At the national level, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families know they can rely on The Arc to advocate for them and their rights. On the state level, The Arc Maryland represents these citizens, their families, and caregivers in Annapolis.
Since 1975, Southern Marylanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have had a friend in The Arc Southern Maryland. Locally, The Arc’s work goes beyond advocating with government officials; the organization’s goal is to serve local persons with disabilities in their day-to-day lives, from housing to job placement to social activities and more.
Indeed, the organization says its mission is to “create opportunities for independence and personal success for people with different abilities in inclusive communities.”
The Arc Southern Maryland has offices in Prince Frederick, Leonardtown, and Waldorf. Its residential program includes more than 30 homes in the three counties. The day program provides skills training, volunteer opportunities, social activities, workshops and classes, and more. The Arc can also help persons with intellectual and development disabilities find jobs, and benefits counseling services help those employees with questions about job incentives and benefits like health insurance. The Arc’s new digital literacy program helps develop computer skills and use of technology in various parts of its clients’ daily lives.
Advocacy is a core part of the organization’s work, and in late February, representatives from The Arc Southern Maryland participated in Developmental Disabilities Day at the legislature in Annapolis. They talked with legislators about issues that impact those with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as advocating for those who work with them. The Arc also conducts training for first responders so that they can better meet the needs of those with developmental disabilities in emergency and other situations.
Want to get involved? The Arc Southern Maryland welcomes group and individual volunteers in a variety of capacities. Groups from companies, organizations, or churches can help in several ways, including home improvement or landscape projects at The Arc’s locations. Individuals can volunteer at special events, by teaching classes or workshops, assisting in the organizations offices, or in other ways.
(Image via The Arc Southern Maryland on Facebook.)
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