Reinforcing our Commitment through Education
FREE LOCAL SCREENING OF INTELLIGENT LIVES
On October 18, 2018, the Arc of the New River Valley and Virginia TASH sponsored a free local screening of Dan Habib’s new film: INTELLIGENT LIVES. The movie has been a catalyst to transform the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for the most systematically segregated people in America.
The screening was a big success with a nearly packed auditorium. Cyndi and David Pitonyak led a discussion following the movie that allowed attendees to share their stories and to discuss strategies for improving inclusion for people with developmental disabilities in the New River Valley
INTELLIGENT LIVES stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional personal story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S. Read more at https://intelligentlives.org/
During every VA Senate and VA House of Delegates election cycle, the Arc of the New River Valley holds a legislative forum.
Candidates running for elected office hear from their constituents with disabilities, their families and advocates on issues that affect quality of life and opportunities for people with disabilities to participate fully in school and community life.
EFFORT Day, which stands for Enabling Friends For Our First Response Teams, is an event sponsored by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office in conjunction with County Fire and Rescue departments and is held annually during the summer. This field day style event is held at the Christiansburg High School track and its purpose is to educate, create awareness, and facilitate relationships between the disability community and our first responders. From its conception, the Arc of the NRV has supported this event and has had a resource table there each year.
The 2018 event was held on July 14 at the Christiansburg Recreation Department.
The most recent Transition Fair was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Read more on the Montgomery County Public Schools’ website about upcoming events.
MCPS TRANSITION FAIR
In cooperation with the Montgomery County Public Schools
Each spring the Special Education Department of Montgomery County Public Schools sponsors a Transition Fair. Designed to help students with disabilities who are transitioning out of high school and going on either to college or to life and work in the community. Various agencies and support organizations participate to share information about the services they provide, including educational, health and home/community services.
Last fall, The Arc staffed a table at a screening of the film Deej at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, Virginia. This film is a rare collaboration between a veteran filmmaker and a non-speaking person with autism. It tells the story of DJ Savares, a boy with autism, abandoned at birth who finds a loving family and communication through a text-to-voice synthesizer. Told “largely from the inside, by DJ – not by his parents or autism experts or even the camera,” Deej reflects the sort of participation that disability rights advocates insist upon: “Nothing about us without us.”
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
- Visit the Virginia Department of Education’s website to educate yourself about Special Education Laws and Virginia Regulations.
- Educate yourself on the rights and laws around disability and access at the federal level by visiting the Americans with Disabilities Act page.
- Check out the U.S. Department of Special Education’s website where you can find federal legislation, regulations, guidance, and other policy documents.
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