Our Arc Family Fun Day/Faith Into Action Picnic And Festival Is Here!

Bring everyone! The whole house! Friends! Family!
Are you ready for...
  • Bingo 
  • Pie walk 
  • Music on the big stage 
  • Face painting 
  • Bounce houses 
  • Ponies and baby farm animals 
Here's what you need to know:
  • Free Admission--you just need to enter at a registration point and get a wrist band. If you don't like to wear wrist bands, no problem--they can be put on your mobility device, backpack or other places.

    SATURDAY, 7/14/18 Noon to 4:00 PM -- Rain or shine as always
  • Camp Curtin Middle School ball field: 2900 N 6th St, Harrisburg, PA 17110
  • Accessible parking near Arc Pavilion
  • Questions? Please call Barb at 717.920.2727  

The Arc of Pennsylvania was invited to Governor Tom Wolf's live bill signing of Employment First, House Bill 1641.  This legislation codifies Governor Wolf's #EmploymentFirst executive order by creating "The Employment First Act," which is designed to promote the employment of people with disabilities at competitive wages by Pennsylvania employers.

Congratulations to our State House and Senate bill sponsors: PA State Rep. Bryan Cutler, Rep. Dan Miller, Sen. Mensch, and Senator Christine Tartaglione.

Power in Numbers--and Members!

Join The Arc today as a member! With your charitable contribution, you will be part of a 65-year movement of stepping up for people with disabilities. 

Our new business year (fiscal year) began July 1. Our memberships renew on that date, and we are planning for our members to renew and to garner new members. Do you know someone that would like to help support our work? Then please pass this newsletter on to them and ask them to apply for membership. We ask for a donation of at least $50.00 for membership, but if that is not possible, we'll welcome a different amount of your choice. Our membership drive runs July 1 through July 31st. Thank you for supporting our programs and services through membership.

The Arc of Dauphin County, a Civil Rights organization that focuses on programs and services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities,  invites anyone who is concerned for the welfare and rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to become a member.

Your membership supports our advocacy work and core services for over 3,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc is successful because of YOU... the families, business partners, volunteers and others who contribute and become members. Public funding is not sufficient, we need your membership contribution to strengthen services.

Education & Awareness: monthly  ArcNews newsletter, general and specialized e-news, and periodic member notifications and mailings.

Belonging & Community: members of The Arc of Dauphin County automatically become members of The Arc of Pennsylvania and The Arc U.S.

Advocacy & Events: notification of policy developments, events, and opportunities to stay informed about disabilities funding and policies.  We will also send out calls to action on key legislation from time to time, or alert members to urgent situations.

Contribute & Join

While we accept any level of contribution as membership, we ask that you consider a minimum level of $50 each year. Public funding is not sufficient. We need you.

For more information, e-mail Craig George or call him at 717.920.2727.
Donate and Become a Member Today!

An Idea Whose Time Has Come...FINALLY!

For two successive legislative sessions Representative Mauree Gingrich tried, tried and tried again to pass a bill that would criminalize abusive behavior toward persons with disabilities. Over and over and over the Pennsylvania House PASSED the bill, unanimously. And you probably know how hard it is to get the House to agree completely on anything...jokingly a writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer said it is hard to "get them to even agree upon the day of the week it is." Yet, each time the bill went to the Senate, it was either ignored or didn't pass. 

Yet Mauree's efforts and dogged determination never ceased. The bill went to Senate vote in 2012...ignored by the Senate. The bill was pushed again in 2015, again ignored. Eventually, Mauree retired from the House but her determination carried on through others in the House, and FINALLY! Finally, at the end of 2017, the Senate approved the bill, and it was sent to the Governor. The Governor signed it! He signed the bill the last Thursday of June 2018-a mere two weeks ago.

Mauree's legislation is now bone fide law in Pennsylvania. Please join us in congratulating the Vice President of our Board of Directors, Mauree Gingrich. She initiated the legislation and others who also deserve our congratulations finally, on attempt #3, got the law pushed all the way up to the Governor for signing--codifying into law, amending the Pennsylvania Crime Code to protect persons with disabilities from abuse.

Many of us know of people with special needs who come back from a session away from home with unexplained bruises or other signs of abuse, only to have very little success in getting signs of possible abuse investigated by trained law enforcement officers. Very few cases have gone before a judge...until now.

On June 28th, HB1124 went into law, and is now known as Act 53. Mauree Gingrich, now gets to see her original bill, which became HB112, which then became Act 53 realized. This win is tremendous for our Consumers, and people everywhere in the Commonwealth who worry about protecting their family members-especially after they have departed this Earth and cannot advocate for them (when they cannot advocate for themselves.) We are grateful to Mauree Gingrich for this landmark legislation and the fact that she launched the initiative to protect people with disabilities from harm.

Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Columnist Ronnie Polaneczky led the charge with her column's readers to force the issue on try #3. She sounded the alarm that the bill was going to the Senate for the third time, and that unless something was done to persuade legislators to act positively, the bill faced a death sentence once again. Her readers took up the charge, and shared stories of horrors that have happened to people with disabilities. Some of the remarks made by her readers are especially cogent, and worth remembering. 
You can read the latest article by Ms. Polaneczky in its entirety by clicking on this link:

Craig's Corner
A Message from our President and CEO

Join your Arc of Dauphin County today! July 1 began our new fiscal year, (the business year is called the "fiscal") and with that, we urge you to sign up to be a member during the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Our sign up period for new members runs the entire month of July, which is the first month of the "business/budget year" for us.

By becoming a member today, you walk alongside the hundreds of advocates who fight every day in Annapolis and Washington DC for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities!

By becoming a member today, you can take pride in being part of our shared vision: People with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families THRIVE in the community.

Join The Arc today as a member! With your charitable contribution, you will be part of a 65-year movement of stepping up for people with disabilities. We need you to help strengthen services.

It is easy to become a member: you can click here and join online, or send your check for $50 or more to: The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA 17003. Or call Barb at 717.920.2727 and tell her you want to become a member, and charge the membership to your credit card. Alternately, you can drop by our offices in person between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM.

While some organizations offer gifts or "premiums" when one joins, we recognize that those premiums cost valuable funds and part of the membership has to pay for the "gift" back to the member-donor. We have had many members tell us that they don't want anything back because they want 100% of their contribution to go to our advocacy for those with Special Needs. Amen!

M ark your calendars! July 14th is the BIG DAY! July 14th is the annual Arc Family Fun Day Picnic/Faith Into Action Festival held at Camp Curtin Middle School. Noon to 4:00 PM. All free! Food, beverages, games, bounce houses, farm animals, and for our Consumers...
  • Bingo! 
  • Pie Walk!
Come out for a great day, entertainment on the main stage, fun food-and all at no cost to you. Bring the entire residence facility, family, friends-everyone! Accessible parking near the Arc Pavilion, off 6th and Division Streets.

Golf ? We are looking for 18 foursomes to help support The Arc Mission. Our outing is September 17th. Look for more information elsewhere in this issue.

Respite Day Camp
Editorial from a Member of the Arc Team

Become A 2018-2019 Member Of The Arc Of Dauphin County!

By Kathy Gingerich, Arc Advocate

We need your help!

For the past 19 years The Arc of Dauphin County has provided free advocacy support to any Dauphin County child receiving special education services and adults with I/DD.

The Arc of Dauphin County has only had one Advocate; that position has been funded in large part by United Way. As our reputation of advocacy support has spread, our Advocate's ability to meet the needs of the community has been challenged.

This year, we are facing both opportunities and dilemmas because:
  1. United Way of the Capitol Region has restructured their priorities and will no longer be funding many agencies throughout the region, including ours. This leaves the Advocate position in jeopardy.  
  2. This winter, we welcomed Beth Light, a retired Special Education Supervisor, as a Volunteer Advocate. She has been a tremendous asset to the advocacy we provide. Beth comes with 28+ years of knowledge and experience in special needs and advocacy, and since she has been on board as a volunteer, the number of people we have been able to serve has surged by 20%! We would like to hire her part-time to assist our full-time Advocate to better serve you.
The Arc is aggressively seeking grants to help fund advocacy services but we are also asking those who value the service Advocates provide to please become an Annual Member for a donation of at least $50., which will help continue this free service for those who need it.

Without your help the Advocacy services could be greatly diminished in years to come. Membership now will help ensure unbroken advocacy services to families and individuals.

On The Lighter Side...  

Check out this bit of genius from our Director of Finance, Ashley Carter. Leave it to a numbers person to figure out how to make a mechanical coffee freshness recording instrument out of two cups!  

50 Years Ago Channel 10's Bill Baldini Shocked The World With His Pennhurst Report...

Sunday marked the 5 0th anniversary of the pioneering TV news series by Bill Baldini on inhumane and cruel conditions at Pennhurst which brought the issue of the wrongful institutionalization of people with ID/A to the public and began to change the world for the people we care about.

With so much in the news and being considered by so many as not having achieved the promise of full inclusion, it is important to note how far we have come and that the research shows people are so much better off in so many parameters now that they are in community. We also have a challenge to continue the progression to involve people fully in a meaningful, engaged life. 

