Welcome to The Monthly Memo

March, 2015

The Arc of New Mexico Mission

The mission of The Arc of New Mexico is to improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities of all ages by advocating for equal opportunities and choices in where and how they learn, live, work, play and socialize.  The Arc of New Mexico will promote self-determination, healthy families, effective community support systems and partnerships.

 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.

www.arcnm.org

Twitter:Arc of NM@TheArcNM

Facebook: The Arc of New Mexico

Donate Now: https://www.arcnm.org/donate-now/

Promoting and Protecting Human Rights

Since 1955

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.

And in 2015 An Important Victory

In early 2014 eight individuals with disabilities, The Arc of New Mexico and Disability Rights New Mexico filed a lawsuit challenging the reductions in services to persons on the DD waiver program. These reductions were being imposed as a result of the way the Department of Health was using a new assessment tool, the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS). The lawsuit also challenged the lack of due process afforded to the participants who were experiencing these reductions and whose families and guardians wanted to appeal them.

And on March 10, 2015 Federal District Court Judge Judith Herrera issued a preliminary injunction in the Plaintiffs’ favor. This court order requires the state to restore all services that had been reduced due to the improper use of the SIS, for all persons in the DD waiver program. Once that occurs, if the state once again proposes to reduce or terminate benefits or services by setting a cap on a participant’s budget based on his or her SIS score, the individual and their family or guardian would have to be provided clear notice of the proposed changes and a meaningful opportunity to challenge the reductions in an administrative fair hearing that complies with constitutional requirements.

The judge's ruling is a huge victory for persons with developmental disabilities and their families.

$60,000 for 60 Years!

Help us Achieve Our Goal to raise $60,000 in celebration of our 60th Anniversary. Please consider a gift of $30, $60, $120 or more.  Your gift will help The Arc continue to promote and protect the human rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families throughout New Mexico. 

You can either mail us a check or make an on-line donation at https://www.arcnm.org/donate-now/.

A BIG thank you to our February 2015 Donors: Alan and Veronica Chavez-Neuman, Patricia Gull, Dolores Harden, Carmen Garcia, Vicki Galindo, Roger Weinreich, Van Nunley, Doris Husted, Irene Sanchez, Debbie Fletcher and Randy Costales.

Don’t forget to give us your address so we can invite you to our 60th anniversary activities.  Click here: https://www.arcnm.org/update-profile/  or email me at rcostales@arcnm.org.

Registration Now Open

2015 Summit on Social Equality

& Arc Annual Conference

On-line registration is now open on The Arc of New Mexico's website at www.arcnm.org.  The two-day event includes the Summit on Social Equality on Friday, June 12 and The Arc Annual Conference on Saturday, June 13 at the Marriott Pyramid Hotel in Albuquerque.

Plenary speakers currently include New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, National Arc President Ron Brown and former Arc of New Mexico President Liz Thomas.  Breakout sessions will focus on four major areas: Justice, Support to Individuals with Down syndrome, Social and Recreation Opportunities and Current Trends and Issues.

The event will also include a dance on Friday night, awards, a silent auction and many networking opportunities.  More specific information will be included in next month's memo.

Arc Events

Carmen Garcia hosting Arc Booth during World Down syndrome Day Celebration on March 21 at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Museum.

Upcoming Events include one-day Self-Advocacy Conferences:

• April 24           Las Cruces

• May 1             Farmington

• May 8             Roswell

Local Fundraiser to Benefit The Arc

The Albuquerque Ruff Ryders will be hosting their Annual Family First Ride and BBQ on Saturday, April 4 at Ventana Ranch Community Park. The event is open to the public and all riders are welcome.

People interested in joining the motorcycle ride should meet at the park at 10:45am.  The cost is $10.00 and includes lunch.

The BBQ will take place from 12:30pm until 4:30PM at the Park.  For those not riding the cost of the lunch is $10.00 for adults and $5 for kids.  All proceeds benefit The Arc of New Mexico.  Last year the event raised $1,000. 

Please come out and join us for great food and fun!