BY SAMANTHA CALDERON
The Arc of Riverside County Changes Perceptions
California CEO Non-Profit Showcase host Robbie Silver and Director of Communications for The Arc of Riverside County met with Tony Anderson, Executive Director of The Arc of California to discuss collaboration and advocacy efforts to increase the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Inland Empire and throughout the State of California. The Arc of Riverside County is a non-profit corporation that serves over 400 adults with disabilities per day throughout the six facilities it operates within Riverside County to include day services, job and vocational training, job placement, social interaction and self help skills, and community integration. The Arc of Riverside County is an affiliate chapter of a statewide and national system on these initiatives.
Since 1953, The Arc of Riverside County has taken on a number of issues relating to justice, respect and inclusion of people with disabilities. Specific issues include conservatorship rights, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and abuse. Anderson explains that these are important issues for all of California as well. According to Anderson, he is charged with helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities express themselves and achieve their full potential. Another key role that The Arc of California plays is guiding people with disabilities through the legislative process as many are fearful to contact their representatives or are just unfamiliar with the process.
Like many non-profits in a challenging economy, funding remains important. The Arc of California has been a leading voice in the State to advocate for rate increases across the board. It’s been 16 years since the Department of Developmental Services has received an increase in funding. “It remains a big concern for our community,” says Anderson.
Tony Anderson along with The Arc of Riverside County continues to change perceptions against people with disabilities. With the right training and guidance, a person with an intellectual or developmental disability can do the same job tasks as a person without a disability. “A working individual with a disability can affect the bottom line of a local business in a positive way. Changing these perceptions is a continuous struggle but when we grow up together and interact more, things will change,” described Anderson.
The Arc of Riverside County in partnership with The Arc of California is committed to increasing the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the State. These people have the same rights as a person without a disability and can achieve great things by showcasing their abilities within inclusive environments.
More information about The Arc of Riverside County can be found on their website at www.ArcRiverside.org or 951-275-5344.