DOWNEY - Leaders from The Arc Los Angeles & Orange Counties traveled to the White House last week for a chance to ask questions and discuss issues facing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.The session, held just for The Arc, included an unannounced visit from President Obama, who pledged his commitment to people with disabilities. "I've got your back," the president said. Obama's surprise appearance was the highlight of the day for many attendees. Over the course of the day Feb. 10, leaders representing The Arc chapters across the country were briefed on topics ranging from Medicaid, education, community living and employment for people with developmental disabilities. Many of the speakers, including Obama, referenced the impact advocates made during budget negotiations to protect Medicaid, and encouraged The Arc and others to continue their efforts. The purpose of the briefings was to allow administration officials to engage in dialogue with The Arc about how government policies affect the lives of people with development disabilities and impact their ability to live full, independent lives. The Arc Los Angeles & Orange Counties was represented by chief executive officer Kevin MacDonald, past president Pat Heineke and Downey Adult School director Donna Lindley. Based in Downey, The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of more than 700 chapters across the country. For more information, call (562) 803-4606, ext. 223, or go to TheArcLAOC.org. The Arc will celebrate people with disabilities at the Arc Walk for Independence taking place March 24 at Stonewood Center.
********** Published: February 16, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 44