1007 Mumma Road, Suite 100 Lemoyne, PA, 17043

                 Contact Us  |    Board Members
  1. Home
  2. Breaking News
  3. From the Archives – Families & Caregivers at the Forefront of Advocacy

From the Archives – Families & Caregivers at the Forefront of Advocacy

by | Nov 23, 2022 | Archive-News, Breaking News | 0 comments

This 1990 PA Message article found in our archives showcases the powerful advocacy parents and family caregivers do day in and day out! Below is the full text of the article.

This is a page from a 1990 issue of the PA Message newsletter with an article called "Our First Day of School Together". There is a photo of Eddie Stabile. Also on the page are several announcements for seminars and a public service announcement.It’s Our First Day of School Together,
by Melanie Brozek Stabile

PA Message, Winter 1990

That day, August 28, 1989, I was scared, excited, happy, and nervous. After over a year long fight, I was getting what I struggled so hard for. I watched my two sons, Eddie (9 years old) and Mike (7 years old), walk down the hill, get on the bus together, and go to the same school together for the first time ever! The whole way down the hill, Eddie jumped and saing, “It’s our first day of school together!”

I couldn’t do anything all day but worry. At 3:30 when they got off the bus, I saw two happy kids. A lot of the kids were saying “I hate school!” as most kids do at the end of summer. Eddie looked like he wanted to do what the kids were doing, but. he couldn’t. He loved his first day of his new school. I thought, “Thank God. We made it through one day!”

I has now been five months. Was it worth over a year of crying, fighting, endless frustrating meetings, speeches to the school board, newspaper articles, appearing on a local TV talk show, to discuss integration and discrimination against kids with special education needs, listening to horrible things being said about people with mental retardation and fighting that, questioning ourselves (were we doing the right thing for Eddie?), and the Office of Civil Rights complaints of discrimination against Eddie’s home school district? YES, YES, YES!

Yes, it was the right thing to do! Yes, things are going great for Eddie! Yes, it was worth every tear, every minute of work, and every frustration! I am so glad we didn’t give up, although there were times when we almost did.

Eddie, the only kid with Down Syndrome attending the school, is in third grade. He goes to a regular home room, gym, music, library, art, computer, lynch, recess and science with his third grade home room class. In his one academic integration, science, he got an “A”, a 93 percent on his first test! The test is proudly displayed on our refrigerator.

But more than that, Eddie and Mike are on the Soccer team and in Cub Scouts. Eddie is becoming connected, a part of our community. Wherever we go, kids come up to Eddie and say “Hi!”. He has friends! One of his new friends from his home room came over to visit over the holidays. Such an everyday activity for most kids, was an exciting and new adventure for Eddie and his new friend.

We still have to work at helping establish true friendships, but that will take time, as it does for any of us.

Eddie is happy and accepted as a part of the school and his community by other kids, teachers, and families.

To those of you who inspired us, especially Chris Grandy and Jason Kingsley, THANK YOU! To all of you who helped and supported us, especially my husband, our families, Joan Kost, Sharon Gretz Lasky and Emily Kingsley, THANK YOU! Every time we see Eddie smile after school each day, we are grateful to all of you!

After nine years, we finally belong again. We have a place in our community. Most importantly, Eddie has taken his rightful place in our community. IT FEELS GREAT! IT WAS DEFINITELY WORTH IT!! Eddie is definitely worth it! I would do it all again (but I certainly hope I don’t have to!).

(from our Historical and Archival Care Grant project from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission)

NEW Module Just Arrived - Trauma-Informed Care. Visit our E-Learning Module Series. This series provides information and strategies for teachers, families, and paras to support the education of all students.

The Arc of Pennsylvania’s Making Employment Work course is an ACRE Basic Certification Training. In order to receive certification, participants must attend a 3 day, in-person training and then complete a self-paced, online curriculum. Completing this certification course will qualify individuals to provide Supported Employment services with Pennsylvania’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Office of Developmental Programs. Our training combines lessons learned from traditional Supported Employment and Customized Employment techniques.

Arc Discovery Employment Transitions (ADEPT) is The Arc of Pennsylvania’s customized employment program. The Arc of Pennsylvania supports individuals with significant impact of disability to seek and maintain customized employment in their community. As a result, The Arc of Pennsylvania’s consultants are trained and nationally certified by Marc Gold & Associates, a national leader in customized employment, to provide Discovery, Customized Employment Job Development, and Systematic Instruction to individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania who are seeking employment. In addition to providing customized employment services, The Arc of Pennsylvania hosts several certification courses with Marc Gold & Associates for individuals and organizations interested in national certification in Discovery, Job Development, and Systematic Instruction.

Include Me is a new model for inclusive education and gaining meaningful employment for Pennsylvania’s students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc of Pennsylvania and Include Me believe all individuals with significant impact of developmental and intellectual disability deserve equal educational and competitive employment rights. Our mission, build and strengthen the inclusive education capacity for all public-school students, and discover meaningful employment opportunities meeting Pennsylvania employee and employer needs. Include Me strives to ensure all impacted students have equal access to all aspects of life and the community throughout their lifespan.

