Supports Broker Services Now Open at The Arc!

Chou Gabikiny (pronounced "Shoe" "Gab-e-ken-e"), our new Supports Broker, with Ken Seeger, Director of Consumer Programs. Chou and Ken are holding two of her certifications: "Discovery from Mark Gold & Associates," as well as her official certification from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Supports Broker training.

As of February 5th, and for the first time in our 66 year history, we now offer Supports Broker services.  The past twelve months have been spent in getting our agency certified to offer Supports Broker services and recruiting our first Supports Broker.  Consumers who decide to self-direct part or all of their services now have access to a Supports Broker through The Arc of Dauphin County.

"We are honored to be working with Chou," said Ken Seeger, Director of Consumer Programs. "Our journey to Supports Brokerage has been a long one, and we are now ready to offer exceptional service in this sector."

This exciting service does not affect a Consumer's present waiver budget!

Ms. Gabikiny has worked in human services her entire career, and is "coming home" to The Arc.  She served here back in 2011 assessing skills and interests of Consumers by conducting job analysis, helping to set career goals, providing job coaching and training Consumers in job readiness.

"Throughout my career, helping people and supporting them as they make a difference in their lives through positive action has been a great source of joy. I am most happy to be working with The Arc of Dauphin County as they dedicate themselves to supporting Consumers," said Ms. Gabikiny.  

Ms. Gabikiny has a Master of Arts in Human Services with a BS in business, counseling and psychology as well as a post-graduate certificate in rehabilitation counseling. She has a litany of specialized training and certifications including:
  • Certified Supports Broker
  • Certified AutPlay Therapy
  • Certified Clinical Trauma Professional
  • Certified Spiritual Life Coach
  • Certified in the Discovery Process of Customized Employment
  • Certified Trainer for Person-Centered Thinking
  • Certified Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapist
  • Board Certified Christian Counselor
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation (STAR)
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for Traumatized Children
"The program frees a family, gives them many more alternatives," said Craig George, Arc of Dauphin County CEO. "Dauphin County has done remarkable work in setting up the Supports Broker service. They were careful to ensure that not only are the Supports Brokers highly skilled and competent, but that the agencies, such as ours, are well qualified to offer the service. This is a tremendous win for Consumers, because besides assuring quality, Dauphin County pushed hard to provide the service outside normal waiver budgets--the service will not affect any existing waiver budget."

Mr. Seeger is actively seeking Consumers and their families to participate in the Supports Broker Program. "It will be most helpful to the family and Consumer, and will not be an added cost will provide both support and relief for the family," he said.

To learn more: Ken Seeger , 717.920.2727 or e-mail:

Speak Out! Celebration is Coming!

We are already receiving reservations for the 35th Annual Speak Out! Celebration. HAVE YOU REGISTERED?
  • Sunday, March 24th  
  • Noon to 3:30 PM, Central Hotel/Best Western, 800 East Park Drive. For directions to the Central Hotel click here.
  • Lunch, and you make your menu choices!
  • Orchestra music from Elizabethtown College
  • Hear from self advocates, who tell their story.
  • Celebrate Achievement!
  • Dancing to our DJ afterwards!
Are you ready for a wonderful afternoon out at a nice hotel ballroom with wonderful food, great music and a message of celebration and advocating for one's self? It's our 35th Annual Speak Out. Make your reservations now, this opportunity is limited to 100 people! Don't be left out, cost is the same as in years past, only $18.00 each. Reservations required by: MARCH 21ST.

To make a reservation:
  • If you received a paper invitation in the mail, send in your registration card with payment.
  • If you did not receive a paper invitation, call Caterina at 717.920.2727 and make your registration. You can then send a check or give a credit card number over the telephone.

This is a wonderful, exciting and fun day you don't want to miss.

RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES: We ask that you make reservations for everyone coming from your house as a group so we can sit everyone at the same table.

The hotel and the Heritage Ballroom are fully accessible.

Please make your reservation today. The 35th SpeakOut! is a big celebration, and 35 years is a wonderful birthday party!

Craig's Corner
A Message from our President and CEO

Dear readers, we have two significant announcements this month; these are items that are very important in the lives of our Consumers and their families.

The Speak Out! Celebration coming up March 24th is eagerly looked forward to by our Consumers. We had over 80 people in attendance last year. This year's celebration is our 35th!   Think about that: We started this celebration of self advocacy way back in 1984. That was the very first event that year, and then by 1985 we held the second annual Speak Out!, and then in 1986 the third annual. By then, The Arc of Dauphin County and our consumers, and our strong partner, Dauphin County's MHID office, realized this was a "very good thing to do, a worthy experience" that ought to happen every year.  The rest is history.

