For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities WINT E R 2 012
Arc Buddies Program Can Build Lifelong Friendships
ebbie Staigerwald, director of volunteers and interns for The Arc Baltimore, has a knack for making matches. That trait certainly comes in handy in her role as head of the agency’s Arc Buddies program, which pairs individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in one-to-one friendships with people of all ages. Debbie had a feeling that Chelsey Barrett and her friend, Kaitlyn Marzula, would be perfect for 34-year-old twins Tara and Heather Lilley, and her instincts were right on the mark.
“For Tara and Heather, this friendship has been like one big never-get-to-the-bottom gift box,” says the twins’ mother, Shirley Lilley. “The activities Chelsey and Kaitlyn plan with Tara and Heather make them feel just like everybody else.” The activities are wide-ranging: bowling, movies, shopping, dinner and an orioles game; theatre,
exercising, playing games, baking brownies and hanging out at Chelsey’s apartment. The volunteers even threw what Mrs. Lilley calls “an amazing bowling birthday party with more than a dozen of Chelsey and Kaitlyn’s friends—and Chelsey’s parents—in attendance.”
From left, Chelsey Barrett, Heather Lilley, Tara Lilley and Kaitlyn Marzula enjoy bowling together.
Con TI nu eD o n pAge 3
KEEP IN TOUCH! It’s a breeze to stay up-to-date with The Arc Baltimore via social media and our recently revamped website, www.thearcbaltimore.org. Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thearcofbaltimore Read our Twitter posts: www.twitter.com/thearcbaltimore View our pictures on Flickr @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/thearcbaltimore Check out our videos on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/arcbaltimore Connect with us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/thearcbaltimore
Giving Voice to Silence A Stellar Example of an Arc Staff’s Dedication
n February 4, 1994, Terrell Lambert sustained a traumatic brain injury in a handgun accident at his friend’s house. He was 13 years old.
Terrell fought for his life for eight months; his parents, Carol and Irvin, were told he would never walk or talk again. In 2002, he began attending The Arc Baltimore day center in Dundalk. Terrell’s parents accepted his disability with grace, and they lovingly tended to his needs. They didn’t dwell in the past, but when Irvin noticed Terrell moving his mouth one day, he decided to see if he could get his son to speak. “Say ‘ma,’ Terrell,” Irvin urged repeatedly. For a long time, Irvin was met with silence, but the determined father continued to work with Terrell. In the meantime, Terrell had a brand new one-on-one support staff at the center: Jennifer Hughes. Jen says the two bonded on her first day of work. Then, six weeks into her new job, Jen noticed Terrell kept pointing to his throat. “Do you have a sore throat?” she asked Terrell. He shook his head “no,” but Jen shared her concern with Irvin nevertheless. The same night, Irvin noticed Terrell moving his mouth, seemingly trying to make an “m” sound. “Say ‘ma,’ Terrell,” he repeated and repeated. And then, finally, it happened: Terrell said “ma.” It was almost a whisper, but its impact resonated loudly after 18 years of silence. As soon as the father and son arrived at the center the next day, Irvin shared the news with Jen. “Terrell said ‘ma!’ I think he wants to talk!” Jen took Terrell to the patio and told him they were going to play a game. ‘’I’m going to throw you the ball and say a word,” Jen explained, “and when you throw it back to me, I want you to say the word to me.” She threw the ball and said, “milkshake.” Terrell threw the ball back and said “milkshake.” Jen threw the ball and said “McDonald’s.” Terrell threw the ball and said “McDonald’s.” Jen kept saying one “m” word after another, and Terrell said all of them right back—including phrases that began with the “m” sound, such as “my book.”
Carol Lambert, Terrell Lambert, Jennifer Hughes and Irvin Lambert
now, Carol reports, Terrell can ask for what he wants and tell you how he feels. He can say his parents’ full names and his grandmothers’ names. He even remembers things from the past. “I’ll ask, ‘Who was the little person who liked to do art projects a long time ago?’ and Terrell answers, ‘Me!’” His mom says, “Terrell still has it. The more we keep digging, the more that comes out.” She’s absolutely correct. Since that day on the patio, Terrell’s skills have grown monumentally. He does math, reads books and knows colors. When he and Jen do their daily 30 stretches, Terrell keeps track of each and every one. out loud. Terrell has started to initiate conversations, too. And even though doctors said he’d never walk, Terrell can pull himself up out of a wheelchair and support his weight by holding on to a bar. He participates in a bowling league, volunteers in The Arc’s food pantry and goes on community outings. In December, he and Jen went to a mall to pick out Christmas presents. Carol attributes Terrell’s success to Jen, whom she describes as energetic, dedicated and conscientious. Last year, the Lamberts sent a letter of commendation to Jen’s supervisor and Jen was named an Arc employee of the Month. “I was thrilled and honored,” says Jen of the award, “because I love my job and take pride in what I do. Miss Carol says I gave back a part of her son she thought she’d never have again. I feel like I was part of a miracle, and I couldn’t ask for a better family to work with. I want to see how far he’ll go.” With Jen and his parents by his side, Terrell’s progress will likely be boundless.●
Jen had tears in her eyes when she told Irvin; when Irvin heard the news, he cried, too. That evening, Carol heard her 31-yearold son speak for the first time since he was 13.
“It was absolutely astonishing,” Carol says. “I had goose bumps and I was crying. I was totally blown away. The voice of the young boy I remembered had become the much lower voice of a man.”
Insider Meetings Keep Members Abreast
Proposed DDA Budget for FY2013 Reflects Commitment to People with Disabilities
n early February, The Arc Baltimore hosted three meetings designed to keep people in the know about important information. nearly 100 people attended. Topics covered included:
espite challenging economic times, governor o’Malley’s proposed FY2013 DDA budget represents progress for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While growth in the overall state budget was 1.9%, growth in the DDA budget was 3.75%.
◗ the impact of alcohol tax revenue on the waiting list. ◗ the outlook for State funding in the 2012 general Assembly. ◗ Developmental Disabilities Day.
The DDA budget includes expansion funding as well as a phased-in restoration of $28.5 million in unspent funds which, in previous years, were funneled back into the State’s general Fund. The infusion of this much-needed funding will allow The Arc and other agencies to expand their reach of support to a larger group of people in need. Highlights of the budget include: ◗ a commitment of $28.5M to be spread out over the next three years, starting with $6.5 million in FY13. The money will support a full, ongoing set of services for an estimated 300 individuals at high risk. ◗ continuation of the $15M in funding from the alcohol tax. ◗ $8.9M in general funds to increase rates for DDA providers. ◗ $6.2M in general funds to support an estimated 608 new community placements for transitioning youth. ◗ $2.6M in general funds to strengthen and expand resource coordination.
◗ efforts to protect Medicaid funding in Washington. ◗ Arc membership updates. ◗ the status of—and future plans for—The Arc’s community living program, community and day employment programs and family and children’s services. Those in attendance also learned about Services of Short Duration, a new category of state-funded services for people in the DDA Waiting List’s crisis prevention category. The services provide one-time-only aid through June 2012. If you missed the meetings and want to learn how to apply for Services of Short Duration, visit our “What’s new” section at www.thearcbaltimore.org or call Hilary Christian at 410-296-2272 x 5219 ●
◗ $765,000 in general funds to serve an estimated 25 individuals involved with the court system. ◗ $765,000 in general funds to serve an estimated 40 additional people through the Waiting List equity Fund. ◗ a non-lapsing DD Trust Fund into which unspent funds budgeted for the DDA will be deposited at the close of each fiscal year. The Arc Baltimore thanks governor o’Malley and the legislators who made a commitment to people with developmental disabilities by expanding funding and addressing the need to restore the unspent resources. However, our work is not done. please keep an eye out for communications regarding a need for your action. ●
Renae Kosmides from Service Coordination addresses a town hall meeting.
