Children who have a developmental disability are often not included in social events with their peers without disabilities. One of the core values of The Arc of Lancaster County and the S. June Smith Foundation is inclusivity. There are many programs for those with developmental disabilities that are set apart or segregated and this separation can lead to further isolation and lack of true spontaneous friendships.
The S. June Smith Foundation has funded a grant to support The Arc of Lancaster County in their Disability Awareness Training program. This program is designed for children ages 5-12 in achieving a greater understanding of their peers with disabilities. Their goal is to reach 3,500 elementary school students in 2016 and these services are free of charge to the schools or service organizations that participate. Trained personnel will present information showing that all people have challenges and value.
The Arc of Lancaster County’s mission is empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead full, satisfying, independent lives of their choice. This is accomplished by providing advocacy, community education, quality of life training and referral for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and families.