Each year, Speak Out! has one or more speakers who tell about their lives, discuss what they've overcome, and have a simple message, "If I can do it, you can too. It takes hard work and dedication but you can have your Every Day Life."   Two years ago, we changed our format and had two speakers; last year, we featured three. This year, we are planning on two presentations.   Here is what else is happening:

  1. Our Consumers make choices for themselves. They choose the menu item.
  2. Our Consumers get to have a wonderful meal in a beautiful hotel grand ballroom with waiter service, linen table cloths and napkins!
  3. While dining, we enjoy live orchestral music, usually provided by Elizabethtown College.
  4. After dinner, we will hear two 5 to 8 minute presentations from actual Consumers who talk about their lives, their challenges and celebrate their victories, which are their achievements!
  5. Following the presentations, and a beautiful proclamation by the Dauphin County Commissioners, we all enjoy a terrific dance!
  6. Time is Noon to 3:00 PM at the Central Hotel, Harrisburg. For directions to the Central Hotel click here.
  7. Cost is $18.00, reservations must be in by Thursday, March 21st.
  8. You should have received an e-mail announcement about SpeakOut!Celebration, and instructions on how to reserve by phone.
We hope you saw our story in this newsletter: Supports Broker Services are now available through the Arc of Dauphin County!

We have worked for a long, long time to offer Supports Broker services, and we have had many folks encouraging us to offer the service. We are proud to announce that we have been approved and our first Supports Broker is ready to begin working with you.

Chou Gabikiny is actually "coming back to the Arc"! This time as Supports Broker.   Chou worked with us years ago, and always hoped to be able to come back and to serve our Consumers in a new way. Supports Broker services are actually quite freeing to a frees them up to make their own choices and to have help with the "business side" of in-home care of a family member with Special Needs.

The exciting part of Supports Broker services is that Dauphin County has offered these for years, but most families chose to not utilize them as they did not want such services to reduce their waiver budget. In a brilliant move, Dauphin County found other revenue streams to support Supports Broker services. This means that now, a family can select a Supports Broker, and they do not delete funds from their normal waiver budget when doing so. A true win all the way around.

FIND OUT MORE: Please call Ken Seeger, Director of Consumer Programs, at 717.920.2727.

2019 Capital Area Transition Fair

Hosted By

At this year's Fair, students with disabilities will explore the many opportunities that exist in our community for them to work and/or attend college and to live as independently as possible.  

The fair will be held at the Harrisburg Midtown Campus of HACC. The day will include a Panel Discussion, a variety of workshops, vendor tables and lunch.  This year's fair will target 2021 Graduates with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Harrisburg Area Community College 
Midtown Campus 2 
1500 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102

When:  Friday March 8th, 2019

Time: 8:30 P.M.  a.m. - 2:00 P.M.

Governor's Budget Proposals Shows Support for our Consumers

A little over four weeks ago, Governor Wolf delivered his budget address to the General Assembly. In so doing, he expressed his budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2019-20 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020). His proposals indicate a gradual "turning of the ship" regarding support for those with disabilities.
While his proposal did not mention wage increases for direct support professionals (DSP's), it did include numerous positive moves forward. We are enthusiastic about his proposal regarding the waiting list initiative for 876 people, a three percent rate increase for the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program (the first rate increase proposed in 10 years), a five percent increase in state funds for the state's vocational rehabilitation program, and a $50 million increase for special education. Will all this happen? We can just "wait and see", or we can contact our PA Representatives and Senators and voice support for the proposals (and at the same time urge continued focus on wage increases for DSP's.)

Highmark Walk

The Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is an annual fundraising walk that benefits local health and human service agencies.   The primary goal of the walk is to help participating organizations raise money for their individual missions.  

As in previous years, the Arc will be participating in the Walk that will take place on Saturday, May 18 on the HACC campus in Harrisburg.  To donate and/or register go to our portal page.

Walkers have 4 options:
  1. Register as an individual
  2. Create a team
  3. Join an existing team
  4. Register as a virtual walker and donate without walking
Donors have 2 options:
  1. To donate directly to the Arc (click on the green button on our portal page)
  2. To support a walker or team  (use the search bar on our portal page)
The Walk is open to adults, children, and dogs on a leash. There will be music, giveaways, and anyone who donates/raises $30 or more and is present at the Walk, will get a t-shirt.

Join us for this day of fun and good will and bring your friends and family!

When:  May 18, 2019
Where: HACC, 1 HACC drive, Harrisburg 17110
Time: Check-in starts at 7:45 AM, walk begins at 9:00 AM

There will be plenty of free parking available.

