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Include Me Program
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Washington Business District to Partner with ARC Human Services
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Mikayla’s VOICE Assembly
On Monday, December 4, Mikayla's Voice visited Washington Park Elementary School for multiple assemblies through the "Include Me" program. Mikayla's Voice is a nonprofit organization that travels throughout the state of Pennsylvania during the school year to enlighten and educate students on the importance of inclusion for people of all abilities. When she was in third grade, her friends wrote and illustrated a book about Mikayla, titled "Our Friend Mikayla", which talks about how they felt when a girl with a disability joined their classroom. Mikayla, who is now 22 years old, travels with her Mom, Kim, to various districts talking to students about her disability and how inclusion has helped her throughout her life. While at Washington Park Elementary, Mikayla's Mom encouraged the students to be honest and ask any questions that they had. Kim fielded many amazing, emotional and important questions and the comments made by the students were heartfelt and genuine. It was inspiring to see the students so interested in learning more about Mikayla and her abilities. It was a great day for the students, faculty and administrators to welcome Mikayla into their hearts.
Read the Observer-Reporter article at:
Alex Graysay, 33, used to keep to himself. The Peters Township resident was quiet and didn’t interact much with the people in his life.
After working for a couple of local businesses, Graysay’s entire demeanor changed. He talks more and has even been known to burst into song and dance.
In September, Graysay was confident enough to testify before the state House of Representatives in Harrisburg, where he proudly told those in attendance that he purchased the suit he was wearing with money earned at his job.
Read more about our Community Employment Program here.
Since Arc Human Services started more than 65 years ago, it has worked to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live fulfilling lives.
But sexuality education wasn’t addressed, though people with intellectual disabilities experience the same range of thoughts, feelings and desires about sexuality as anyone else, and are at an increased risk for sexual abuse.
Arc introduced “Me Too! Real Talk about Sexuality for People of All Abilities,” developed by Dr. Mary Jo Podgurski, a sexuality educator and counselor, to arm people with intellectual disabilities with the information and skills they need for sexual health.
Read more about it here...
Arc working with City of Washington to battle blight
City of Washington officials kicked off the first week of the season with a spring cleaning. Crews from Arc Human Services worked Monday to clear a sidewalk on Shaefer Avenue that was overgrown with grass, weeds and debris.
Washington contracted with Arc in January for help in cleaning up blighted properties and abandoned sites.
Read more here.
Cheryl Parrino beamed as she stood next to the black and white photograph of an abandoned building she snapped last month. When asked about her choice, she quickly responded, "because we need a place where we can go and meet other people with special needs within the community."
Find out more here.