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January 30,  2015

Don’t forget to remember these dates!


All Lexington-Richland District 5 special needs students are invited to a middle and high school transition fair Feb. 10 from 6-8 p.m. at Irmo High School’s cafeteria. This information fair provides parents and students with information and resources to make transitioning smoother. There will be 22 providers plus refreshments and door prizes! For more information, contact Melinda at melinda@arcmidlands.org.
Wings for Autism is flying in to Columbia April 18. This airport rehearsal program allows kids and adults on the autism spectrum to get a feel for flying to ease any anxiety they may have. We are thrilled to partner with Columbia Metropolitan Airport, Delta, The Arc of SC, PRO-Parents of SC, SC Autism Society and Early Autism Project. Registration is forthcoming. In the meantime, like us on Facebook for updates and more!
Love. Grow. Build. is set to sprout May 2 in Lexington! Thanks to Alonzo and Associates LLC for allowing The Arc of the Midlands to use some space for a community garden and love lock wall! More details to come. Contact Natalie at natalie@arcmidlands.org for more information.

The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability (NCCJD) will launch their event in Columbia May 4 at the Marriott in downtown Columbia. If you are in the law enforcement field or a first responder, please contact Melinda Moore at melinda@arcmidlands.org. We also want to connect with families and people with I/DD. 


Updates on the ABLE Act for you


(Source: The Arc blog)​

The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act1 (ABLE) Act was signed into law on Dec. 19, 2014, after many years of advocacy and bipartisan work in both the House and Senate. The law allows eligible individuals with disabilities the ability to establish “ABLE accounts” for qualified beneficiaries that resemble the qualified tuition programs, often called “529 accounts”, that have been established under that section of the tax code since 1996.
The new ABLE accounts will allow more individual choice and control over spending on qualified disability expenses and limited investment decisions, while protecting eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other important federal benefits for people with disabilities. Without these accounts, many people with disabilities have very limited avenues to save and allow for further independence.

Click here for a short summary of the updates or click here to read the full version of the updates.

The Arc of the Midlands was awarded an autism grant

The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) announced their autism grant winners last week and The Arc of the Midlands was chosen as a recipient. Thanks to DDSN, we will utilize the Specialisterne model with their expertise and knowledge to any qualified SC residents on the autism spectrum. Adults will have an opportunity train and learn the IT field and most importantly,  have an opportunity to gain employment in the IT field. We are excited and eager to get started! 

Form a plan for independent living

The Arc’s Center for Future Planning allows parents, siblings, staff or anyone  to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a plan for the future. Planning ahead can help guide a person with I/DD to lead a good life as independently as possible. A plan is important throughout all stages of life and especially in the future after the parent or caregiver is no longer able to provide support. Click on the link to learn more!

Kick it, throw it!


Thanks to UCP of South Carolina for bringing out their clients to the Kick It Karate program at East West MA in Irmo. The ladies enjoy learning self defense and life skills. Check out the power on this lady!

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. Farmer’s markets, community gardens, Little Green Wagon and Adopt-a-Pot make up the programs in Mixed Greens. Learn gardening and sustainability skills while making new friendships!
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-Richland School District 5 has been awarded a grant through the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council to develop a Project Search site in the Columbia area.

Fun for your Friday!


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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