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Arc of Sedgwick County (KS)
The Arc of Sedgwick County began in 1953 when parents concerned about services and future opportunities for their children formed The Wichita Association for Retarded Children. This organization, a United Way member agency, was the first in this county to promote the general welfare of all persons with intellectual disabilities, to foster the development of programs on their behalf, and to increase the public’s awareness and acceptance.The Arc currently serves persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities including down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy.
Mission: To improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families by providing educational and social opportunities to enhance development of individual potential while advocating for supports and services in the community.
Programs: The Arc’s programs offer information, education, advocacy, respite, and hope. There are five main program areas at The Arc.
1. Information and Education – Provides education opportunities for families and the community with seminars and workshops on topics concerning them. The Arc also provides community education, much like the Awareness Through the Arts. The Arc is working to educate the community on intellectual and developmental disabilities and to break down stereotypes. This education includes trainings for the Wichita Police Department on working with people with disabilities, sharing with classes K-12 as well as college students, and sharing with employers and employees through dozens of presentations including those for the United Way.
2. Targeted Case Management – services include the following:
Assessment, including an ongoing process to identify the person’s needs and preferred lifestyle, and the resources that are available to the person through both formal and informal evaluation methods
Support Planning, with the participation of the person and the person’s support network, including:
Developing (or assistance in developing), updating, and reviewing of the person’s person-centered support plan and any related service or support plan
Building upon assessment information to assist the person in meeting his or her needs and achieving the person’s preferred lifestyle
Providing the following assistance to the person:
Becoming knowledgeable about the types and availability of community services and support options
Receiving information regarding the rights of persons served pursuant to the developmental disabilities reform act
Implementing regulations, the content of which shall be approved by the commission
Obtaining the community services and supports of the person’s choice
Support Coordination, including the following:
Arranging for and securing supports outlined in the person’s person-centered support plan
Developing and accessing of natural supports and generic community support systems
Providing advocacy, including pursuing means for gaining access to needed services and entitlements
Seeking modification of service systems when necessary to increase the accessibility to those systems by the person
Monitor and Follow-up, including ongoing activities that are necessary to ensure that the person-centered support plan and related supports and serves are effectively implemented and adequately address the person’s needs
Transition Assistance and Portability, including the planning of and arranging for services to follow the person when the person moves between any of the following:
From school to the adult world
From an institution to community alternatives (180 days)
From one kind of service setting to another kind of service setting
From one provider to another provider
From one service area to another service area
How does a person with developmental disabilities get case management?
To get case management, tell the Sedgwick County Community Developmental Disability Organization (SCDDO) you need case management. A person with developmental disabilities or a family with a child with developmental disabilities may request case management from any qualified person or organization and the SCDDO must help arrange for the chosen case manager to provide the service. The provider of case management is required to affiliate with the SCDDO.
If the person with developmental disabilities, whether adult or child, has a Kansas Medicaid card, Medicaid will pay for a portion of the costs for case management. If the person does not have a Medicaid card, due to federal requirements, he/she will be billed and may have to pay a reasonable fee for the service. See the SCDDO for information on case management agencies fees. Some agencies have sliding fee scales.
3. Special Projects – Programs include:
Mini Tours – Travel teaches planning, day-to-day life skills, organization, discipline of maintaining schedules, managing money, and enjoying integrated experiences. Sponsored by The Arc, numerous mini vacations allow adults and self advocates to travel through the United States to popular attractions, including trips to major and minor league sporting events.
Young Adult Club (YAC) – encourages young adults (13-25) to become active in their community and to share outings with their peers like movies, bowling, dances, weekend trips and volunteer opportunities. YAC also offers wonderful respite for families.
Youth Activity Days – For Special Education Classes and Home Schooled Students – Students enjoy socialization and fun with new friends during get-aways from the classroom. The Arc creates exciting events and themes each month. Events are held once a month during September, October, November, December, March, April, and May.
Adult Day – Provide learning opportunities using arts and crafts every second Wednesday of the month at our Arc office. A representative from Wichita City Arts comes and provides wonderful art and craft projects. This free program reveals the creativity within each person.
Evening of Activities – Usually hosted at Orchard Park Recreation Center at 4808 W 9th St. every Tuesday night It is an evening filled with activities, socialization and snacks. A variety of unique and fun activities – include dances every 3rd and 5th Tuesdays, movies, interactive demonstrations, crafts, meals and more.
Tennis – The Wichita ACES, a 25-member tennis team for The Arc, have won gold and bronze medals at the Special Olympics World Games. Players compete in The Arc of Kansas Tennis Tour. They ended their 2010 season with their 25th straight State Championship title. The ACES have competitors at all skill levels and compete throughout the summer. For ages 8 and up.
Camp Pride – Held in the month of July for 3 nights and 4 days at a Wichita motel. This reunion style camp features field trips, horseback riding, indoor swimming, movies, crafts and much more. Fee Includes: Housing for 3 nights, all staffing and volunteers, all activities, all meals, several snacks, crafts, camp shirt, camp photo and transportation while at camp. Camp Pride is for individuals ages 13 and over who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In-service Days of Discovery – Our Discovery Days program has changed formats. We have polled the families and learned they would rather have respite on days there are no school. We are changing the program to fit the needs of the families we serve. Discovery Days will be held on days that USD 259 does not hold school.
4. Youth Education & Summer Socialization (YESS) – A 9 week summer program serving students ages 5-21 with developmental disabilities. The program offers a half day of education in classroom settings; half day of recreation in the community Monday through Thursdays; and Friday day trips throughout the state. The program is designed to help students retain what they have learned during the school year while developing improved communication and socialization skills.
5. Cirlce of Friends Mentoring Program – an innovative mentoring program matching Special Education students with regular education peers. The need for and success of mentoring programs is well documented. Programs, like Big Brothers and Big Sisters, have touched thousands, but does not serve individuals with developmental disabilities. The Arc is taking this concept and developing a program to reach this often times over looked population.
Everyone wants to belong. This is most evident in teens. They look for acceptance in school, at work, and in the community. Seeking acceptance often leads students to do mischievous things they might not normally do and then later regret. Students with special needs are no different. They want to be accepted, loved, and part of the crowd. The Circle of Friends is meant to help develop that acceptance.
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