Friday, October 29, 2010

Delarc Celebrates Outstanding Performer

Friends and co-workers at The Arc of Delaware County’s (Delarc’s) Resources for Industry (RFI) Program gathered to celebrate the achievements of Fred Hammond recently.

Fred, who lives in Delhi, was a recipient of the 2010 “Outstanding Performer” Award from New York State Industries for the Disabled’s (NYSID) William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Awards Program. The Joslin Awards Program
was established in 2004 by the NYSID Board of Directors to recognize outstanding job performance and personal success by people with disabilities.

Fred was nominated for this award by the RFI program for his hard work, dependability and dedication. With increased self-confidence from his own success on the job, staff at RFI noted that Fred has become a mentor to his co-workers, providing them with tips and demonstrations on the job. Fred has a desire to work in the community, and with the opportunity to work on a NYSID contract, he has developed the skills necessary to do so successfully. In addition to being recognized through this high profile awards program, Fred was awarded with a certificate and check for $250.

In photo above, RFI Program Director Doug Anderson presents Fred with the “Outstanding Performer” Award.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Story of Delarc Artist Featured in Daily Star

Lewis Pepper's story about his self-portrait, previously shared in this blog, was recently featured in The Daily Star. To read the article, click here:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Delarc Artist's Self-Portrait on Display in Washington, D.C.

Lewis Pepper is one of 70 artists whose self-portraits will be on display in Washington, D.C. during a special event on September 13 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of ANCOR, the American Network of Community Options and Resources. ANCOR was founded in 1970 as an association of organizations that support community integration for people with disabilities. The artworks will be on display during the invitation-only special event, being held at the Smithsonian’s Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.

“This exhibit really brings the voices of the people with disabilities we serve into our celebration,” said ANCOR CEO Renee L. Pietrangelo. “The remarkable energy, diversity and creativity of the pieces underscore the value of supporting community integration and self-expression for everyone, including individuals with disabilities.”

Lewis Pepper has been drawing since he was 5 years old. The Arc of Delaware County supports Lewis’ passion for art by encouraging him to try new things and expand his talent, through art classes and collaborating with other artists. Because he prefers drawing scenery and using black and white, it was a step outside of his comfort zone for Lewis, who submitted a colored self-portrait. Lewis explained, “My passion for art has been in drawing scenes from nature, animals and human figures. When I had the opportunity to draw a self-portrait, I was hesitant, but decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did!” He attributes much of his success in art to his mother. Shortly before she passed away, Lewis shared, “She told me not to give up on art. Don’t give up on art, whatever you do. If my mom could only see me now.”

Lewis Pepper pictured with his self-portrait, “Artist at Work.”

Friday, August 13, 2010

FINDS Survey

The Arc FINDS (Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports) is a free, online survey designed to tap into the knowledge and perspectives of individuals and families within the I/DD community, including self-advocates.

If you are a family member, caregiver or a person with a disability, please click here to complete the survey.

Help us spread the word! If you are a leader or professional in the disability sector, please share information about the FINDS survey within your local communities, to your networks, to self-advocates, and to all the families and caregivers who are the recipients of your hard work and dedication.

Results from this confidential survey will provide greater understanding about what services are available, what gaps exist and what new supports are needed.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Prevention Newsletter

Attached is the 2010 Summer Prevention Newsletter from NYSARC, Inc. with articles focusing on water safety, autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, child safety seats, etc. Please take a moment to open and read it, and share it with others.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Delarc Wins National Award

The Arc of Delaware County (Delarc) has been selected to receive the Moving Mountains Best Practice Award. This is a national award presented by the NADSP and University of Minnesota's Research and Training Center. Delarc was selected for this prestigious award because of its Life and Career Model. The award presentation ceremony takes place in August at the Reinventing Quality Conference in Baltimore, MD. Delarc staff will attend the conference to accept the award and participate in a panel discussion about this workforce best practice.

For more information about this award and why Delarc was selected, visit NADSP's website at:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Delarc Honors SUNY Delhi

The Arc of Delaware County recently honored SUNY Delhi with its Partner of the Year Award. Read the full story, featured by The Daily Star, at the link below, as well as a link to a video of the Award Ceremony:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Collecting Cans Helps Rebuild 4-H Horse Barn

Francis Schulz is collecting cans and kudos from his community has he raises money, 5 cents at a time, to help rebuild the 4-H horse barn at the Delaware County fairgrounds. The barn was destroyed as a result of arson back in November.

This story caught the attention of the Daily Star news reporter Patricia Breakey. She was there to capture the moment as Francis met with Gary Tweedie, President of the Delaware County Fair Board.
(photo by Patricia Breakey)
The attached link tells the rest of the story:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Local Paper Brings Important Issue Into Spotlight

Kudos to the Daily Star, our local daily paper, for bringing the use of offensive language towards people with disabilities into the spotlight.

Below is a link to an article that appeared in the February 12 edition of their paper:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Push Pins Bring Comfort to Soldier in Iraq?