Arc Buddies Program Can Build Life-Long Friendships Co nT In ue D F Ro M pAge 1
At the party, Mrs. Lilley recalls, Chelsey raised a glass of apple cider and made a touching toast. “She expressed the joy and gratification she gains from having Tara and Heather in her life. She told them she and her friends would always be there for them, especially when they needed someone to share whatever life brought their way. For me, an aging parent, that strengthens my faith in humanity. Truly, the best gifts in life are tied with heartstrings.” Her daughter Tara agrees. “Chelsey and Kaitlyn always look out for us. They are so kind to us. They are very special people. We love to go bowling and to basketball games and especially when they come over for dinner with my family,” Tara says. Chelsey shares that sentiment. “every time Mrs. Lilley thanks me, I feel like I should be writing her and her husband, Mike, a thank you note. Those young women are a bright spot in my life. They are so much fun to be around. everyone who meets them enjoys them so much. I’m a better person for just being around them.
“For me, the friendship has been a life-changing experience. I hope people who read [this] article decide to participate in the Arc Buddies program.” Both Chelsey and Kaitlyn are 25 and work at Stevenson university. Kaitlyn, who moved to Baltimore from out-of-state last year, says the growing friendship has given her a sense of community. “Heather and Tara have made me feel like Baltimore is home. They and their parents feel like family to me.” Kaitlyn, who is, ironically, a twin, says the young women show her that unconditional love is present in the world. “Being with them is a constant joy. I look forward to our weekly gettogethers. “To find Chelsey was a blessing; her love for Tara and Heather inspired me.” ● Often, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities do not have opportunities to have friends outside of their daily routine; Arc Buddies provides those opportunities. Want to be a Arc Buddy? Contact Debbie Staigerwald at 410-296-2272, ext. 5216 or email@example.com.
Project SEARCH Graduate Succeeds at Prestigious Law Firm
ndrew pope is a young man of few words. Asked if he liked his job at the law firm of Blades & Rosenfeld, he simply says “oh, yes.”
Blades & Rosenfeld partner David L. Jacobson, legal counsel to The Arc Baltimore, was contacted by Joanna Falcone, director of project SeARCH. He referred her to gynette parker. Initially, parker explains, there was some reluctance about participating in the program. All that changed when she met with Andrew and his job coach, Tameka Brooks. The meeting went very well and, after Andrew received a glowing recommendation from from the enoch pratt Library, he was hired.
His co-workers, however, are only too happy to talk about how much they appreciate Andrew’s talents and work ethic. Case in point: Jamie Bury, office assistant, works with Andrew daily and says, “He has a brilliant mind. It’s really hard to explain the impact that he has had [here] and how Jamie Bury, Andrew Pope, David Jacobson and Tameka Brooks “We were told he was a much we’ve learned fast learner,” parker from him.” gynette remembers, “but once we parker, director of saw Andrew’s true abilities, the rest, as they say, is history.” administration, adds, “Andrew has been absorbed into the life and culture of this firm. The staff say they cannot live without Tameka is not surprised. As job coach, she acts as a liaison him.” between the business and the employee. In some cases, she may work with the employee for a long time. not so with Andrew is Blades & Rosenfeld’s photocopy scanning clerk; he is Andrew. “now when I come to check on him, he is just going responsible for scanning, copying, collating and distributing along, doing his work, with minimal direction. I’m barely the massive amount of paperwork generated by the law firm. needed.” When he was hired, there were several projects that had been backed up for months. Andrew completed them quickly and partner David Jacobson says the situation has been, “Win, win, now handles most of the day-to-day work assignments. He has win. Andrew is earning a living, it’s good for The Arc’s program, become a fixture at Blades & Rosenfeld. and he’s been doing great work for us for nearly a year.” The 24-year-old is a graduate of The Arc Baltimore’s project Andrew’s talents aren’t limited to clerical work, either. He is also SeARCH, which provides work and career development an artist and recently showed his work at The Arc’s “Art in the opportunities for adults and students with disabilities. It is a Round” exhibit and auction. ● collaborative effort between The Arc, Baltimore City public Many thanks to DORS for providing the background information Schools, the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DoRS) and for this article. the university of Maryland, The Founding Campus.
The Arc Helps Strengthen Sibling Bonds
he national Sibling Council, a partnership between The Arc and the Sibling Leadership network, provides siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote issues important to them and their entire families. The goal of the alliance is to:
◗ enable siblings to network face-to-face and online. ◗ provide support and resources for those who need guidance with personal concerns, such as caring for siblings after parents are no longer able to do so. ◗ celebrate the sibling relationship. ◗ support the advocacy and programming efforts of The Arc at all levels (local, state, national). ◗ offer leadership development and training.
