Welcome to The Monthly Memo

April, 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.


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: Early 70's

In 1970, Bill Green resigned and Kermitt Stuve became the NMARC’s second Executive Director.  The organization’s office moved to 7200 ½ Menaul NE in Albuquerque.  Individuals serving as Board Presidents included Eual Allen, Vince Cordova, and Jearl Pierce.

During this time Arc chapters begin to split and establish themselves as a provider organization or as advocacy agencies; efforts begin to close institutions, including establishment of group homes by the Albuquerque Association for Retarded Citizens.  The Carlsbad Arc purchased the New Mexico Bird Farm to provide a working environment and school for children with developmental disabilities in Carlsbad.

In 1973, there were 23 local Arc chapters in New Mexico with a total of 974 members.  At the end of 1973 a group of Navajo parents of children with disabilities, who had been meeting for several years, officially became affiliated with the Association for Retarded Citizens.  The group was called Alchini Ba Lchohoo i “Hope for the Children.”

In 1974, the name of the organization was changed from the New Mexico Association for Retarded Children to the New Mexico Association for Retarded Citizens.  That same year a partnership was formed between the Association and Thrift Town.  Thrift Town established a store at University & Lomas NE and the Association set up a donor program to solicit gently used items from the general public.  All donated items were sold to the store for a profit. 

The following was taken from the December 1974 NMARC Newsletter:

 “The time has arrived when the NMARC can no longer wait upon the whims of its legislature to provide adequate funding to implement its own legislation declaring that all children in State of New Mexico are entitled to Public Education.  Each year this body fails to provide adequate funding, brings isolation and desolation to hundreds of children and adds significantly to the burden which must eventually be faced effectively.  1975 marks the third year of the “phase-in” declared by the legislators and no realistic financing has been has been forthcoming.  Hence, NMARC is seriously considering suing the State to assure adequate financing.  Requesting adjudication by the courts will not constitute a “land mark” in the United States. Pennsylvania was the first state to successfully pursue such and course, and numerous Arcs’ throughout the country have won comparable suits in their respective states.”

 At the National Level

-The Arc is a key players in the enactment of Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which guarantees a free appropriate public education for all children with disabilities.

 -The Arc advocates for the creation of the Supplemental Security Income program to provide income for persons with severe disabilities who have little or no income.

 -The Arc helps pass a national housing law that established the Section 8 Assisted Housing program to meet the housing needs of low income families and individuals with disabilities.

-The Arc funded Dr. Robert Guthrie who found a treatment for phenylketonuria (PKU).

-The Arc publishes a groundbreaking study about infant under-nutrition as a cause of developmental disabilities and organizes a major conference on the links between poverty and developmental disabilities.

-The Arc launches a national campaign to support research in the area of prevention and detection of preventable causes of Down syndrome.

 -With research funding from The Arc, Kenneth Jones, M.D., defines the disorder Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

$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/.

We recently received $3,434.72 in donations from the following individuals and organizations: Alan and Veronica Chavez-Neuman, Terri A. Christiansen, Betty Jean Christiansen, Judy Greenfeld, Rosa Costales, Jim Cravens, The Benevity Community Impact Fund, Maria Wilson Smith, The Santa Fe Jazz Foundation (honoring Sally Faubion and recognizing Janna Harrison), AnnaMarie Lorenz, El Crepusculo - Taos News, Doris Husted, Van Nunley, Rosanna Soloperto, Roger Weinreich, Randy Costales, Yaeko Zeigler and the Albuquerque Ruff Ryders.  Thank You!

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.

The Albuquerque Ruff Ryders present a check for $1,000 to The Arc of New Mexico.  The Ruff Ryders have sponsored an annual fund raiser for The Arc for the past several years.  Thank you Ruff Ryders!  We appreciate you!

Qualis Health Replaces Molina

As of March 1, 2015, Qualis Health replaced Molina in providing Third Party Assessor (TPA) and Utilization Review (UR) services to the state of New Mexico Human Services Department/Medical Assistance Division (HSD/MAD).  As the TPA, Qualis is contracting to provide waiver reviews, including initial and annual Levels of Care (LOC) and Individual Service Plans (ISP) or Service and Support Plans and budgets.  These reviews are being provided for: Mi Via Waiver, Medically Fragile Waiver and the Developmental Disabilities Waiver. 

The transition from Molina to Qualis has been difficult at times and delays have happened in the processing of some paperwork.  These delays have resulted in LOCs, ISP's and SSPs and budgets being late.  Currently, the biggest delay is in the scheduling and conducting in-home assessments for individuals on the Mi Via Waiver.  Until Qualis is caught up with the paperwork, HSD/MAD has authorized the approval and authorization of plans and budgets without an in-home visit as long as all the other paperwork is provided to Qualis, including the LOC completed by the Primary Care Provider and the physical information from the doctor visit.  The in-home visit will still need to be scheduled and completed in the near future. 

Qualis has just begun to send the 90, 60, 45 day reminder letters with the appropriate forms to Mi Via participants.  If you have not received a letter with all the required forms, call your Mi Via consultant who will provide you with the forms.  Do not wait for the letter to come.  Some participants are reporting that no appointment times are available for several weeks and this delay could cause services to stop while waiting for Qualis approval.

Qualis has dedicated fax lines for the Mia Via Waiver: (800) 251-9993 (free call) and Developmental Disabilities and Medically Fragile Waivers: (877) 575-8309 (free call).