Push pins are not usually considered a source of comfort, but for Senior Airman Jeffrey Ball, who was stationed in Iraq with the Air Force, a little white box of push pins brought thoughts of home.

While in Iraq, Senior Airman Ball was going through military supplies when something caught his eye. “I saw something close to my address,” he said. He had come across a box of push pins, which were assembled at Resources for Industry (RFI), a workplace for people with disabilities operated by the Arc of Delaware County. RFI packaged the push pins as part of a previous government contract. The push pins were then sent to a government warehouse and made available to state and federal offices and agencies, including the military. Senior Airman Ball grew up across the street from RFI. The box was stamped with RFI’s address, just 3 numbers away from Senior Airman Ball’s home address. “It was a surprise at first,” he said. “It reminded me of home. It was nice to think about home.”

While home on leave recently, Senior Airman Ball visited with his friend and life-long neighbor Hillary Zujovic. When Hillary explained that she was working for The Arc of Delaware County in the Community Relations Department, Senior Airman Ball shared his story. This led to an invitation for Senior Airman Ball to tour the RFI facility and meet the people who brought a moment of comfort all the way to Iraq in the form of a little white box.

Susan Kneis (pictured above), who receives services from RFI, had a special connection with Senior Airman Ball’s story. Her brother serves in the National Guard, which has led her to gather items to send to the troops. Senior Airman Ball explained to the group that morale among the troops is good because of people like Susan. “We have a lot of people at home sending us stuff. Those things do mean a lot.”

Susan was also given the opportunity to introduce Senior Airman Ball to the group. “We would like to thank a very special hero for serving our country and fighting for our freedom in the Air Force,” she said.

Senior Airman Ball received a warm welcome from the folks at RFI, as they all took time to recognize and thank him for his service. He answered questions, posed for pictures, and exchanged email addresses. When packaging the push pins, the people at RFI never imagined they might end up in the hands of a soldier in Iraq, especially a neighbor. Though Senior Airman Ball grew up across the street from RFI, “I didn’t realize everything they did here,” he explained. “It was nice. Probably the warmest reception I’ve gotten so far.”

For an additional article on this story, visit the Daily Star's website at:

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Arc Condemns White House Aide's Use of R-Word

Our national association, The Arc of the United States, has issued the following press release. For more information on The Arc, visit

The Arc Condemns White House Aide's Use of R-Word

Washington, D.C. January 28, 2010 -- Reports that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel used an epithet relating to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is both shocking and disappointing, according to The Arc of the United States. According to a Wall Street Journal story on an embattled White House, “Some attendees said they were planning to air ads attacking conservative Democrats who were balking at Mr. Obama’s health-care overhaul. ‘F—ing retarded,’ Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to several participants.” The Arc hopes that the Members of Congress in that meeting were equally offended. This is the second serious verbal miscue by the Administration about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. President Obama’s unfortunate statement last year on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, equating his poor bowling performance with that of people with intellectual disabilities, sparked justifiable outrage from people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The President subsequently apologized for his remarks and disabilities advocates saw it as a teachable moment. Mr. Emanuel’s use of hateful language would suggest that it is the White House staff that needs to be taught a lesson in respect for people with disabilities. Statements such as these—particularly when used by someone at high level—amplifies pervasive societal attitudes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities somehow don’t measure up—that their lives are worth less. “Using a slur about people with intellectual disabilities to criticize other people just isn’t right,” said Peter V. Berns, chief executive officer of The Arc of the United States. “For people with disabilities it is disrespectful and demeaning and only serves to marginalize a constituency that already struggles for empowerment on every front,” Berns added. Disability rights advocates had high hopes for this Administration when the President appointed a Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy. This was a move that the Administration called: “our first step to ensure that we have a strong advocate for people with disabilities at the highest levels of our Administration.” The more than seven million individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families demand an apology for Mr. Emanuel’s use of language that denigrates our constituency. The White House needs to lead by example and demonstrate through words and actions that it is not acceptable to use people with disabilities as a source for ridicule. To condone this language is to deny opportunities for people with disabilities in the workplace, in the community, in school, and in every other quarter of society. The Arc of the United States strongly supports legislation (s.2781) introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland that would change the term “mental retardation” or “mentally retarded” to “intellectual disabilities.” Given the two White House incidents of inappropriate use of the term regarding these constituencies, The Arc hopes that the Obama Administration will put its full force behind the enactment of this legislation. The Arc of the United States ( 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 lifetime.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Second Edition of Delarc's E-Newsletter

The Second Edition of Delarc's E-Newsletter was sent to subscribers on Friday. Featured stories included welcoming new staff to Delarc, community parties, and a spotlight on one of Delarc's up and coming small business owners. If you haven't yet signed up to receive the E-Newsletter, visit our website at and enter your email address in the box provided on the homepage in the lower left-hand corner. If you would like to receive last week's edition, send a request by email to Our readership has doubled since our first issue was released. You can help us continue to increase our readership by sharing the e-newsletter and inviting others to subscribe as well.