Our work and dedication to people must continue with our full focused energy and commitment.  (Used by permission, PAR).  To learn more about The Arc of PA's role in the closing of Pennhurst, check out the most recent PA  Message .  For more information about Pennhurst, visit the website for the Pennhurst Memorial & Preservation Alliance

Looking Back In Time...
It is sometimes fun to look back into the past and see what we were doing a decade or so ago. Here is part of an article from our newsletter at that time, The Arc of Dauphin & Lebanon Counties Advocate of December 2005. Featured in the photo is Ken Seeger (center), who today is our Director of Consumer Programs. Note also pictured is Tom Pearsall (right), who was on the Arc of Dauphin County's board at the time.

It is sometimes fun to look back into the past and see what we were doing a decade or so ago. Here is part of an article from our newsletter at that time, The Arc of Dauphin & Lebanon Counties Advocate of December 2005. Featured in the photo is Ken Seeger (center), who today is our Director of Consumer Programs. Note also pictured is Tom Pearsall, who was on the Arc of Dauphin County's board at the time.

Just as the EITC program was important to us back in 2005, it is today. Our application for renewal l in the EITC program is being processed by The Department of Community and Economic Development, and we are anxiously awaiting approval so we can bring the program back to area schools. Twelve schools have written letters to DCED on our behalf, and we are most hopeful for a "green light" very soon.

FROM 2005:

Neighboring Arc Opens One Of Only Three Airport Sensory Rooms Anywhere In The World

The Arc of Lehigh and Northampton Counties, in partnership with Allentown's Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), have teamed-up to design, construct, and open a "sensory room" - only the third such space at an airport anywhere the world - for air travelers with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities to decompress anxieties before boarding an airplane, making a successful air travel experience more likely. 

"The sensory room helps reduce stress and anxiety for travelers with sensory sensitivities," said Karen Shoemaker, The Arc's Executive Director. "This unique space positively impacts many families who travel through the Lehigh Valley each year."

"Unveiling this sensory room is an example of our airport being an aviation leader within the region and our commitment to creating a comfortable environment for all passengers," said Tom Stoudt, Executive Director, Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority. Located in the Wilfred M. "Wiley" Post Departure Building, the room is equipped with Mondo flooring, low frequency lighting, mounted projector and other sensory equipment.

Among the many people that will benefit from this resource is 12-year-old Trey DelGrosso. Diagnosed with autism, he helped finish construction of the sensory room with other members of The Arc by spackling the walls. "To know that if he does get overwhelmed when traveling by airplane, there is a place he can go to calm down, it calms the whole family to know something like this is available," said Jennifer DelGrosso, Trey's mom.

This project has been on the radar for several years, but received a significant boost from many sponsors that made this Sensory Room a reality. "The Arc is extremely grateful this initiative received overwhelming support from ABE and sponsors that immediately realized they would be making a difference," said Shoemaker. The lead sponsors are Mass Mutual / PennWood, with additional support from SAM Service Access & Management, Magellan HealthCare, PA Link
The Leadership Trust, XPO Logistics, and Fun and Function

"PennWood recognizes and appreciates the services that The Arc provides for our community and we are very proud to be the lead sponsor for the sensory room. The special care community is one that is important to PennWood Financial Group," said Jeffrey R. Kurtz, General Agent, PennWood Financial Group. "Having the ability to participate with the Arc in this sensory room project brings together our shared commitment to the special care community. We look forward to continuing our partnership with The Arc."

The sensory room was unveiled to the public ton May 5, 2018, as part of The Arc's 4th Annual "Wings for All®" at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE). "Wings for All®", one of The Arc's national initiatives, is an airport rehearsal event specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual/developmental disabilities, their families and aviation professionals.
The program provides families with the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security, and boarding a plane. Wings for All® also gives airport, airline, Transportation Security Administration professionals, and other personnel the opportunity to observe, interact, and deliver their services in a structured, learning environment.

Upcoming Events

August 3, 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   

July 14, 2018
Family Fun Day Picnic

Hosted by: 1st Assembly of God and The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  Camp Curtin Middle School, 2900 N 6th St, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Time:  12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Fee:  Free

August 7, 2018
National NIght Out

Hosted by:  Penbrook Borough and Penbrook Police

Location:  Penbrook Community Park 

Fee: Free

September 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   

September 17, 2018

3rd Annual Million Dollar Golf Outing
Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  Deer Valley Golf Course
Time:  8:00 AM

Fee:  $75 per golfer

September 18, 2018
Learn & Prepare
Pennsylvania Dept. of Treasury's George Dillman will present a lively program on retirement savings at any point in life--especially important for families with children who have Special Needs.

Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Fee:  Free   


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   cgeorge@arcofdc.org , 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 cgeorge@arcofdc.org or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727.

Visit us at www.arcofdc.org.