Welcome to The Monthly Memo

 September, 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/

Randy Costales, Executive Director

Promoting and Protecting Human Rights Since 1955

The Story Continues: Mid to Late 90's:

John Foley was the Executive Director and Board Presidents included Sophie Dominguez, Bonnie Stepleton, and Judy Liddell. 

Staff that were hired during this time and who continue to work at The Arc today include Priscilla Salinas - Director of the southern NM Office, Ling Faith-Heuertz, Guardianship Program Coordinator, JoAnn Baxter, Trust Program Coordinator and Doris Husted, Director of Public Policy. 

The Arc moved to its current office location at 3655 Carlisle NE.  The Arc established an advocacy office in northern New Mexico through a grant from the Isabel Gonzales Trust Fund and later established an advocacy office in Anthony to serve individuals and families living in rural communities in southern Dona Ana County. 

The Arc established a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome prevention program and received an award from the National Arc for our Pregnant Pause Campaign. The theme of the campaign was, "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is 100% Preventable!" and encouraged woman not to drink if they were pregnant or if they were planning a pregnancy.

TASH is an international leader in disability advocacy striving for fully inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities.  For several years The Arc partnered with the New Mexico chapter, Sun-TASH, to host the Arc/Sun-TASH Annual Conference.

New Mexico's two large state-funded institutions were closed - Fort Stanton in 1996 and the Los Lunas Hospital and Training School in 1997.  The Arc Guardians were very involved with transitioning individuals out of the institutions into community homes.

The Partners in Policymaking Program graduated its third and final class.  The Arc became one of several operating sites of the National Arc AmeriCorps Project and the New Mexico AmeriCorps members included individuals with and without disabilities. 

The Advocates Alliance Project, funded by the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, developed and administered a demonstration program, in collaboration with the University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability, to improve and enhance quality in services and supports provided to people with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury in Socorro and in Zuni Pueblo.

The Arc hosted a Self-Determination Leadership Training Seminar facilitated People First of Tennessee.  The Seminar was funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Arc received a small grant from the New Mexico Department of Health to help individuals with disabilities and their families enroll in SALUD, the New Mexico Medicaid managed care program.

The Arc was one of 10 chapters nationwide who received a Communicator’s Award from The Arc of the United States.

The Arc initiated a DD Waiver Waiting List Campaign and filed the Lewis lawsuit in 1999 against the Department of Health seeking relief for those on the waiting list.

The National Office

The Arc launches a national media and advertising campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.  As a result of these efforts, the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention and Education Act is passed by Congress.

A new publication, Genetic Issues in Developmental Disabilities, is initiated as part of The Arc's Human Genome Project.

Steve Eidelman was hired as The Arc US executive director and he immediately initiated efforts to redefine and strengthen The Arc.

The Arc was involved in drafting the first national family support legislation in 1994.

Self-Determination Program

Offers Training for People First of Taos

Submitted by Carmen Garcia, Self Determination Program Coordinator

On Tuesday, September 22 Kelly Gossett from Kayak New Mexico joined the members of People First of Taos in a team building training.  This was done in collaboration with The Arc's Self Determination Program for Individuals with Down syndrome.  The purpose of the training was to empower individuals and build a team of advocates.  At first everyone hesitated to get in the kayaks but in the end they all participated in some way. It was great to see individuals who feel they can do anything. 

Kelly stated:  “Awesome! That's what we see every time we work with people with special needs. I liked that those who didn't want to, decided to try it. Everyone had fun in  their own way. I believe if they're safe (supported, confident, not too unfamiliar, etc.) then we can make it fun. If they're having fun, they'll learn by default.  A lot of learning took place though we taught very little. If they're safe, having fun and learning, they'll come back. If they come back, it will become a part if their identity, character and spirit. Great stuff!! Thanks for letting me be a part of the People First project!”

World Café Event in Las Cruces, NM

Submitted by Priscilla Salinas, Director, The Arc Southern New Mexico Office.

On September 22 The Arc of New Mexico hosted a World Café at the VFW Post 3242 in Las Cruces.  The theme of the Café was Autumn Festival World Café and the purpose of the event was to hear from community members about changes we would like to see in our communities in regards to people with disabilities.  Twenty five individuals, including individuals with disabilities, family members and service provider staff, gathered together and were asked three important questions.  They had twenty minutes to discuss each question and then rotated to another table for a total of three rounds.  

The responses generated creative and attainable action steps for the Self-Advocacy movement.  The conversation will help gain support, recognition and visibility for the People First groups in southern Dona Ana County.  We are thankful to all who participated, for the turnout and the ideas generated at the event.

For more information about the event contact me at psalinas@arcnm.org.  For more information about The World Cafe process visit their website at www.TheWorldCafe.com.

The Representative Payee Program

Submitted by Dinah Padilla-Harvey, Arc Director of Operations

The Arc of New Mexico Representative Payee Program serves as the payee for individuals and families who receive Social Security, Railroad, and VA Benefits to ensure that their rent, utilities, past debt and other expenses are paid each month.  When necessary the program coordinator helps individuals negotiate past debts and repayment plans with the debtor. Also, the program provides financial education through monthly budget counseling, ongoing financial literacy training and connection to other relevant services in the community.

The following is an example of how one individual benefitted from the program.  The Arc used to cash the checks and have individuals come in for their spending cash but now The Arc sends checks to individuals so they can cash them on their own at local banks.  Jeff had a real fear of establishing this new relationship with Bank of the West. He thought he was being punished because of his pranks he pulled on The Arc receptionists.  It also required Jeff to get a new state ID card. He is now successfully going to the Bank of the West on a weekly basis and cashing his check.

“IEP Process and Parent’s Rights”

Presented by Disability Rights New Mexico

When:  September 29, 2015

Time:   10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: San Juan Center for Independence Center, 1204 San Juan Blvd. Farmington, NM 87401

Parents will gain information on the IEP process, meetings and their rights.

 If you have any questions, please call The Arc of San Juan County 505-325-8998 or 505-608-6311, Dolores Harden

This project is funded in part by New Mexico Civil Legal Services Commission and New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.


October 24, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Centennial High School 1950 South Sonoma Blvd, Las Cruces, NM  88011

 $50.00 includes a continental breakfast and buffet lunch provided by the Centennial High School Culinary Arts Department. Program Includes Sessions On:

 - Dyslexia 101

- Understanding Diagnostic Reports

- 504 Accommodations

- Structured Literacy

Southwest Branch of The International Dyslexia Association (SWIDA) 3915 Carlisle, NE   Albuquerque, NM 87107 (505) 255-8234 swida@southwestida.org

Community Partnerships

We are excited to announce community partnerships that help our agency transform our mission to action with social collaboration.

How does it work:  By doing what we do best shopping and designating The Arc of New Mexico as recipient to receive funds from your shopping dollars

- Albertson Grocers: Contact The Arc of New Mexico for a scan card 883-4630

- Smith’s: Just register online at www.smithscommunityrewards.com

- Amazon Smile: Simply designate The Arc of New Mexico to receive a percentage of your on-line shopping

Thank You for Your Support!

Thanks to the generosity of many individuals, businesses and organizations The Arc has received close to $45,000 - we are well on our way to meet our goal to raise $60,000 in celebration of our 60th Anniversary!

Since our last memo have received over $1,500 in donations from the following individuals and organizations: Alan and Veronica Neuman, Doris Neuman, Irene Sanchez, Roger Weinreich, Van Nunley, Doris Husted, Vicki Galindo, Frances Wright, Jack Evans and Randy at Duke City Doors. 

It is never too late to give - you can either mail us a check or make an on-line donation at https://www.arcnm.org/donate-now/.

 Please consider a gift of $6, $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