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The Arc of Pennsylvania Honors Senator Bob Mensch

by | Jun 6, 2022 | Breaking News

Harrisburg (PA): The Arc of Pennsylvania has selected Senator Bob Mensch as the 2022 “Legislator of the Year” recipient. Each year, The Arc of Pennsylvania honors legislators who demonstrate exceptional leadership in addressing the needs of Pennsylvanians with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. 

 “Senator Bob Mensch has been a vocal advocate for the rights of Pennsylvanians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to live and thrive in their communities”, says The Arc of PA’s Executive Director, Sherri Landis. “Throughout his tenure in the Pennsylvania Senate, he has advocated on supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the communities rather than institutions and expanding the Medical Assistance for Worker’s with Disabilities to ensure workers with disabilities can earn more but still retain their medical assistance benefits. His dedication to assisting people with disabilities supports not only those who reside in his districts, but the broader community of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” 

“I am honored to be receiving The Arc of Pennsylvania’s Legislator of the Year Award. With my role in the legislature, I am pleased to have the opportunity every day to advocate in support of important matters, particularly those for people with disabilities,” says Senator Mensch. “I am grateful to have worked alongside so many incredible people, each of them striving to give all individuals in our communities equal opportunities.” 

Senator Bob Mensch will be honored during The Arc of Pennsylvania’s annual Advocacy and Policy Conference which will be held virtually on June 7th at 4 pm. Senator Mensch was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2007. In 2009, he was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate, and was elected by his colleagues to the position of Caucus Chair in 2020. 

For 72 years, The Arc of Pennsylvania has worked to ensure that children and adults with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities receive the supports and services they need, are included in their community, and have control over their own lives. The non-profit organization is part of The Arc US and is affiliated with 30 local chapters, and over 13,000 members. The Arc of Pennsylvania advocates for quality services and to protect the rights of our constituency, provides information and resources to families, and increases public awareness of disability rights issues. 

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Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase. 

The Arc of Pennsylvania
www.thearcpa.org 

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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 districts with the lowest inclusion rates but after the initial success, we have grown in reputation among school districts. We now operate on a volunteer basis and serve districts that volunteer for our services. Include Me initially started as a School Age program but we have since expanded to include a PreSchool program and now we are excited to begin offering our transition-age services to help find a path to customized employment for students transitioning out of high school.

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