision: people with intellectual disabilities are embraced and valued by their communities.

We therefore resolve to:
Stand shoulder-to shoulder-with those who seek social justice

Our quest for an inclusive world must be shared by all, regardless of race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation.
Thank you to all who donated to the Kitsap Great Give! This year we couldn’t host any live events, but that didn’t stop you from showing up. Our goal started at $20,000 and then the pandemic happened so we lowered our expectations would have been happy to receive $10,000. You all met us in the middle and we raised $15,000.

We are so grateful for your continued support of the empowering opportunities we provide our members.
Our island is home to an amazingly diverse collection of small businesses and nonprofit organizations. They are owned and operated by our family, friends, and neighbors and many are currently facing an unprecedented challenge.

Help your favorite local business or nonprofit survive this difficult time with the purchase of a special Bainbridge Strong t-shirt or hoodie. For each item sold, a $10 donation goes directly to the business or organization of your choice - no additional work on their part, just a little help to show our love.

STEP 1: Pick your favorite design and add it to your cart
STEP 2: At checkout, choose who you would like to donate $10 to from the dropdown list
STEP 3: Wear your swag with pride (and maybe even post a pic tagged with #bainbridgestrong)

Step up, show that you are Bainbridge Strong and that, no matter what, you can't stop The Rock!
Kelsey Peterson, who joined us after high school graduation in 2015, will be moving on to new adventures! Kelsey was a student at Bainbridge Island High School in the special education department. After graduation, she entered the Adult Living Program and started volunteering at ITA as an intern. After about a year and a half, she successfully completed her internship and was hired on as a support staff member.

Kelsey has a positive attitude, a wonderful smile and is a hard worker. As she progressed with her responsibilities at ITA, she became more confident and could lead members through daily activities with excellent results. Her commitment and “can do” attitude will be missed.

Adding to her talents, Kelsey is also a passionate photographer and has won awards for her photography at the Kitsap County Fair.

Kelsey said she will miss ITA members and staff and we are sad to see her go! Good luck Kelsey: we can’t wait to see you soar!

The past few months we have all been housebound, socially distancing to keep ourselves and others healthy. Maybe you have been zooming up the stairs, around the block or up and down your driveway to get a little exercise and stay fit. Maybe you have hopped in the car with your family to zoom around your neighborhood, go to the store or just take a drive to get out of the house.

Have you Zoomed online with family and friends? It is great to see familar faces, even if it is on a computer screen. As we get used to this new way of working and visiting, there are a few “Rules of the Road” to keep in mind:

  • Wear appropriate clothes while on Zoom.
  • Look at your surroundings (make your bed, show a clean room)
  • Don’t pick your nose, pop zits, or any other grooming.
  • Don’t text or play on cell phones during Zoom calls.
  • Don’t share any Zoom mishaps of your peers on social media later.
  • Always mute unless it’s your turn to talk.
  • Turn off music or TV in the background.
  • Don’t fidget.
  • Don’t stare at yourself in the camera. Watch whoever is talking.
  • Mind your volume and language. You don’t have to yell or use foul language to be heard.
  • Respect your peers. Don't bicker or fight.

Keeping in touch with others makes us all happy. By following these thoughtful rules, you can look forward to many fun and informative visits ahead! 

Help Make Sure Congress Knows Why #WeAreEssential!
The Arc is fighting every day to make sure the critical needs of people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support professional (DSP) workforce are included in the next coronavirus relief bill – and we need your help!
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that includes many of our top asks – and now the Senate must act! From home and community-based services to minimize the risk of people with disabilities being forced into institutions, paid leave for all caregivers, personal protective equipment for the vital DSP workforce, and stimulus payments for all – our essential needs must be included!
Thank you for continuing to fight with us and for reminding your legislators that they must recognize the value of the lives of people with disabilities!
For the latest information about the disability community and the coronavirus pandemic, visit  thearc.org/covid .

Share your stor y  with us and send a personalized message to your Members of Congress by answering 3 short questions!