Tom McKinley is active in the life of his sister, Linda McKinley.
Want to get involved? Visit www.thearc.org and click on “I am…a sibling” to get more information. ●
Nick Rohde, Millie Gilliam and Kelly Watson are part of The Arc’s SEP janitorial crew at Cristo Rey.
Haley Rue helps Bill Shrewsbury use his assistive technology device
Assistive Technology Usage on the Rise
W Partnership with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is Mutually Beneficial
hree years ago, a supported employment program (Sep) janitorial crew from The Arc Baltimore began a contract with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, a collegepreparatory program for students living in Baltimore’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. The six-person crew is as hard-working as the students. They clean restrooms, mop classrooms and stairwells, dust, empty trash and clean the cafeteria. “They are definitely busy from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.,” says Terry griffin, Sep coordinator. Terry compliments the crew for working independently, a fact she attributes to the expert training of job coach Christina Francis. Christina reports that the crew gets frequent compliments on its work. “The people at Cristo Rey always thank us for everything we do.” Rev. John W. Swope, SJ, president of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, says, “We are grateful to the team from The Arc Baltimore for maintaining a spotlessly clean facility. It makes ConTInueD on pAge 7
ith technology driving the world more and more, it’s not surprising that assistive technology is being integrated into programs at The Arc Baltimore and the lives of the people it supports.
Assistive devices can be a great way to improve the capabilities of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, particularly in the realm of communications. Dianna Morgan, family and children’s services specialist, has been helping families in need access funding and resources to get the technology for years. Many people in the community living program have been utilizing assistive technology as well. now day centers are becoming part of the trend. Haley Rue, a recent graduate of Towson university, had an internship at The Arc Baltimore day center at Dundalk this past fall. She assisted four non-verbal adults with their communication devices and emphasized the importance of the devices to staff members so they can help encourage their use. Haley personalized the devices to meet the needs and interests of each individual. “I tried to help everyone incorporate the use of communication devices in their daily lives,” she said. She used four different devices, one for each individual. each was specifically chosen based on the person’s cognitive abilities. Two of the individuals used basic devices, which require the person to communicate and respond with the appropriate button. Typically, each button represented a simple word or yes/no response. The other two devices were more complex and, as a result, more difficult to use. Both were touch-screen devices that were capable of single word responses like “eat” or “sleep” as well as sentences and questions such as “Where is the supervisor?” Haley added categories like “hobbies” “work” and “home” to keep folks interested and motivated. Haley says participants seemed to enjoy working with the devices and learning what they can do with them. For Haley, the experience was an eye-opener. “I had worked with children who had disabilities, so I was looking forward to have the opportunity to work with adults,” she says. “Being exposed to different situations and different people helped me learn a lot. I definitely enjoyed working with the four individuals as well as socializing with larger groups.” ●
Thank You, Renewing Members!
Welcome, New Members and Contributors!
November 1, 2011 to January 31, 2012
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Thank you! 6
Our Family Education Series Makes the Grade! Each year, The Arc’s Family and Children Services Division sponsors their Family Education Series. Each workshop is held from 6-9 p.m. at The Arc Baltimore Employment Center, 6151 Metro Drive, Baltimore, MD 21215. A light dinner is provided, and child care (with pre-registration) is available. RSVP to Becky Hartnett at 410-296-2272 x5309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This year’s offerings include… TUESDAY, MARCH 27
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
Bullying Bullying and its effects have become a major concern in our society. A disability may make a child even more vulnerable to bullying. Find out what to do if your child is bullied.
Understanding the IEP When it comes to creating and implementing the Iep, understanding and information will make you the best possible advocate for your child.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23
New Ideas in Autism Rates of autism have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years. Fortunately, information and understanding are also on the rise. Are you up to date?
ADHD What you may consider bad behavior just might be something more. Join us as we explore current thoughts on diagnosis and treatment.
TUESDAY, MAY 22
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13
Sibling Issues It can be difficult to be the sibling of someone who has a disability. Hear from a panel of siblings about the challenges and the joys that come with this special relationship.
