Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A C Wharton speech from our Gala

For those of you who made it to our Gala Saturday night, you've already seen this. But if you missed the event, not only did you miss a fantastic time, you missed this great presentation by Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton.

Mayor Wharton was to be our featured speaker, but due to the Memphis Mayoral debate on WREG, he had to pull out of the Gala. While we were disappointed that he wouldn't be there, we were very grateful for the efforts Mayor Wharton and his staff put forth to be sure that we had a keynote presentation.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Neat Story out of Kansas

This is a great story out of Kansas that is sure to bring a smile to your face. Matt Ziesel, a freshman football player at St. Joseph Benton, has Down syndrome. With his team down 46-0 late in the game two weekends ago, his coach - Dan McCamy - called for the "Matt Play" and ran across the field to the defensive huddle of Maryville to explain the situation.

What ensued was a long touchdown run by Ziesel with Marville's players chasing him to make it as real as possible for Ziesel.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Help Save Tennessee's Family Support Program!

As many of you know, Tennessee's Family Support Program at great risk of being eliminated!

According to the TN Family Support Alliance, "In 2009, the Division announced a $1 Million reduction to the program... The notification of reduction in funding was accompanied by a letter indicating that 2009-10 funding primarily would come from federal stimulus dollars and that barring additional federal funds, the program would be effectively eliminated in the 2010-11 state fiscal year."

According to annual consumer satisfaction surveys that are maintained by the state, the Family Support program is widely recognized as one of the most successful services ever to be operated in Tennessee. Currently, the Family Support program serves around 4,300 families and more than 6,000 families of persons with severe disabilities are on the statewide waiting list.

In order to effectively advocate that this program be maintained, we need to hear from the families that these cuts will affect. Please email us your story about how the loss of this program will impact your family. We will be collaborating with families and other agencies in the coming month to determine the best plan of action. Your stories can be sent to Megan Long at

Additionally, we want to invite you to stop by our office and sign the petition, urging our legislators to save this vital program. You can also download the petition and help us gather signatures from friends, family members, churches, and other support networks. All petitions must contain original signatures and need to be returned to The Arc of the Mid-South by September 30th. Your signed petitions can be emailed to Megan Long, faxed to (901) 327-1197, or mailed or delivered to 3485 Poplar Avenue, Suite 210, Memphis, TN 38111.

Don't forget to attend the Shelby & Fayette County Family Support Program Meeting at Memphis Center for Independent Living (1633 Madison, Memphis) on Saturday, October 3rd at 11:00am for more updates on this issue.

We look forward to hearing from you!