Walkers can walk the 5K walk, or the 1-mile fun walk.

Valentine's Dinner-Dance Great Fun!

This year we again held our Valentine's Dinner Dance, which featured table service and a delicious meal plus non-alcoholic champagne to add flair and sparkle to the occasion!  

Topping off the lively evening of dinner music during dinner, dance music afterward, food and getting all dressed up for the evening was a fun Valentine's cake, which everyone enjoyed.  Our own Joe Martin of the Arc of Dauphin County professional team planned the event, decorated the room, and was the chef!  He was aided by Ken Seeger, our Director of Consumer Programs. 

The ArcExpressions arts and crafts group also participated by displaying some creative Valentine decorations.  

John Basial Joins The Arc

Meet one of our newest volunteers, John Basial, Government Relations Manager at the Pennsylvania Dental Association. 
John recently joined our all-volunteer Board of Directors, and is most enthusiastic about the mission of our Arc.   

"I'm a freshman board member, and  proud to be supporting this worthy organization, which has been working tirelessly for Consumers throughout the region for over 66 years.  All of us working together will assure that in another 66 years, The Arc of Dauphin County will still be fully engaged in the mission of advocacy, and ensuring Consumers have an Every Day Life!," 
Mr. Basial said.
John works in Harrisburg, commuting a short distance from Carlisle.  An attorney, he has been interested in nonprofit missions most of his life. "Nonprofits help so many people and I'm thrilled to do my part."
After graduating from law school he clerked for a judge in western Pennsylvania, was an assistant District Attorney in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), and worked in the Pennsylvania Senate.  In the Senate he worked for two Majority Leaders and two non-leadership members. He has engaged in the private practice of law and is now at the Pennsylvania Dental Association.   

John sees increased opportunities for our Arc, "I look forward to helping an outstanding organization do even better in its mission to help individuals and families live their best lives."

An Evening of Music and Wine Tasting!

Please join The Arc of Dauphin County as we celebrate Spring with a lively concert featuring Nashville Recording Artist who is a singer, songwriter and entertainer extraordinaire: Jill Fulton.

Tickets $10.00 Please order a full table (four persons) if you can, but single tickets welcome as well.

Ticket price includes the opportunity to win a gift basket of gastronomic delights.

To order tickets send your check to The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA 17103 and we will mail them to you. Or, call Barb Bressler at 717-920-2727 to order your tickets by credit card.   We only have 180 tickets, and expect to sell out by the concert!

Calculator: _______tickets X $10.00=$__________ + extra gift of $__________to provide more programs and services for those with Special Needs =$________total. (Any amount donated above $10.00 per ticket will receive a donation acknowledgement for IRS sanctioned contributions.

Jill Fulton, Nashville Recording Artist, Singer, Songwriter and Entertainer has met with high acclaim. An example: The Herald-Mail says, "...a powerhouse voice that has garnered her comparisons of a mixture of Faith Hill and Janis Joplin." -Ethan Larsh, Herald-Mail
You can read additional reviews at .

Ticket includes wine tasting.

Phone: (717)944-1569

Concert Date: May 31st 
Time: 7:00 PM.
Tickets only $10.00

Maureen  Cronin Retires from Arc of PA

In February, a retirement celebration was held by The Arc of Pennsylvania to celebrate the tenure of the state Arc's President, Maureen Cronin. Pictured with Maureen (center) is a group of Consumers, several of whom are members of the Arc of Pennsylvania's Board of Directors, work in the PA Arc office, or are involved as volunteers.

Special Presentation at Giant Community Center:

ODP Waivers: Supporting Families and Everyday Lives

The Office of Developmental Programs made significant changes to the person/Family Directed Support and Consolidated Waivers--they also created the new Community Living Waiver.

During this presentation you can learn all about the new changes and in the process support your Consumer on their quest for an Everyday Life.
  • Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
  • 5:30 to 8:30 PM
  • Snow Date March 27th
  • Giant Food Community Center
  • 3301 E. Trindle Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Provided by the PA Family Network.

RSVP Required by callling 1-844-723-2645. You can also RSVP by sending an e-mail to

This program is supported by the PA Office of Developmental Programs.

Walmart Change Could Affect Workers with Disabilities

Walmart's decision to change the job requirements for its greeters has caused a national controversy as some believe it targets people with disabilities, but some disabled worker advocates say they haven't seen any issues locally yet.

The tradition of being welcomed to Walmart by blue-vested "people greeters" will soon change at stores across the nation.

Walmart officials confirmed in late February (after a story first appeared in NPR, and was then picked up by newspapers and bloggers across the country) that greeters, many of whom are disabled, will be replaced by "customer hosts." The hosts, part of a program the world's largest retailer started in 2015, will still greet customers but have added and more physically demanding responsibilities.

"As we strive to constantly improve the experience for our customers, we will need to adjust roles from time to time," Walmart said in a statement to USA TODAY. "We've recently shared our plans to change the responsibilities of the people greeter role in some stores and that involves associates with disabilities in some cases."

The Associated Press reported that affected associates were told last week that their positions would be eliminated on April 26 for the host roles. To qualify to be a host, they need to be able to lift 25-pound packages, climb ladders and stand for long periods. Walmart said it recognizes associates with physical disabilities face "a unique situation."

"With that in mind, we will be extending the current 60-day greeter transition period for associates with disabilities while we explore the circumstances and potential accommodations, for each individual, that can be made within each store," Walmart said in the statement.

Walmart founder Sam Walton championed the greeters program, which started in the early 1980s. Across the country, customers have started rallying around some of the longtime employees.

In Marion, North Carolina, an online petition was started to keep Jay Melton at his greeter job of 17 years. Melton has cerebral palsy and can't walk without assistance, according to the petition, which has close to 14,600 signatures.

Holly Catlin wrote a public Facebook post about her son Adam Catlin, who has cerebral palsy and has worked as a greeter at the Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, Walmart for nine years. The Feb. 18 post has been shared nearly 10,000 times and has close to 4,000 comments.

"You all know that Adam loves his job so much and does it with his whole heart. He looks forward to you and your families, especially your kiddos. He seems to know them all by name," Catlin wrote. "He beams from ear to ear when he speaks of his co-workers and management. They are his family in his eyes."

Push Back

The Walmart change has prompt ed at least three complaints to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a federal lawsuit in Utah alleging discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under federal law, employers must provide "reasonable" accommodations to workers with disabilities.

The Arc of Dauphin County is dedicated to increasing employment outcomes for people who want to have a job and who also have disabilties. The Walmart Greeter program (and similar programs at other retailers) has long been an exemplary way of providing employment that serves a very good purpose. 

New Employment Commission Established

Two meetings of Pennsylvania's newly created "Employment First Oversight Commission" have been held so far in 2019. The commission was created when Act 36 of 2018 was passed into law. While only advisory in nature, the Commission has the authority to conduct research, receive public input, and publish recommendations for the Governor and General Assembly to consider when it comes to promoting competitive-integrated employment for people with disabilities.
The U.S. labor participation rate for working-age (16-64) people with disabilities sits at a disappointing 33 percent while the same rate for those without a disability is at 77 percent according to the Employment First Oversight Commission.   We support the work of the Commission as it advocates for persons with disabilities who have a job as well as those who want a job. (Anyone who wants to take that first step toward employment can call the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation office at 1.800.442.6351.)

Aktion Club Fundraiser at 

Get together with family and friends, enjoy your favorite food, and help raise funds for our cause by eating at Friendly's on April 16!

When: Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Where: Friendly's, 4601 High Pointe Blvd., Harrisburg PA 17111
Time: 5 PM - 8 PM

Friendly's will donate 10% of the proceeds to the Aktion Club's fundraising efforts.

Thursday March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day.  On this day people with Down Syndrome, their families, friends, and co-workers organize all around the world events and activities to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of people with Down Syndrome.

Congratulations to our Official 2019 Newsletter Sponsor: Brown, Shultz, Sheridan & Fritz, aka "BSSF. "

BSSF promoted our Third Annual Million Dollar Golf Outing this fall by generously signing up to sponsor the ArcNews in 2019!

Upcoming Events

March 12, 2019

Arc Expression

To register: call 717-920-2727 or send an e-mail to l

Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Fee:  Free   

March 24, 2019

Speak Out! Celebration 
Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:   The Central Hotel/Best Western, 800 East Park drive, Harrisburg 17111
Time: Noon - 3:30 PM

Fee:  $18   

April 5, 2019

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   


Our Archivist needs photo albums in order to properly store photographs. Do you have any unused photo albums at home? We especially need ones that will hold 4x5 or 4x6 photographs. The easiest to use are the 8x10 or 8.5x11 "magnetic" sheet pages. We can take any amount- after all , we are archiving 65 years' worth of material! Please call Barb at 717.920.2727.  
Do you like organization?  The Arc of Dauphin County seeks energized volunteers who "want to make the world a better place" by helping us with our many programs and services.  Even one day a month would be wonderful help!  Call Barb 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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