Family Connections extended family members often have difficulty relating to and connecting with a child who has a disability. We’ll explore ways to help enhance understanding and connections. ●
Maryland Taxpayer Alert
Turn Your Tax Refund into Hope If you are eligible for a refund on your 2011 Maryland income taxes, please consider donating a portion of it to the Waiting List Fund. even a small part of your tax refund can help provide services for families, job training and employment, community living opportunities and crisis intervention. Last year, nearly $35,000 was contributed to the fund by taxpayers in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. please help us exceed that amount this year! Just fill out the Waiting List tax coupon (below).
HELP END THE WAIT! Children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities need vital services right now. That’s why I want to donate $____________ (please fill in the amount) on my Maryland State income tax return! ◗ Hand this form and the rest of your documents to your tax preparer. ◗ If you do your own taxes, keep this receipt as a reminder to claim the donation on your tax return.
Thank you so much for caring!
Partnership with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is Mutually Beneficial Con T Inu eD FRoM pAg e 5
a real difference to our students, faculty and staff. our colleagues from The Arc Baltimore are important members of the Cristo Rey Jesuit community, and we appreciate the many ways they have contributed to our school!” The workers seem to have fun while they’re working. They enjoy joking with the school’s teachers and maintenance staff. “everyone is very welcoming, including the students.” now The Arc has a second connection with Cristo Rey. Andrea Braxton, a student at the school, is doing an internship with JK Ferrell, director of safety. He says Andrea does a lot, from data entry, copying and filing to assisting with the production of a quick reference emergency Andrea Braxton guide. Andrea is also interested in nursing, so JK makes sure she spends time with The Arc’s nursing staff. “It’s going well,” JK says. “The experience is giving Andrea a leg up on the work world.” Just like The Arc’s janitorial crew. ●
You “Auto” Donate!
id you know you can donate your used car, van, truck, boat with a trailer or other recreational vehicle to The Arc Baltimore? It’s true— AnD you can do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week! proceeds from the sale of these donated vehicles help improve the quality of life of individuals with disabilities. We accept any vehicles regardless of age and condition. It’s as easy as filling out our online auto donation form! prefer to speak with someone? Call us at 877-272-2270 and one of our friendly operators will assist you. You must be able to provide: the year, make and model of your vehicle, the general condition and the vehicle identification number. please have the title and lien in hand. The Arc will take care of the rest, including arranging a convenient time for FRee auto towing. A “non-Cash Charitable Contributions” tax form will be mailed to you within four to six weeks. For more details, visit www.thearcbaltimore.org. Click on the “Donate” menu tab, then click on “other Ways to Donate” and you’ll find a list that includes “Donate Your Car.” ● This program is a joint effort between The Arc US, Melwood Charity Car Donation Center and The Arc Baltimore.
In Memorium George Ellis, Sr. served on The Arc board of directors for more than 20 years, including a term as president. After his tenure, he became a director emeritus and remained a loyal friend of The Arc. As a member of our 60th anniversary George Ellis, Sr. with Stephen H. Morgan cabinet, he played an active role in the year-long celebration. george was predeceased by his son, george “Buddy” ellis, Jr., whom The Arc had the pleasure to support in its day services program for many years. ●
Advocate Advocate is published by The Arc Baltimore, Inc. 7215 York Road Baltimore, MD 21212 410-296-2272 www.thearcbaltimore.org Feedback Line: Dial option #8 or ask the operator for assistance Maryland Relay 800-735-2258 410-583-0060 (voice) James A. List, President Stephen H. Morgan, Executive Director Kate Mcguire, Chief Advancement Officer Christopher Knoerlein, Editor/ Director of Communications & Grants Steam Communications, Writing and Graphic Design
origin, medical condition or disability. to race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national The Arc Baltimore’s services are provided without regard RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
7215 York Road Baltimore, MD 21212
non-profit org. u.S. postage PAID Baltimore, MD permit no. 2511
Published on Mar 13, 2012
Published on Mar 13, 2012
The Arc Baltimore's Winter 2012 Advocate newsletter highlights the Arc Buddies program, a staff's dedication and a partnership with Cristo R...