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 Feature Story 

The Arc of Calhoun County takes the lead year-round in the area of mental retardation, but March is especially important....


MARCH IS MENTAL RETARDATION AWARENESS MONTH

The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties Plans Local Events to Increase Public Awareness

 

The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties, an affiliated chapter of The Arc of the United States, the nation’s largest volunteer-based membership organization and of The Arc of Alabama, the state’s largest volunteer-based membership organization, devoted to life-long issues of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, marks National Mental Retardation Awareness Month next month. During March, The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties joins chapters of The Arc of the United States and The Arc of Alabama in engaging in a media and public awareness campaign aimed at bringing attention to issues concerning people with mental retardation and their families for the 26th consecutive year. 

                To recognize Mental Retardation Awareness Month, The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties will distribute information concerning mental retardation prevention to area doctors’ offices, and local community outreach fairs, distribute information concerning “people first” language to local media outlets and conduct an intensive membership campaign throughout the community. Individuals are encouraged to find out more about The Arc’s activities by calling (256) 236-2857. 

                “National Mental Retardation Awareness Month is an opportunity for our community to find out more about mental retardation and developmental disabilities. It’s also a great chance to learn more about the importance of full inclusion in community life and how diversity is essential to our culture and to our neighborhoods,” said Joanne Pope, executive director of The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties. “The Arc takes this opportunity to express our thanks to those in Calhoun and Cleburne Counties who’ve been our strong supporters, and to invite others to learn more about us and our mission during March and during every month of the year.” 

                Mental Retardation Awareness Month also includes a Sabbath/Sunday event on the weekend of March 13-14, during which chapters of The Arc encourage churches, synagogues, and other places of worship to welcome people with mental retardation into the spiritual life of the community. The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties has free bulletin inserts and covers for places of worship to use during this weekend. 

                Chapters of The Arc of the United States around the country and The Arc of Alabama throughout Alabama are embarking on a public awareness campaign this month to bring attention to their programs and activities. Through billboards, advertisements, media coverage, and public service announcements in newspapers, on radio, and on television, The Arc of the United States and The Arc of Alabama hope to reach millions of people with its message of inclusion for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. 

                The Arc of the United States and The Arc of Alabama espouse a set of Core Values that serve as the guiding principles of the national association and its state and local affiliated chapters.  These values include: People First, Democracy, Visionary Leadership, Community Participation, Diversity, and Integrity and Excellence.  For more information about The Arc of the United States, visit the organization’s web site at www.thearc.org , about The Arc of Alabama, visit the organization’s web site at www.ArcAlabama.org , or visit The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties at 20 West 14th Street, Anniston

                The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties is committed to securing for all people with mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities the opportunity to choose and realize their goals of where and how they learn, live, work and play. The Arc is further committed to reducing the incidence and limiting the consequence of mental retardation/ developmental disabilities through education, research, advocacy and the support of friends and community. The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne County is a United Way Agency. 

                The Arc of the United States is the nation's leading organization on mental retardation, representing over seven million children and adults with mental retardation and their families.  The Arc of the United States has over 100,000 members in more than 900 state and local chapters nationwide. The Arc of Alabama is the leading state organization on mental retardation, representing over 121,000 children and adults with mental retardation and their families.  The Arc of Alabama has over 3,500 members in 31 affiliated local chapters statewide.  The Arc of the United States and The Arc of Alabama provide organizational support to affiliated chapters and represent the membership on advocacy and programmatic issues pertaining to mental retardation.

 

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