Reinforcing our Commitment through Education
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.
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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