$3 million grant from Walmart

The Arc of the United States Announces Sub-Grant Award to Arc Downriver for Transitioning Youth from School to Adult Life Funded by the Walmart Foundation.

April 7,2010, Wyandotte, Michigan- Thanks to a $3 million grant fiom the Walmart Foundation, The Arc of the United States (The Arc) is awarding grants to 45 local chapters of The Arc across the U.S. in support of a new initiative designed to help youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

These Sub-Grants are Wing awarded as part of the Walmart Foundation School-to-Community Transition Project.  The project aims to increase tramition outcomes and to build inclusion and involvement of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities in independent living, employment, post-secondary education or vocational training, and community, social and civic affairs.

Project Goals:

1. I/DD youth learn about and develop life skills and independent living skills.

2. To improve interagency coordination for transition so that students reach their maximum independence, establish employment goals, and participate in community activities and other forms of civic engagement.

3. To move the I/DD person from one service system (child and school system) to another system (the adult system).

“In helping students with special needs prepare for life after school it is important to provide them with the skills they will need in the future while they are in school. The Arc Downriver and Jo Brighton has found the best way for our students to be prepared for this transition is to provide hands on community training in a variety offsetting for them to understand and experience real life experiences. This needs to be done in areas of vocational, community, home living and leisure/recreation.  Training and experience also needs to occur in the area of  advocating for oneself as well so that after given choices and experiences the students are able with confidence indicate their wants and needs.”

Kevin McGuckin,  Executive Director

The Walmart Foundation is committed to improving the lives of ‘people with disabilities and ensuring they have opportunities to live better,” said Margaret McKenna of the Walmart Foundation  “Our recent grant to The Arc reinforces our commitment by supporting programs of The Arc across America.”

About The Arc of the United States
The Arc of the United States (The Arc) promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and related developmental disabilities, from any of hundreds of specific syndromes and neurological conditions throughout their lifetimes. Together with our network of 730 state and local chapters as well  as our individual members, we support their full inclusion and participation in their communities and
influence public policy.

Arc Downriver advocates for individuals, who are developmentally challenged, have cognitive impairments and their families by promoting choices, creating opportunities, and providing support needed to fully participate in the community.