I recently came across an article written by Irene Tanzman on LinkedIn entitled “Advocacy Organization Catch 22” published June 22, 2015. I would encourage reading this and in addition taking a look at some of the other insightful articles that she has published. I felt a breath of fresh air when I first read this yesterday.
There are many concerns regarding “The Arc Issue” as I will call it. In addition to the facts that Ms. Tanzman has addressed it is important to realize that in order for a chapter to call itself “The Arc” that chapter needs to be aligned with the agenda and policies of the national organization. Every local and state Arc sign an affiliation agreement with Arc US that the chapter will support the policies of Arc US. if for some reason a chapter does not support a particular position they are to remain silent and not comment. So, regardless of what is happening in your region or state, your local Arc can only speak on policies that are dictated from the national organization.
The national policy of The Arc US (taken many years ago in the late 70’s and early 80’s) is that “community” is best and ALL people can be served in the “community.” There are many problems with this policy:
- It is outdated
- It is not in alignment with the 1999 US Supreme Court Decision Olmstead v. L.C.
- It is not person-centered
- It does not indicate why they think this is best, or how it will be achieved.
What are some of the solutions?