The Arc, the nation’s largest organization supporting the rights and quality of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families, held its annual convention in Washington D.C. from Friday, October 11 through Monday, October 14. AHRC New York City had a number of presenters at a conference sharing ideas on how to move the I/DD field forward using some of the organization’s best practices. In addition, Harriet GoldenVice President of Programs and Service Innovation, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Arc’s National Conference of Executives.

AHRC NYC Presents

“Food for Good: Building Community through Social Change” kicked off the presentations for AHRC NYC on Saturday. Andrew Pfadt-TrillingDirector of Quality Improvement for Adult Day Services (ADS); Joyce MinaultCommunity Support Supervisor at Brooklyn Day Habilitation; and Vivian Murray, a self-advocate, spoke about their experience organizing the MLK Day of Service and how it contributed to increasing AHRC NYC’s presence in three neighborhoods.

I wanted to fight for people who can’t speak up the way I can speak up,” Vivian said. She explained how the Day of Service focused on providing food to the needy in the Lower East Side, Bushwick, and Crown Heights, three NYC communities that have undergone drastic change and face increasing economic inequality. Andy said that similar efforts have continued over the past few months in an effort to continue the success of MLK Day year-round.

Following them, leadership from AHRC NYC’s Employment and Business Services (EBS) presented “The Hedgehog Concept for Business Engagement and Diversifying Employment Opportunities.” “We need to make sure businesses understand what we can do for them when they hire a person with I/DD,” said Steve TowlerVice President of Programs & Business Development. He was joined by Shauna LozadaDirector of Corporate Partnerships & Business Development, and Michele ShapiroAssistant Director of Employment & Business Services.

The “hedgehog concept” is based on a Greek parable that states “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” EBS focuses on getting people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment while sustaining relationships with businesses of all types. Steve, Shauna, and Michele spoke extensively about AHRC NYC businesses such as Hudson River Services and