ARC 091817

samanthakollasch

The Arc of Southeast Iowa Celebrates 60 Years

1957~2017

60

YEARS

of

SERVICES

1957 - 2017


COMMITTED

to individuals

The Arc of Southeast

Iowa celebrates

60th anniversary

By Steve Gravelle

A cheerful chaos descends on an otherwise typical office building every

weekday morning.

“You get to hang out with a lot of different kids and they always remember

you, which is sweet,” Evelyn Maravillo said.

Ms. Maravillo is a direct-care professional for The Arc of Southeast Iowa.

On a recent typical morning, she and her colleagues worked and played with

eight children ages 5-17 in the newly remodeled lower level of its headquarters

at 2620 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, The Arc made the renovations

to better serve its client families while meeting recent changes in the way its

services are funded.

“That’s the direction we’re moving toward,” said Ryan Markle, director of

on-site programming. “Individual services get a little more difficult to provide

Congratulations

to the Arc of

Southeast Iowa

on 60 years of

serving our local

communities!

Member FDIC

R

with the privatization of Medicaid.”

So, the new facility will provide all-day care and activities for clients

with developmental disabilities, from infants to teenagers. Arc clients

can spend their days in the new program rooms and in the outdoor playground,

allowing their parents and siblings to go about their daily routine

knowing they’re safe and secure.

“It’s been such a benefit to our family,

to be part of a place like this,” Wendy

Trom said.

THEY’RE

Ms. Trom dropped off her son, Jackson,

at The Arc at least a couple mornings

each week this summer.

OUR PEOPLE.

Jackson Trom, 20, doesn’t say much, instead

grooving to the music on his mom’s

– Wendy Trom, parent

smart phone as she visits in The Arc lobby.

He’ll spend the morning in one of the

nonprofit’s supervised programs for the developmentally disabled, allowing

Ms. Trom to run errands and otherwise take care of family business.

“I can run an errand and not have to multi-task at the same time,” said

Ms. Trom.

Jackson Trom has required medical attention and other services “from

the get-go,” his mother said. Born three months premature, he was diagnosed

with autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder at the University

of Iowa’s Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD).

He’s received services at his public schools, but as he grew older, The

Arc became the Troms’ sole provider.

“They’re our people,” Ms. Trom said.

A product of the

Corridor Business Journal

Sept. 18, 2017

Steve Gravelle, writer

Miranda Meyer, photographer

Julia Druckmiller, designer

Judith Cobb, media consultant

2 THE ARC OF SOUTHEAST IOWA


Wide

range of

services

The Arc provides a wide

range of services: Day camp,

employment support, and

the development of the

skills clients such as Jackson

Trom will need to live as

independently as possible.

Key programs include:

> Respite care provides a safe, supervised

setting for Arc clients, freeing parents

and family members to conduct the

business of everyday life, or just get some

time for themselves.

Betsy Reisz said The Arc had to win the

trust of many families when it launched

its respite programs.

“’If you could get some relief time, a

couple hours a day, would you use it?’”

remembered Ms. Reisz, an early member

and board president in the late 1970s.

“The parents said ‘No.’ They didn’t think

anyone would know how to care for

someone with special needs. We started

a very small respite-care program, and of

course when people tried it, they were

very grateful.”

> Supported employment advisors

and coaches build clients’ skills to allow

the developmentally disabled to hold

jobs in the community.

Supported employment allowed Kendra

Spire, born with Down Syndrome, to

work 20 years in the kitchen at UI Hospitals

and Clinics visitors’ dining room.

An Arc job coach helped her learn how

to schedule her time and navigate her

daily commute on the bus.

“It takes special people to do that,”

Kendra’s mother, Sandy Spire, said.

“They’re all heroes, as far as I’m concerned.”

Arc client Marsha Monroe “has become

part of the family at Shakespeare’s,”

Suzi Spalj, owner of the Iowa City neighborhood

tavern, wrote in an email. Ms.

Spalj hired Ms. Monroe as a dishwasher

last year after expanding the kitchen.

She’s since hired another Arc client.

“She is a very hard worker and never

misses work,” Ms. Spalj wrote. “She is

positive, outgoing and brings an energy

that is contagious.”

