The Arc Story Continues: Mid to late 1960's
Bill Green was Executive Director of NMARC and served under two Board Presidents during this period - Liz Thomas and Charles Puckett. (Liz and Bill shown in picture.) Cisco McSorley (currently a New Mexico State Senator) was the President of the NM Youth Arc.
The following was taken from the October 1969 NMARC Newsletter:
"Bill Green announced that, due to the efforts of NMARC, over 3,300 additional retarded children have been placed in special education programs in the public schools. He added that 13 local Arc chapters operate day schools for more than 200 moderately to severely retarded children. In addition, Green said, the residential care enrollment has increased from 400 to nearly 900 in the six year period.
Other accomplishments of the NMARC include the institution of teacher training programs at four New Mexico universities; the establishment of five diagnostic facilities; the development of a resident camping program for retarded children now under the direction of the Albuquerque YMCA; and the obtaining of passaged of nine of eleven major legislative acts by the New Mexico legislature.
Green also noted that the 28 NMARC chapters have been successful in disseminating information on mental retardation bringing about greater public acceptance of retarded children and adults everywhere."
Other happenings during this time period in New Mexico:
* 1965-66: Legislature passes bill to allow those who with mental retardation who are trainable to attend public schools and extended the maximum age to 21 for schooling, The Arc of New Mexico becomes affiliated with The Arc of the United States and NM Legislature approves use of Fort Stanton for the mentally retarded.
* 1967: NM Legislature creates a Mental Retardation Coordinating Council consisting of representatives from five state agencies and seven from outside state agencies…this is the most important milestone in progress for more and better program for those with developmental disabilities; bills were passed to establish services for the mentally retarded through regional agencies and institutions.
* 1968: Fort Stanton opened as a second institution.
* 1969: Department of Hospital and Institutions was established…to return as soon as possible to the community every patient or student who could become fully or partially productive; House bill 173, Special Education Statute passed which clarified the current statute to include a greater number of disabilities and required schools to accept children at a legal age rather than the required mental age, and required schools to hire speech pathologists, provide transportation
The Arc National Office Activities:
* The Arc helps expose the link between lead poisoning and brain damage in infants and children.
* The Arc opens a Governmental Affairs Office in Washington, D.C.
* The Arc's advocacy with other national organizations results in the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid;
* The Arc spurs measles campaign; and Kim Fisher, whose parents were members of The Arc, served as the 1966 Poster Child.