The Arc Greater Twin Cities’ program model remains consistent through the provision of its core programs and services: information and assistance, individual advocacy, and training and support (workshops, forums, etc.). The Arc GTC continues to innovate these core services to make them as accessible and effective as possible for individuals and families. The agency also continues to dedicate resources to track and provide input into major systemic changes impacting children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Information acquired is used for internal training, to develop new resources for individuals and families, and to establish system advocacy priorities. In 2015 we reached a total of 8,368 individuals with I/DD, family members, professionals and other community’s members through all of our supports.
In the past year, The Arc Greater Twin Cities has placed significant emphasis on developing programs and services to help transition-age students (14-21) and their parents. These efforts help answer the question “What comes next?” when an individual with an intellectual or developmental disability is getting ready to begin adult life. The focus on transition is rooted in the agency’s advocacy work. The growing number of calls has demonstrated a need not only for one-to-one assistance, but also for a more proactive approach that reaches more families throughout the community.
In 2015, The Arc GTC provided two conferences in collaboration with Hennepin, Carver, Scott, Anoka, and Washington counties, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. These conferences were designed to address topics relevant to the Housing section of Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan. Altogether, The Arc GTC’s transition-related programs and services reached more than 1,000 people in 2015.
Additionally, The Arc Greater Twin Cities continues to expand and deepen relationships with organizations to bridge its work with families living in poverty and from culturally diverse communities. The Arc GTC works with the Somali Disability Resource Network, Ramsey and Hennepin counties, PACER, Independent Special Education Services, Somali Psychological Association, Department of Human Services, Department of Health, Minneapolis Public Schools, St. Paul Public Schools, and Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota to provide trainings to Somali parents. Its work with Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) has resulted in new parent caregiver groups supporting Hmong and Somali families. The Arc GTC continues to engage with Hmong Helping Hands, Hmong American Mutual Assistance Association, Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), and Latino Health Network to support families from the Hmong and Latino communities.
Ask an Advocate: Parents, family members, self-advocates and professionals can contact The Arc GTC via phone, web, and email to ask questions and gain information. The organization also offers more intensive individual advocacy, conflict resolution, and crisis navigation services to help children and adults with disabilities and their family members’ access services, navigate complex systems, pursue their rights, and develop strategies for lifelong success. In 2015 3,575 individuals with disabilities were supported with information, personal assistance, and mentoring on issues including access to benefits, support for education, employment, health care, housing, independence, planning, self-advocacy, and healthy relationships.
Community Events: The Arc GTC organizes workshops, forums, and networking groups; presents at partner events; and distributes information at resource fairs.
Topics covered through Ask an Advocate and Community Events include (but are not limited to): abuse prevention, housing, healthcare access, guardianship, employment, education, and access to government benefits. Though this work we engaged 729 individuals in Hmong, Somali, and Spanish speaking communities.
Planning Services: The Arc GTC has many different planning options with a person-centered approach, in which individuals are met with respect and have a valued role in their community. Services include FutureLife Options™ (which creates a comprehensive plan for the future of a person with a disability) and the Transition Vision Program (which plans for employment, home, and community life after graduation).
Community Engagement: Includes public policy advocacy; employer engagement; training and presentations; and self-advocacy. The Arc GTC offers training and support to help adults with disabilities speak up for themselves about the issues that matter to them.
Healthcare Access: in 2015, certified MNSure Navigators at The Arc helped 180 people with I/DD successfully access coverage. This was a 36% increase in people serviced over 2014.
The Arc Greater Twin Cities has identified benchmarks and indicators to track progress toward the six goals set out in its strategic plan, and has established program work plans accordingly. The agency also uses follow-up surveys to ensure exceptional quality in all its programs. Its goals for program evaluation results include:
At least 90% of the individuals with I/DD, parents, guardians and family members served through individual advocacy, networking groups, ArcShops® and forums who respond to evaluations will indicate increased knowledge, caregiving skills, or support networks.
At least 80% of the individuals with I/DD, parents, guardians and family members served through individual advocacy, networking groups, ArcShops® and forums who respond to evaluations will indicate they are better able to understand and access services to meet the needs of their loved one and/or make choices and decisions on behalf of their loved one.
At least 85% of the parents with children served by sibling programs who respond to evaluations will indicate their child demonstrated a better understanding of their brother or sister's disability and strategies to cope with day-to-day challenges.
Total number of people served (includes information and assistance and advocacy) - goal 8,500
% of people served from communities of color - goal 12%
Number of people supported through person centered planning services - goal 200
Number of individuals assisted in enrolling in health care programs - goal 70
Number of community engagement activities(this includes focus groups, public policy engagement, etc.) - goal 1900 people supported
Community or Constituency Served
The Arc Greater Twin Cities serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families with information, assistance, education and training. Disabilities may include autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, fragile X and other disabilities.
Geographic Area Served
The Arc Greater Twin Cities serves people with intellectual and development disabilities in the seven-metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota including Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties.