What’s going on in your community and how is The Arc Alliance working for you? Those are great questions! This section is dedicated to tracking news and views regarding The Arc Alliance and various issues concerning our loved ones,family and community.

Dec 18, 2014 Casey-Burr ABLE Act Passes Senate, Heads to the President’s Desk to Become Law

Casey and Burr-Led Effort Passes Easily with 78 Senate Cosponsors Bill Previously Passed the House with 404-17 Margin

ABLE Has Been Called “…the broadest legislation to help the disabled in nearly a quarter-century.”

Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) announced that the Senate has passed his Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The bill will allow families who have a child with a disability to save for their long-term care through 529-style savings accounts. The ABLE Act passed the House last week with a final vote of 404-17. This legislation has been called “…the broadest legislation to help the disabled in nearly a quarter-century.

able.caseybuttoncrop2“I could not be more proud of the support the ABLE Act has received from members of both parties in the House and Senate, and from all of the families who worked with us to achieve this historic goal,” said Senator Casey. “From the beginning, the power of these families who want to save for their loved ones’ long term care has propelled the ABLE Act forward. We believe that individuals across this country with disabilities have a lot of ability. I look forward to President Obama quickly signing this bill into law so that countless families and individuals can have the tools they need to live a full life and have a bright future.”

“Some have called the ABLE Act the most significant piece of legislation affecting the disabled since passage of the American Disabilities Act nearly 25 years ago.  I got involved in this effort nearly 8 years ago with Senator Casey.  Families of severely disabled children came to us expressing the critical need for an easy way to save for their child’s future expenses, especially since many Americans with Down Syndrome and autism are now outliving their parents,” said Senator Burr. “Most middle-class families don’t have the money to spend on lawyers and financial planners to set up sophisticated trusts to make sure that their disabled child will be OK long after they are gone.  What’s worse current federal law actually discourages parents from putting any assets in the name of their disabled child in fear of disqualifying them from federal programs down the road. It’s utterly unacceptable that our current laws doom a child born with a disability to a lifetime of poverty and dependence.  This is especially unfortunate when a parent or other family member has the resources and the desire to save and plan for that child’s future expenses but are advised by lawyers and planners not to.  The ABLE Act will take the first critical step in ending this injustice.”

The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code to allow use of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill, first introduced in 2006, would ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, medical, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.

What are the Key Characteristics of ABLE Accounts

The Arc Alliance 2012 Annual Report

Please take a few moments and review The Arc Alliance 2012 Annual Report. This document highlights activities for this past year. If you have additional questions, comments or would like to be more involved with The Arc Alliance please contact us.

Berks FC United and Red lions have partnered with The Arc Alliance! For the next two years these two priemer soccer clubs will be wearing The Arc Alliance Logoed Uniform Kits. Through their high level of play they will provide awarness about The Arc Alliance. In addition they are helping raise funds for the agency through donations and various fundraising events.

Both, Berks AJAX FC U13 & U14 premier boy’s soccer teams had outstanding 2012 Fall seasons:
U13 Ajax Red Lions championed their DELCO Fall 2012 league.
U14 Ajax United claimed their DELCO Fall 2012 league championship.

In addition to winning or placing in many tournaments over the years, both teams also took home the 2012 Eastern PA Youth Soccer Association Indoor Cup.

The boys from both teams play quality and competitive soccer, and they are also active with TOPSoccer, where they buddy with players who have special needs. Each Berks Ajax FC player who participates helps their buddy learn the game that has brought them so much joy.

The Arc Alliance seeks opportunities to build relationships in the community, raising awareness of the critical needs of those families we serve. If you would like to get further engaged with The Arc Alliance please contact Scott Camilleri.

2012 Summer Bash & Annual Membership Meeting

Yes, it was a hot night but actually, not that bad. Although the temp’s reached near 100 degrees, in the shade with the breeze, water and mister it was not that bad. It seemed that the children of all ages really had a great time!

Thanks to The Arc Alliance Staff for all their work in pulling yet another Summer Bash together! Everyone did a great job. Below are some pictures of award recipients from the event of Senator Bob, Mensch, JP Mascaro (accepting an award on his father Pat’s behalf), The Scarpello family and Marisa Good.

 

Rally on May 12th See below for details

Also check out the event page for additional information

President Obama Tells The Arc “I’ve Got Your Back”
On February 10, 150 leaders of The Arc from across the country met with a variety of senior White House officials at a Community Leaders Briefing to ask questions and discuss issues facing people with I/DD. The session, held just for The Arc, included an unannounced visit from President Barack Obama. The President spoke of his commitment to people with disabilities saying, “I’ve got your back.” His surprise appearance marks the first time a president addressed the organization since John F. Kennedy 50 years ago. Over the course of the day, leaders of chapters of The Arc were briefed on t

 

opics ranging from Medicaid to education to community living and employment for people with I/DD. Many of the speakers, including President Obama, referenced the impact advocates made during budget negotiations to protect Medicaid, and encouraged The Arc and others to continue these efforts.

Legislative Breakfast March 8, 2012

This morning, several of The Arc Alliance executives, board members and service providers met with Bucks County  state representatives and staff members to discuss issues and challenges facing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are grateful to Senator Robert Tomlinson of the 6th District, for his hospitality and work bringing together those we met with today.

Paul Stengle & Albert Sutter Jr.

At this meeting The Arc Alliance was pleased to present Senator Tomlinson The Arc Alliance’s Vincent J. Fitzpatrick Award for his life-long achievements and contributions to significant improvements in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Senator Tomlinson was not able to be in attendance, however the Senators District Director, Albert Sutter Jr. graciously accepted the award from Paul Stengle on his behalf.

The Governor’s budget with the various and significant cuts to services for those we serve was a significant topic of concern during our meeting. Paul Stengle facilitated the time incorporating those in attendance into the discussion enabling the representatives from Bucks County to hear from a variety of voices. We also presented several other key issues of concern from reform of special education , school climate for students with disabilities to the increasing waiting list issue, increased admittance to state institutions, employment and the inequity of the due process within school related issues.

It was a full and high paced meeting covering many significant and critical issues! We thank all those in attendance!