The Arc

The Arc of Virginia 
The Arc of the United States 

Service Providers

Wall Residences 

Strenghtening Our System, LLC (SOS) 

Community Resources

IDA of the New River Valley
Special Olympics of Virginia
Virginia Association of Community Service Boards (CSB)
Best Buddies

Tips for Letter Writing

  • Address envelope to “The Honorable Delegate/Senator (name)”
  • Address letter to “Delegate/Senator”
  • Be concise
  • Let your legislator know you appreciate his/her efforts
  • Briefly explain your situation. See Tips for Telling Your Story (below) for ideas
  • Ask to meet or speak with him/her over the phone if a meeting is not possible
  • If you have not had a response within two weeks, call to follow-up

We have been told it makes a big difference when a legislator receives personalized, traditional letters from at least eight different constituents. Help us strengthen our voice. Ask nearby friends/family to join you in a letter writing campaign!

Visit Your Legislator

  • Contact the office of the Delegate/Senator beforehand to make an appointment
  • Consider inviting the legislator to visit you at your home
  • Bring copies of your personal story and a picture
  • Prepare an “elevator speech”. If you had only 90 seconds to get your point across, what would you say?
  • Contact The Arc of Virginia for materials, assistance and advice on meeting your legislator
  • Send a thank-you note afterwards
Writing a letter

Tips for Telling Your Story

  • If you are on a wait list, how would services help you?
  • What are your dreams, hopes and goals? What support do you need to make these happen?
  • Have you lived in an institution? What was that like? How is life different now?
Family Members
  • What support services does your family member need to live A Life Like Yours?
  • How would cuts to services affect you?
  • Are you on a Medicaid Waiver wait list? How would Wavier services help you? What is life like for your family? How long have you been waiting?
  • Would you ever “choose” an institution for your family member?
  • Why is it important to provide community-based services in lieu of institutionalization?
  • What services do you provide? How do they help people with I/DD live A Life Like Yours?
  • How would the people you support be affected by cuts to services?
Friends and Concerned Citizens
  • Why do you feel compelled to speak out for people with developmental disabilities?
  • As a constituent, why is your legislator’s support of people with I/DD important to you?
  • Why is it important to provide community-based services to prevent institutionalization?
  • As a taxpayer, how is investing in institutional models of care (which are known to be more expensive than community-based care) an ineffective/inefficient use of state dollars


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