Medically Fragile Waiver

The Medically Fragile Waiver will be making the transition into Centennial Care on January 1, 2016.    A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about this transition is located on the HSD/MAD website.  As time passes and additional questions and answers are generated, new versions of the FAQ will be posted.  Here is the link to the Medically Fragile page:


Click on the MFQ FAQ#1 link in the middle of the page.

2015 Summit/Arc Conference

Early Registration Ends May 15

Register now at https://www.arcnm.org/2015-summit-registration/.  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.

Guest Speakers

Hector Balderas, New Mexico Attorney General

A native New Mexican, Hector Balderas was raised by a single mother in the small village of Wagon Mound. Growing up in public housing and on food stamps, he learned the importance of compassion and respect, and gained the conviction that everyone – no matter their background – deserves the same opportunities to succeed. He was the first person from his community to earn a law degree, which he received from the University of New Mexico School of Law.  After law school, Attorney General Balderas followed his passion for public service, working as an assistant district attorney for Bernalillo County and as a special prosecutor for domestic violence cases in New Mexico’s Fourth Judicial District. He served as a state representative from 2004 to 2006, and during his first legislative term, was elected state auditor. When he was elected auditor, at the age of 33, he became the youngest Hispanic statewide elected official in the nation. Attorney General Balderas has been recognized by the State Bar Association for his efforts to reform the criminal justice system, and was honored by Carolyn Kennedy as the recipient of the 2010 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award. In addition to being licensed to practice law in New Mexico, he is a Certified Fraud Examiner. Attorney General Balderas lives in Albuquerque with his wife and three children.

Ron Brown, President of The Arc of the United States.

Ron has over 40 years’ experience in the volunteer arena as an advocate for the disability community serving on the local, state, and national Board of Directors of The Arc. He began his national board career in 2006, and has also served as Vice-President; Chair of the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee; and Chair of the Diversity Committee. His prior service includes his work on the boards of The Arc of Texas(President); President of The Arc of the Capital Area(Austin), Austinhaven, President, Disability Rights(Texas); and Citizens Resource Information for Special Persons. Ron is retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Ron has an adult daughter(Felicia) with an intellectual disability.

Confirmed sessions for the Saturday Conference include:

Use Your Voice – How to be Heard in the 21st Century

Sam Newton, Speaker, author, communicator

How to use simple tools to develop Videos, Public Service Announcements, Blogs, and Write a Book.  Advocates will be inspired to get moving on their messages and realize the story they have is unique and needed.

Special Needs Trust, The Able Act and Medicaid Expansion

Jo Ann Baxter Trust Administrator and Dinah Harvey, Director of Operations

Updates on Special Needs Trusts, The New Able Act of 2014 and it will help individuals with disabilities and how Obamacare and Medicaid Expansion work for individuals with disabilities

Making Good Decisions When Values Collide

Joan McIver Gibson, PhD

Introduction to Values Based Decision Making:  Presenting a tool for making good decisions when values collide and stakeholders disagree.

Healthy and Strong: Food for Fuel, Function and Fun

Kirsten Bennett PhD RD LD

Participants will review how food  impacts health and wellness specific to its metabolic function, explore the role of food as it relates to culture and family and practice using a plate model to aid in food selection and meal planning for the whole family.

Impacting Peoples' Quality of Life though Social Opportunities and Inclusion

Priscilla Salinas, Director Southern New Mexico Arc office, Sarah Holguin, Community Advocate/Self Advocacy Initiative, Roger Maya, Community Advocate/Self Advocacy Initiative, Sergio Resendiz, Self -Advocacy Facilitator

This session will address the events and activities worked on in Southern New Mexico that promote Awareness, Inclusion and Social Equality for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  The impact of how this work has led from self-advocacy to  passing  a City Proclamation declaring  Disability Awareness Month in October to  awareness in the schools,  education and inclusion in the community, community outreach and social opportunities will be featured as a model for Social Opportunities.

The Residential Agency Role in Employment Supports

Pamela Stafford

This presentation will discuss the role of the residential support staff and residential agencies in helping individuals to achieve employment outcome.  This will include understanding the policies of the employer including calling in with absences, being on time and the dress code.  It will also discuss the residential staff’s role in reinforcing work through natural rewards.  It will outline some areas that need to be discussed and agreed upon prior to an individual starting a job. 

Updates from The National Arc Office

Ron Brown, President, The Arc of the United States

Come learn what is happening nationally and the important role of The Arc of the United States.

Telling Our Story

Panel Presentation

Parents and family members share their stories about raising and supporting a family member with Down syndrome.

The Summit/Conference will also include a dance on Friday night, awards, a silent auction and many networking opportunities. Come join us!

Southern NM Conference A Success!

Over 80 people attended the Self-Advocacy Conference for Southern New Mexico held this Friday, April 24 in Las Cruces at the Dona Ana Community College Workforce Center.  The conference Theme was - "Rise Into the Future."

The keynote speaker was Amira Rasheed and her topic was 25 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Other sessions included Disability History Awareness, Community Involvement, United Nations Human Rights, Wellness in Harmony, What's in a Cigarette, Styles of Self-Advocacy,   Styles of Self-Advocacy, How Far Have We Come, What to Know about Service Dogs, and How to Make an ISP Person Centered.

Sponsors included the NM Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, Families & Youth Inc., United HealthCare, Center for Self-Advocacy, Active Solutions Incorporated, Sophia Hamilton, Sheila Johnson, Anthony Stateliners Car Club, Anthony Youth Farm, Anthony Water and Sanitation District.