Include Me is an initiative that was part of the agreement on final terms between the plaintiffs and the Pennsylvania Department of Education in the Gaskin Settlement Agreement. We were initially assigned to work with school districts with the lowest inclusion rates. After the initial success, we have grown in reputation among school districts. Currently districts voluntarily chose our services, which are provided free of charge to the district. In addition to our School Age services, we offer transition-age services to help teams plan a path to customized employment for students transitioning from high school.

Donation Refund Policy

We are grateful for your donation and support of our organization. If you have made an error in making your donation or change your mind about contributing to our organization please contact us. Refunds are returned using the original method of payment. If you made your donation by credit card, your refund will be credited to that same credit card.

Automated Recurring Donation Cancellation

Ongoing support is important to enabling projects to continue their work, so we encourage donors to continue to contribute to projects over time. But if you must cancel your recurring donation, please notify us.

Privacy Policy

  1. What Information Do We Collect?
    When you visit our website you may provide us with two types of information: personal information you knowingly choose to disclose that is collected on an individual basis and website use information collected on an aggregate basis as you and others browse our website.
  2. Personal Information You Choose to Provide
    We may request that you voluntarily supply us with personal information, including your email address, postal address, home or work telephone number, and other personal information for such purposes as correspondence, placing an order, requesting an estimate, or participating in online surveys.
    If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses. We provide the same protections for these electronic communications that we employ in the maintenance of information received by mail and telephone.
  3. Website Use Information
    Similar to other websites, our site may utilize a standard technology called "cookies" (see explanation below, "What Are Cookies?") and web server logs to collect information about how our website is used. Information gathered through cookies and server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, time spent at our website, and the sites visited just before and just after ours. This information is collected on an aggregate basis. None of this information is associated with you as an individual.
  4. How Do We Use the Information That You Provide to Us?
    Broadly speaking, we use personal information for purposes of administering our business activities, providing service and support and making available other products and services to our customers and prospective customers. Occasionally, we may also use the information we collect to notify you about important changes to our website, new services and special offers we think you will find valuable. The lists used to send you product and service offers are developed and managed under our traditional standards designed to safeguard the security and privacy of all personal information provided by our users. You may at any time to notify us of your desire not to receive these offers.
  5. What Are Cookies?
    Cookies are a feature of web browser software that allows web servers to recognize the computer used to access a website. Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored by a user's web browser on the user's hard drive. Cookies can remember what information a user accesses on one web page to simplify subsequent interactions with that website by the same user or to use the information to streamline the user's transactions on related web pages. This makes it easier for a user to move from web page to web page and to complete commercial transactions over the Internet. Cookies should make your online experience easier and more personalized.
  6. How Do We Use Information Collected From Cookies?
    We use website browser software tools such as cookies and web server logs to gather information about our website users' browsing activities, in order to constantly improve our website and better serve our users. This information assists us to design and arrange our web pages in the most user-friendly manner and to continually improve our website to better meet the needs of our users and prospective users.
    Cookies help us collect important business and technical statistics. The information in the cookies lets us trace the paths followed by users to our website as they move from one page to another. Web server logs allow us to count how many people visit our website and evaluate our website's visitor capacity. We do not use these technologies to capture your individual email address or any personally identifying information about you.
  7. Notice of New Services and Changes
    Occasionally, we may use the information we collect to notify you about important changes to our website, new services and special offers we think you will find valuable. As a user of our website, you will be given the opportunity to notify us of your desire not to receive these offers by clicking on a response box when you receive such an offer or by sending us an email request.
  8. How Do We Secure Information Transmissions?
    When you send confidential personal information to us on our website, secure server software that we have licensed encrypts all information you input before it is sent to us. The information is scrambled en route and decoded once it reaches our website.
    Other emails that you may send to us may not be secure unless we advise you that security measures will be in place prior to your transmitting the information. For that reason, we ask that you do not send confidential information such as Social Security, credit card, or account numbers to us through an unsecured email.
  9. How Do We Protect Your Information?
    Information Security -- We utilize encryption/security software to safeguard the confidentiality of personal information we collect from unauthorized access or disclosure and accidental loss, alteration, or destruction.
    Evaluation of Information Protection Practices -- Periodically, our operations and business practices are reviewed for compliance with organization policies and procedures governing the security, confidentiality and quality of our information.
    Employee Access, Training, and Expectations -- Our organization values, ethical standards, policies, and practices are committed to the protection of user information. In general, our business practices limit employee access to confidential information, and limit the use and disclosure of such information to authorized persons, processes and transactions.
  10. How Can You Access and Correct Your Information?
    You may request access to all your personally identifiable information that we collect online and maintain in our database by emailing us using the contact form provided to you within the site structure of our website.
  11. Do We Disclose Information to Outside Parties?
    We may provide aggregate information about our customers, sales, website traffic patterns, and related website information to our affiliates or reputable third parties, but this information will not include personally identifying data, except as otherwise provided in this privacy policy.
  12. What About Legally Compelled Disclosure of Information?
    We may disclose information when legally compelled to do so, in other words, when we, in good faith, believe that the law requires it or for the protection of our legal rights.
  13. Permission to Use of Materials
    The right to download and store or output the materials on our website is granted for the user's personal use only, and materials may not be reproduced in any edited form. Any other reproduction, transmission, performance, display or editing of these materials by any means mechanical or electronic without our express written permission is strictly prohibited. Users wishing to obtain permission to reprint or reproduce any materials appearing on this site may contact us directly.