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Communication and Public Education

Broad support, both within and from outside the disability community, will be critical to achieving the goals and executing the strategies described in this plan. To achieve this level of public support, an aggressive program of communication and public education will be required with methods of action that include: n Directly providing timely, credible and accessible information to opinion leaders, decision-makers and members of the public through websites, social networking sites, radio, television, print, and other media;

n Utilizing the communications capacity of The Arc’s extensive network of state and local chapters to maximize reach into communities across the country;

n Monitoring coverage in the media of people with I/DD and the issues and concerns that impact their lives;

n Obtaining coverage through news, features and opinion articles; and n Clear messaging about the status, needs and concerns of people with I/DD.

Advancing Knowledge

Knowledge is critical to achieving the goals and executing the strategies described in this plan. To identify, marshal and harness the knowledge and information that is critical to success, methods of action will include: n Building cooperative working relationships with individual researchers and research institutions, including the university centers on disability;

n Compiling data, information and research from available sources; and

n Supporting or sponsoring additional research where needed to fill gaps or further inform strategy and action.

About State and Local Chapters of The Arc

The 730+ state and local chapters of The Arc provide the primary vehicle through which The Arc of the United States works to advance its mission to promote and protect the human and civil rights of all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively support their full inclusion and participation in all aspects of the community throughout their lifetimes. While there is variety from place to place, state chapters take the lead when it comes to state-level public policy advocacy and government relations; some are also involved in direct-service activities as well. Local chapters are on the front lines providing individual advocacy, programs, services, and supports for people with I/DD and their families. While some chapters may work exclusively with adults with I/DD, others work with individuals and their families at all stages of life. Their work touches on all aspects of community life, including education, employment, health care, housing, recreation, and more.


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