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Celebrate your freedom this weekend!

The Arc of the Midlands wishes you and yours a very happy and safe Independence Day! Thank you to America’s forefathers and all the men and women who continue to serve and protect our beloved country! #Merica #Yall


Housing discrimination curbed for people with disabilities by Supreme Court

houseSource: From the Arc blog

[During the week of June 26], the U.S. Supreme Court issued several landmark decisions for all Americans, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

In a 6-3 opinion in King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court held that federal tax subsidies are being provided lawfully in those states that have decided not to run the marketplace exchanges for insurance coverage. This is a huge win for the Affordable Care Act and people with disabilities throughout the country.

Less prominent, but a tremendous victory for civil rights, is the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. – a ruling that will support the continued progress of people with disabilities and other minorities toward full inclusion in all aspects of American life.

In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that housing discrimination is illegal, even if it is not intentional. This decision upholds a longstanding principle under the Fair Housing Act, known as “disparate impact.” By finally settling the question of whether the language of the Fair Housing Act allows for claims based on disparate impact, as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does, the decision supports our nation’s progress toward integrated, inclusive communities that foster opportunities for all Americans.

In the case, a fair housing advocacy organization sued the state of Texas, alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act for awarding federal tax credits in a way that kept low-income housing out of predominantly white neighborhoods, thereby denying minorities access to affordable housing in communities where they might access better schools and greater economic opportunity. The state was not accused of intentionally excluding African-Americans from predominantly white neighborhoods, but of structuring its tax credit assignments in such a way that they had a discriminatory effect. Read more on The Arc blog.

Welcome aboard, Anna and Karin!

Anna picture« Anna     301120_279385692176812_1418459419_n« Karin

​​The Arc of the Midlands is excited to welcome our newest employees, Anna Cox and Karin Allen! Both people bring their own expertise to our chapter. Anna is a employment specialist and will also work on The Arc@Work project, connecting individuals to state and federal government jobs. Karin brings administrative knowledge and organization and will be very instrumental in the Let’s Talk leadership/self-advocacy group. Read more about their background here!

Volunteering makes you happy!


Volunteering in the community allows you to make a difference in the lives of people with I/DD. We are always in need of people to help out during the week and on the weekends. It’s also great to have a fresh perspective. For more information about volunteering, contact us at thearc@arcmidlands.org or call us at 803-693-5746. Non-monetary work tends to be the most fulfilling especially with a great organization like The Arc!

Summertime Fun!


The Mixed Greens team has a summer program for all young people. Not only will they learn about gardening and do some gardening but they will meet new people and make new friends. It’s not just educational but fun. We take trips to farmers markets including the State Farmers Market and Soda City Columbia on Saturday mornings. For more information about getting your young adult involved, contact Natalie at natalie@arcmidlands.org or talk/text to 803-622-1469.

Save the Dates!


Explore Kick It Karate’s brand new location at Capital Karate from 9:15-11:15 am July 11. Meet the instructors and talk with Capital Karate’s fabulous team. Capital Karate is located at 2728 Rosewood Drive, Columbia. Continue learning and growing with Kick It!

Plant Yourself at Soda City from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. July 25 or anytime in between. The Mixed Greens team will be somewhere on the 1500 Block of Main Street in downtown Columbia hanging out with local vendors, farmers and other small businesses. For more information, contact Natalie at Natalie@arcmidlands.org or talk or text to 803-622-1469.

Mixed Greens Mixer happens again from 3:30-4:30 pm at the Richland Library (St. Andrews branch). Young people are invited to learn about gardening, do some planting and make new friends. This is an all-inclusive club for people with and without I/DD. For more information, call Natalie at 803-622-1469 or email Natalie@arcmidlands.org.

Butterfly Garden Fun! Learn about butterflies and flowers, help water the garden and spot a butterfly at our Thursday morning classes taught by Adam. Our next classes are: July 9 and 23, Aug. 6 and 20 at 9 am. Wear bright colors for the butterflies! For more information, contact Natalie at natalie@arcmidlands.org or talk/text to 803-622-1469.

Other Arc Midlands sponsored programs:

The Arc@Work creates a pipeline for youth and adults with I/DD into inclusive, sustainable employment with comprehensive supports in state and federal government agencies. We also provide employer training for continued satisfaction for employer partners. Additionally, new employees utilize the TalentScout toolkit providing for higher levels of productivity.

Let’s Talk is an innovative and inclusive 20-week self-advocacy training program, for adults with I/DD, encourages people with disabilities to be involved in their community and voice their opinions using 21st century skills while utilizing various media sources.

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!

Kick IT Karate This program provides opportunities for individuals in the special needs community to explore and participate in martial arts in a fun accepting environment! The Arc of the Midlands in collaboration with Capital Karate and the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council offers a FREE 12-week orientation/white belt karate program designed to prepare individuals with special needs for integration into mainstream programs. The program launched in July 2014 and is in full swing. Programs are structured so new students can start/rotate in on any Saturday.

Wings for Autism: The Arc of the Midlands in collaboration with The Arc of South Carolina, Pro Parents, Early Autism Project and SC Autism society are implementing a Wings for Autism program in Columbia, SC in spring 2015 and in Augusta, GA in spring 2016. 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 area.

There’s a garden club for you!


Mixed Greens and the Richland Library (St. Andrews branch) kicked off Spring and gardening season with the after school gardening club for teens and young adults. The club meets select Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and we’ve already planted tomatoes, peppers and more in our square foot raised garden beds. This is a great way for young people to meet other young people, learn new skills and get some fresh air. The next event is May 21. For more information, contact Natalie at natalie@arcmidlands.org or 803-622-1469. You may also visit here for a list of dates. We can’t wait to go back!​

Happy Sparkly Friday!


Cool Clicks!

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» Autism Awareness Find valuable resources on all things autism at Autism NOW.
» Future Planning Form a plan for your person with I/DD.
» Independent Living Lawmakers dwelling on bill to allow people with I/DD to live independently in community.
» The Arc Blog is a great national information resource.
» Don’t Miss Out Join our MeetUp group to stay connected to our events!
» Department of Disabilities & Special Needs (DDSN) Recently reviewed and/or revised directives & policies
» Good News! Teen with special needs graduates as valedictorian.


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The Arc of the Midlands 218-B East Main Street, Lexington, South Carolina 29072
Phone: 803-693-5746 | Contact Us