Information

A Brief Primer on The Arc of Indiana Master Trust II

The Arc of Indiana Master Trust II was established in 1995 in response to legislation passed by the United States Congress in 1993.  (In fact, The Arc’s Trust Director at the time, Alan Kemp, was instrumental in working with staff of The Arc US to craft the legislation). In Indiana, thousands of people have benefited…

Bills, Laws, Regulations & Policies – Understanding the Differences

A legislator recently contacted me regarding an email he received from a constituent asking questions about a bill that had passed that caused her son’s Medicaid waiver funding to be reduced. The legislator could not understand how such a bill could pass without him knowing about it, let alone knowing enough detail to answer the…

Building Relationships – Easy and Important

It seems just as one legislative session ends, the next begins. Each summer and fall we stress the importance of building relationships with legislators to our local chapters, parents, self advocates and board members.  We certainly don’t want people to become pen pals with their legislators and bother them too much. What we really want…

Understanding Special Needs Trusts – Medicaid Prohibits Commingling Funds

Last week The Arc received an emergency phone call from a father.  John Dickerson, Executive Director of The Arc of Indiana took the phone call. The father explained that during his son’s annual Medicaid Recertification, the Medicaid caseworker informed dad that he was not allowed to add his son’s work income to the Special Needs…

The Power of Personal Stories in the Legislative Process

Thanks from The Arc to all of the families and self advocates who came out in force over the last two weeks of the legislative session to advocate regarding the Medicaid waiver language in the budget bill. It is a wonderful feeling to have legislators come up and say, “I heard from a family today,”…

You Have a Voice; Make It Count

This time of year many start getting tired of the political ads on television.  They get tired of the political yard signs that seem to be on every major street corner.  Many are tired of the talk, talk, talk….but few stop to think about how this all REALLY affects them. The election on November 2,…

Remembering Our Pioneers, and Thanks to You Pioneers of the Future

As we approach Memorial Day, it is  important to remember those who have given so much to bring the developmental disabilities movement to this point.  It came home so powerfully this week. I was privileged to be the speaker for Down Syndrome Indiana’s fourth Tuesday family session at St. Luke’s UMC  in Indianapolis.  And into this meeting…

Telling Your Story – Putting a Face on “Faceless” Budget Cuts

Further state budget cuts were announced yesterday, but how the cuts will be implemented remains unclear.  Governor Daniels has asked all state agencies to reduce their budgets by a total of 15% – this does include the 10% cuts already announced last week that touch many of the programs for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. At this…

In Difficult Times, Remembering a Founder’s Words

Many years ago, during one of our more trying days at the Indiana General Assembly, I made the trip to Rushville to speak at the Rush County Arc annual dinner.  I must admit on that day I was weary, feeling the weight of the people who did not believe in what we were trying to…