“One of the fundamental rights of an

American citizen is the ability to be a part

of the fabric of our country,” said Julie

Christensen, director of the University of

Iowa’s University Center for Excellence

on Disabilities at its Center for Disabilities

and Development. “What

does it say of the value we

place on people with disabilities

when we say, ‘You

don’t have to work?’”

> Supported community

living (SCL) develops

the life skills the developmentally

disabled need to

live as independently as

possible.

“Just learning to cross

the street, learning to

make the right decisions,”

Ms. Trom said.

SCL services enabled Kendra Spire to

live in her own apartment.

“They know how to use telephones,

they know how to tell time” with the

IF YOU COULD GET SOME

RELIEF TIME, A COUPLE HOURS

A DAY, WOULD YOU USE IT?

– Betsy Reisz, early member and board president in the late 1970s

help of Arc social workers, Ms. Spire

said. “Those are all stumbling blocks

for these kids. They just cover so many

bases.”

Congratulations

on 60 years

of serving others!

Promoting dignity and growth for people

with disabilities and mental health needs.

1957 - 2017

3


~ Some important dates in the history of The Arc of Southeast Iowa ~

In April

1957 vocational

The Association for Retarded Children (ARC) is

founded by parents seeking an alternative to

institutionalizing their children with developmental

disabilities. Their focus is on educational, recreational,

and residential opportunities.

June

1959 1970 1971 1979 1989 1991

The Arc and Iowa City

Parks and Recreation

Department create the

Special Populations

Involvement program,

a partnership that

continues.

Organization becomes

the Association for

Retarded Citizens,

reflecting clients’

increased life

expectancy.

Seven Arc members

found Systems

Unlimited to provide

residential services

to Johnson County

residents. The Arc

also partners with

the Noon Kiwanis of

Johnson County and

Goodwill Industries

of Southeast Iowa to

improve vocational

opportunities.

The Arc purchases

a building at 1020

William St., Iowa City,

to house Systems

Unlimited services.

The Arc shifts focus to

in-home support

services as previous

four goals are met.

Federal Medicaid

waiver programs are

established, funding

services in clients’

homes. The Arc

begins offering respite

services – the only in

the area at the time.

4 THE ARC OF SOUTHEAST IOWA


Late

1990s

Supported Community Living (SCL) services offered as an alternative to residential

group homes. SCL allows individuals to remain in their own homes, with the

assistance to maintain their independence. Supported employment services

followed shortly, affording individuals the option of working in community-based

jobs rather than “sheltered” workshops available through Goodwill.

1992 2004 2007 2014 2016 2017

The Arc of Johnson

County name adopted;

offices relocate to

Eastdale Plaza.

Summer camp

programming offered

at camps for various

ages at three locations.

Name change to The

Arc of Southeast Iowa

reflects expansion into

surrounding counties.

Offices move to larger

building at 2660

Muscatine Ave., Iowa

City, allowing onsite

services.

Eastern Iowa’s first

fully accessible play

equipment installed

outside The Arc offices.

Sensory gardens

added to The Arc’s

outside recreational

area, helping

individuals with sensory

integration disorders

to better understand

their environment.

Daycare and

pre-school renovations

completed. These

services will be offered

onsite beginning the

fall.

WE ARE IN A WEIRD TIME WHEN POLICY AND

POLITICS ARE SO ENMESHED ... WE NEED THE

LEADERSHIP OF ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE ARC

WHO ARE IN IT FOR THE LONG GAME.

– Julie Christensen, director of the University of Iowa’s University Center for Excellence on Disabilities,

Center for Disabilities and Development.

1957 - 2017

5


Options

for a

lifetime

It all adds up to lifetime options the developmentally

disabled and their families didn’t

have when The Arc was founded in 1957.

“The agency is really focused on keeping

families intact,” said Chelsey Markle, The

Arc’s vice president of programs. “It’s a challenge

to provide all of those one-to-one services

in all of those areas of the community.”

The growth and development of new services

both reflect and inspired the evolution

in attitudes toward the developmentally

disabled and their capabilities, and society’s

obligation toward them.

“Every step of the way,” Ms. Reisz recalled.

“People think the government is going

to do it for us, but in the United States it

was the grass roots that forced the government

to act.”

Ms. Reisz’ daughter, Sarah, was born in

1972 with Down Syndrome. She joined

The Arc within months

of Sarah’s birth, becoming

president of its

board in 1977.

“It’s a real shock when

you have a child (and)

you don’t understand

the diagnosis,” said Ms.

