Website Home  ♦  Sept. 11,  2015


Let’s Talk launches its leadership program

Members of the Let’s Talk program show discuss what it means to be a self-advocate.

The Let’s Talk self-advocacy and leadership/media program launched last week at Burton Center and United Cerebral Palsy of SC. We are excited to bring education and training to all clients at these day programs so they can learn to speak up for themselves using various sources. We can’t wait to see the Let’s Talk members grow in confidence. The program lasts for 20 weeks. Next we’ll be preparing to head to Hope Bridge, Newberry DSN Board and we’ll have a public group in Columbia for those who do not attend day programs. Stay tuned!


Project SEARCH is happening at Parkridge


The Project SEARCH interns and their job coaches try out the attire for one part of the hospital’s job requirements.

The interns from Lexington-Richland District 5 have started their journey into gaining competitive employment skills to help them transition smoothly into life after high school. The interns have gone through the process of applying and interviewing for a job to orientation to first day jitters. The goal for our Project SEARCH interns is to gain career skills and find a job either through Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge or elsewhere. The Arc of the Midlands is very thankful for the following partners who have helped out in planning and organizing along the way: SC Developmental Disabilities Council, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, Lexington-Richland District 5 and SC Vocational Rehabilitation. We also had a media blitz with coverage from many news sources. This is the first Project SEARCH site in the Midlands area and the second one in the state following Spartanburg District 6. Check out this detailed story from ColaDaily‘s reporter Rachel Ham.


The Arc’s volunteer named Community Builder by WIS & Mungo Homes

Mike sports his Community Builder hat with his proud parents by his side.

Have you heard about The Arc of the Midland’s own celebrity? Mike Cox was chosen by WIS and Mungo Homes as a Community Builder for volunteering and making a difference in the community. Mike was surprised when he came to Capital Karate to accept his award because he thought he was coming to talk others about the Kick it Karate program. Check out the WIS story here. Congrats and keep up the good service, Mike!


arcBARKS taking off at Soda City Saturdays


The Arc of the Midlands has teamed up with an amazing program to offer supported employment to our clients seeking a job catering to people with profound disabilities as well as clients who are social butterflies and love engaging the public. We have partnered with The Arc of Greensboro’s arcBARKS program. Clients assemble and market all-natural dog treats at the Soda City market in downtown Columbia along the 1500/1600 blocks of Main Street. They also learn about preparing for and setting up a retail area at a busy and family friendly city market. For more information about arcBARKS at The Arc of the Midlands, contact Joyce or Natalie.

The Arc provides superb residential services

Moving day finally arrives for one of our clients who is loving his new place he can call his own!

​The Arc of the Midlands residential services provide the necessary structure, training and staff support to ensure the safety and well-being of residents and promote community inclusion and quality of life. Residents and staff will work together to maintain a comfortable, safe, and healthy home environment in SLP style homes. Contact Melinda or Nichole or call 803-693-5746 for more information about our services or if you wish to help them learn how to cook healthy and delicious food.

Save the Dates!

Check out Kick It Karate’s brand new location at Capital Karate from 9:15-11:15 am every Saturday. 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 on Saturday mornings! For more information, contact karate@arcmidlands.org.

Plant Yourself at Soda City from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sept. 26 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 Sept. 24 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 after school classes taught by Adam or Natalie. The classes start at 4 pm but if you want to bring a group down, just contact us and we can set up a special appointment. Wear bright colors for the butterflies! For more information, contact Natalie atnatalie@arcmidlands.org or talk/text to 803-622-1469.

Our 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 last two events of the year are Sept. 24 and Oct. 15. Don’t miss the FUN! For more information, contact Natalie at natalie@arcmidlands.org or 803-622-1469. You may also visit here for more information.


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The Arc of the Midlands 218-B East Main Street, Lexington, South Carolina 29072
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