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Nov. 7,  2014n 

Mixed Greens gets growing in Sumter!


​The Mixed Greens super team traveled to Sumter to start prepping a community garden at a United Cerebral Palsy residential home in Sumter on Oct. 25. The group consisted of our local gardener, Al Smith; volunteers, and residents, John, Robert and Zeb. The guys and gals had fun tilling the land with the fun machine and cleaning up the are for their produce to be planted in the Spring. We are looking forward to coming back in the Spring for more prepping and the fun stuff — planting!Thanks to the UCP house staff, George and Debbie, for working with us as well as all of the UCP employees who show support for the program. We are excited to start prepping several flower gardens this winter so they can bloom beautifully come Spring. We have several homes lined up and appreciate any and all volunteers. Gardening has so many therapeutic benefits and you are bound to find a new friend. For  more information about our free community gardens or any of the Mixed Greens programs, contact or call/text 803-479-8773.

Students Kick It for Karate at East West!

Congrats to all Yellow Belt grads from Kick It Karate!

On Oct. 11, students graduated to their yellow belt in Kick It Karate at East West studio in Irmo. These are just a few pictures of some students receiving their certificate but there’s more on the Kick It Facebook page. Check it out.

Thanks again to Jerry and Zach for allowing this program to take place in their studio.

Remember, it’s never too late to join and there are so many great life lessons including discipline, self defense, confidence and anti-bullying techniques to gain.  Register at or The best part is, it’s all free. Just take that small first step.

Project SEARCH helps prepare young people for the real world 


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Some of the Project SEARCH Columbia team headed to Spartanburg Regional hospital to check out the Project SEARCH site. Interns from one of the Spartanburg school district work in different parts of the hospital during the day, Monday through Friday. Expectations were set high by hospital staff for the interns in their last year of high school with special needs and they are exceeding in their first semester. One intern, Kayla, was more than happy to talk to us about what she does and what she’s looking forward to after school. However, she wanted to get back to work as did all of the interns. Half of our group got dolled up in fancy protective gear before we entered the sterilization area where me met another intern who also goes above and beyond. We were excited to bring this knowledge and experience back to Columbia/Lexington as we work on a Project SEARCH in this area. There are some great leads and we have wonderful steering committee members.

FASD is nothing to ‘snicker’ about!


Volunteers Mike and Ladonna help at the SC FASD fall forum. They also helped set up and assembling our packets for the forum.


Thanks to The Arc of the US for this welcome banner and for brochures to distribute to medical providers.



Dr. Sandra Kelly speaks about FASD perspectives and her research at the SC FASD fall forum last month.


The Arc of the Midlands collaborated with the SC FASD Collaborative to spread the word about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and to educate people about the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. On Oct. 17, the Collaborative presented a fall forum with speaker, Dr. Sandra Kelly from USC. She has done extensive research about FASD and presented this knowledge to others to help spread the word. FASD is a totally preventable disorder but there is no cure yet so prevention is of the utmost importance. The collaborative and The Arc are looking into more awareness and marketing strategies as well as another forum for next year. Stay tuned!

Check out the following links for more information about FASD:

Think beyond the label. Hire people with disabilities.

Article from Disability Scoop. Click on the link for the full article.

What kind of employers hire people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)? You might imagine that they’re like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life—big-hearted souls that sacrifice their business’s profits to improve their communities. A new study, however, shows that hiring people with IDD doesn’t mean that employers have jettisoned their business interests. On the contrary, hiring people with IDD is good for the bottom line. Mr. Potter should have a look.

The study was conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, or i4cp, a company that analyzes the practices of high-performance organizations. Among some of the striking findings are just how many employers believe that their employees with IDD offer specific benefits to their workplaces. More than three-quarters of employers surveyed ranked their employees with IDD as good or very good on work quality, motivation, engagement, integration with co-workers, dependability, and attendance. Many employers reported being initially leery of hiring people with IDD, only to see their concerns dissolve after the employees were on board.

“The positive impact on the workforce is brought about in two ways: hiring individuals with IDD adds highly motivated people to the workforce (which can lead to increased productivity) and it promotes an inclusive culture that appeals to the talent pool organizations want to attract,” reads the study. “The improved customer satisfaction realized can lead to better sales and customer retention. The enhanced employer brand can translate to a better image in the community.”

People with IDD have historically faced enormous hurdles to getting a job. If they worked at all, it might be in sheltered workshops for significantly less than minimum wage—separate and most definitely unequal workplaces. The employment scenario is hardly any rosier at present, with the unemployment rate for people with IDD remaining tragically high: 85 percent percent of people with IDD do not have paid work in the community.

Based on the i4cp study, the organization Best Buddies International, which facilitates job placement for people with IDD, launched a media campaign calledI’m In To Hire. The goal of the campaign is to convince employers that it is not charity, but in their best interests, to hire people with IDD. The Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies, Anthony K. Shriver, told The Daily Beast, “This study creates an opportunity for us to approach a CEO and say, let’s give this a shot.”

The Arc of the Midlands is in it to hire people for the long run. Contact one of our amazing supported employment specialists and let’s get hiring!


Other Arc Midlands sponsored programs: 

Mixed Greens is an awesome community gardens and projects group with fun and inclusive activities to be scheduled throughout the year
Walk with Ease – is about getting people in the community together to promote and increase physical activity and build new friendships. The program includes people with and without developmental and intellectual disabilities that walk with one another. It’s a great way for people to meet friends and stay active!  We offer structured 18 week programs onsite (schools and residential settings) and weekly Saturday walks.
Wings for Autism: The Arc of the Midlands in collaboration with The Arc of South Carolina, Pro Parents, and SC Autism society are planning to implement a Wings for Autism program in Augusta, GA and Columbia, SC in spring 2015. Wings for Autism® is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and aviation professionals. 
NCCJD Chapter Champions for Justice:  Through this program, The Arc of the Midlands will help build the capacity of the criminal justice system to effectively identify, serve and protect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), many of whom have “mild” disabilities that often go unnoticed among criminal justice professionals without appropriate training.  Follow NCCJD on Facebook!
Project Search is a business-led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration!  The Arc of the Midlands in partnership with the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department and Lexington School District 1 has been awarded a grant through the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council to develop a Project Search site in the Columbia area.

Fancy for your Friday:

Hot Links:
  • Why do you give? Tweet or comment on the websitewith #WhyIGiveSC byNov. 10 and you may win moolah!
  • Take the Pledge! Help put a stop to violence, abuse and bullying of people with disabilities.
  •  The Arc Blog is a great national information resource.

  • Support the CRPD!Stand up for people with disabilities and urge your Senator to take action for the Disability Treaty 2014.
  • Eat Healthy!  People with special needs should know about healthy eating habits for a healthier lifestyle.

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Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN)Recently Reviewed and/or Revised Directives and Policies:
The Arc of the Midlands 218-B East Main Street, Lexington, South Carolina 29072
Phone: 803-693-5746  |  Contact Us