Spire, whose daughter

also has Down Syndrome.

“I was looking

for some place for my

child where there were

some social opportunities

and maybe some

learning opportunities.”

Even in a relatively

progressive place like

Iowa City, options for

the developmentally disabled and their

families often came down to institutionalization.

Even the Center for Disabilities and

Development was once a residential facility.

“We do the best, with the best of intentions,

with the information we have at the

time,” Ms. Christensen said. “That in itself

was a progressive model at the time: why

not have the individuals closer to the quality

medical care that they need? So, a residential

facility was set up on the grounds of

the hospital.”

Then a single mother, Ms. Spire placed

Kendra Spire in a group home when she

was five years old.

“It broke my heart to leave her the first

week,” she said. So, she began volunteering

at The Arc.

“We were all with children with about the

same age and ability levels,” she recalled of

the other Arc families. “I had a job, and I

needed someone to help me with my child.

I had to find some kind of care plan for her.”

THE AGENCY IS

REALLY FOCUSED

ON KEEPING

FAMILIES INTACT.

– Chelsey Markle, The Arc’s vice president

of programs

6 THE ARC OF SOUTHEAST IOWA


Progress

through

the years

It wasn’t until 1977-78 that The Arc added its

first paid executive director – “very part-time,”

remembered Ms. Reisz, who with other board

members hired the late Christine Franson.

“We went to the United Way, and we got

$5,000 to pay partly for her salary and partly

for the respite care program,” she said. “That

was the total amount in our budget, except for

some dues, which wasn’t very much.”

Today, The Arc typically serves 350-400

families at any one time with 25 full-time staff

managing 400 part-time employees, executive

director Karen DeGroot said. The organization’s

current budget is just under

$2 million.

The Arc services are funded

through waivers, a term that itself

reflects the evolution in how

they’re delivered. Before 1991, state funding was

available only to those living in institutions. In 1991,

parents and caregivers could apply to waive the institutionalization

requirement and deliver services to

those outside institutions.

“This allowed parents and caregivers to receive assistance

from trained individuals at no cost to them

in their own home and in their own community,” Ms.

DeGroot explained in an email.

Waiver services have allowed both dignity and independence

to the recipient and their families as well

as a huge cost savings to the state.

“Right now is a particularly challenging time to be a

community provider to people with disabilities,” Ms.

Christensen said. “We are in a weird time when policy

and politics are so enmeshed. Even more so now we

need the leadership of organizations like The Arc who

are in it for the long game.” •

THE ARC

NUMBERS

350-400

families served

25

full-time staff

400

part-time employees

current budget

just under

$2 million

2620 Muscatine Ave.

Iowa City, Iowa

(319) 351-5017

www.arcsei.org

1957 - 2017

7


LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

URBAN DESIGN

PLANNING

Enhancing community value

and quality of life through

placemaking

DES MOINES

KANSAS CITY

CEDAR RAPIDS

SIOUX FALLS

MINNEAPOLIS

WE DESIGN BIG, OUTDOOR SPACES...

We are Landscape Architects. We design most everything built outdoors or outside of buildings. Don’t think bushes and backyards. Think big.

We develop large areas that affect thousands, like neighborhoods, sports complexes, aquatic centers, riverfronts and college and corporate

campuses.

www.thinkconfluence.com

AND THE “OUTSIDE” INSIDE CITIES...

We are Urban Designers. We develop new ways urban areas function to keep pace with change. Urban development efforts involve city

planners, community groups and various disciplines. Confluence often leads these efforts. Our collaborative approach and high-altitude

perspective supports our role as facilitators of the project vision.

AND ALL OUR PLANS INCLUDE YOU...

We are Planners. We help decide how outdoor spaces are used. To do so, we must consider government regulations, public opinion, eco-geosociological

conditions and site-specific issues. Each factor can be a costly hazard. That fact makes a well-managed, inclusive plan critical. It’s

why we must work smart and together to define, discover and develop plans which add value to a site.

NOTHING GREAT IS ACCOMPLISHED ALONE.

Great results require many people, guided by a managed process and working towards a shared purpose. Confluence is the place where all that

comes together. Here we convert collective input into great outcomes. We convert generic outdoor spaces into exciting, living places. Together,

we make destinations.

8 THE ARC OF SOUTHEAST IOWA

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines