Welcome to The Monthly Memo

 June, 2016

The Arc of New Mexico Mission

Our Mission: The Arc New Mexico promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.

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-online/

Randy Costales, Executive Director

2016 Summit on Social Equality &

Annual Arc Conference

This year's conference was held June 24-25 at Hotel Albuquerque near Old Town.  The theme was, "Staying Healthy While Having Fun!" The two-day event provided attendees an opportunity to network, learn and have fun.  It also included information booths, vendors, a raffle and a silent auction.

 At the Friday Summit Plenary Amanda Purcell from Albuquerque welcomed everyone and introduced plenary speakers William Welsh and Steve Eiserling.  The title of the session was, "Virtual Reality Health Journeys".  William discussed his journey of growing up with a disability and growing up in a long term health care facility.  Both he and Steve shared an demonstrated how Virtual Reality can help people in a variety of ways including relieving stress prior to surgery and giving them the ability to do things that they physically could not do i.e., playing the piano using eye movement.

 During the following breakout sessions attendees learned about 1) Voter education, 2) how to have fun in social settings, 3) a program in Albuquerque that advocates for special playground equipment for children with disabilities in each park, 4) basic dance steps to Mexican Folk and Social Latin Dance, 5) how to overcome common barriers to homeownership regarding income, credit, 6) people with disabilities getting married and having families, and about 7) how advocacy in public policy is about meeting new people, making new friends and creating change while having fun.  Later that evening everyone enjoyed dinner, dancing and karaoke.

 On Saturday morning Dolores Harden, The Arc of New Mexico President, opened the Plenary Session by welcoming everyone and sharing why The Arc is important to her.  Randy Costales, Executive Director, introduced guest speaker Amie Lulinski Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation at The Arc of the United States, who highlighted many of the important programs, activities and accomplishments of the national office.  The session ended with an amusing but powerful short film, “The Interviewer” which featured an actor with Down syndrome.

 Breakout sessions during the day covered the following topics: 1) Developmental music, movement and integrated learning activities, 2) adaptability fitness, 3) therapeutic massage, 4) new technology that is making life easier, 5) hands only CPR, 6) getting started on the path to employment, 7) the Able Act in New Mexico, 8) how to understand behavior and to design and implement effective responses, 9) a parent’s perspective on the current law enforcement/criminal justice system and the everyday misunderstandings that occur, along with the incompatibility of current systems to accommodate people with I/DD.  There was also a focus group for participants in the New Mexico Down syndrome Fund Program.

 Thank you to our major Summit Sponsor: The New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.  Conference sponsors included MGM LLC and The Menicucci Insurance Agency.

Congratulations 2016 Arc Awards Winners!

Summit on Social Equality

Robert LeCompt Jr. Leadership - Sophia Hamilton, Las Cruces

Tenacious Tommy Award - Marlene Velasquez, Farmington

The Bob Thomas Achievement Award - Laura Todd, Las Cruces

The Arc Annual Conference

Exemplary Educator - Monica Luna, Cibola High School, Albuquerque

Agency of Distinction (2)

- The San Juan Center for Independence in Farmington

 - Eugene Lucero, Social Security Administration, Albuquerque

Community Service (2)

- Missy Holman - Down Syndrome Foundation of Southeast New Mexico, Roswell

- Mary Lou Burke, Retired Teacher, Albuquerque

Self-Advocacy Conferences Held in May

Last month two one-day Self-Advocacy Conferences were held in the southwest and southeast regions of the state.  On May 6 the 2nd Annual Southern New Mexico Advocacy Conference was held at the Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces.  The event was attended by 120 people including forty-seven individuals with disabilities, thirteen support staff, thirty-two family members, and twenty-eight professionals.

Conference attendees were introduced to two new keynote speakers from Southern New Mexico - Sam Cueto Jr., a senior graduate from Gadsden High School who will be attending New Mexico State University (NMSU) in the fall.  The second speaker was William Welsh who is a graduate from NMSU and currently a student at the Dona Ana Community College East Mesa Campus.

The following agencies were exhibitors at the event: New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, People First Anthony and Las Cruces, New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, New Mexico Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, The Arc of New Mexico, Accepting and Including Diversity of All, City of Las Cruces ADA/EEO Coordinator’s office, Dona Ana County Clerk’s Office - Voter Registration, Direct Therapy Services, Active Solutions, C.A.R.E. Cancer Aid Resource & Education Inc., United Health Care Community Plan, United Health Care Group, Sam Cueto Jr. – Artist, Disability Rights New Mexico, and the New Mexico Department of Health. 

On May 13 People First of Roswell, with support from Department of Health/Developmental Disabilities Supports Division, hosted its third annual Self-Advocacy Conference at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles.  The event was attended by 57 self-advocates and 60 support staff/family members for a grand total 117 attendees.

Sessions included a keynote by Matthew Heady and Chris Faggion, Discovering Our Collective Capacity – Kay Lilley, Opening Doors to Self-Advocacy – Adam Shan and Cindy Lafon from Parents Reaching Out, I Can Survive Roswell Refuge SANE Project – Kim Hansen, Risk – Kay Lilley, and a People First meeting.  The conference ended with a dance.  Congratulations to Matthew Heady, Chris Faggion and Tony Strange for a successful event.

The conferences were made possible through funding from the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

The Arc - Promoting the Rights of People with Disabilities

The following articles and photos were submitted by Priscilla Salinas, Director of The Arc's Southern NM Office in Anthony

 “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”- Old English Proverb

 Once a month a monthly meeting serves as the place for people to receive the latest news about the disability movement or to receive training on a specialized topics and to make announcements.  Getting together in a central location coordinated by The Arc of New Mexico Southern office is how it is done!  Family members and individuals with disabilities have been coming from all over – from Las Cruces in the north, from Sunland Park in the south and from the Anthony Gap in Chaparral to the east. 

Their mode of transportation varies - Lalo rides his bike, Brennan uses the walking path to arrive in his motorized wheelchair, Javier walks to the meeting, Alice has her own van with a lift, and Sergio and Luis get there using the rural route transportation system.  And let us not forget to acknowledge the families who often give rides to others who have no transportation.

During the meeting in June, the majority of families purchased a raffle ticket to support the cost of The Arc of New Mexico Annual Conference.  We would like to thank everyone who did and for their continued support of The Arc of New Mexico activities.  

People First Members of Anthony, NM

A big shout out goes to Alice Ramos, Sergio Resendiz and Vanessa Saucedo for doing a great job in promoting and recruiting new members to the Self Advocacy movement!  These members are interested in Self advocacy activities for Southern Dona Ana County, and have continued to contribute to the movement by serving as mentors to students from the local school district.  This time around, the Spring Session held during February through the end of April, took place at The Arc of New Mexico’s southern office.  Four students from Chaparral High School joined them every Friday morning to observe, interact and practice what they were hearing from members of the People First Anthony group.  In May the group attended The 2016 Southern New Mexico Advocacy one day Conference held at The Dona Ana Community College East Mesa Campus. For most, it was their first visit to a postsecondary setting, for the mentors, it was their time to stand and speak in front of an audience.   To celebrate the completion of the program, everyone got together at Denny’s in Anthony, TX with breakfast served and a recognition of their commitment with a Certificate of Participation.