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Advocacy


Advocacy for Adults and Transitional Age Individuals

The Arc of Lehigh and Northampton Counties is the only local provider of Adult Advocacy Services for those adult and transitional age individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or developmental delays that may be experiencing issues that infringe upon their quality of life. While the adult system has historically experienced limited funding, the Arc continues to provide advocacy services free of charge for individuals living with an intellectual disability and/or developmental delay. Our Advocates are here to help families navigate the somewhat cumbersome adult, regulatory guidelines and offer advice and assistance in a wide variety of issues, ranging from employment to residential and community programs, and can provide assistance at agency planning meetings. The Arc and its Advocates remain vigilant in protecting the rights and safety of each individual with whom we work..

Education Advocacy

Since its founding in 1949, the Arc of Pennsylvania has been a leader in advocating for individuals with an intellectual disability and/or developmental delay to protect their right to a free, public education. And in 1972 filed suit against Pennsylvania’s Board of Education and Department of Public Welfare of behalf of 13 children who were being denied access to free public education. It was because of this landmark lawsuit that the Commonwealth agreed to devise a plan to identify, locate, evaluate and train all school-age children with intellectual disabilities and developmental delays. This historic action led to the federal law known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA, which affords a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to all students with disabilities. This law was later reauthorized and is now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) The Arc of Lehigh and Northampton Counties is the area’s only free-of-charge provider of Advocacy services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and developmental delays who are facing challenges in receiving the proper educational supports to be successful. Our Advocates can offer expert advice and assistance on such topics as issues related to the individual’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), classroom placement, and providing for reasonable physical accommodations, among others. Families are asked to partner with our Advocates in developing an action plan that will ultimately lead to the family gaining the necessary skills to be their own effective, self-advocate.

Important Information

The Advocacy Department welcomes to the opportunity to assist all those in need in our communities. If you are contacting us for the first time, please visit the Intake Portal found in this link (insert link here). For those families that are unfamiliar with the process or for those who have not utilized our services in a period of time, inside this portal you will find a detailed description, not only of the intake process, but also of what you may expect to experience in a typical advocacy life-cycle. If you are contacting us regarding a new issue you will be asked to answer a few questions about the individual and the topic for which they are requesting assistance, as well as completing an intake form. Doing this will allow our Advocacy Department to begin assisting you in the most efficient and effective manner possible. You can also contact our Advocacy Department by e-mailing us at advocacyintake@arcoflehighnorthampton.org

The Arc of Lehigh and Northampton Counties is a non-profit organization as defined by IRS regulations. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

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