SPARC Program Overview
The SPARC program is both a community-based program and a State-licensed adult training facility that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Lehigh, Northampton and surrounding Counties. The SPARC program operates Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and strives to provide person-centered services, utilizing a wide variety of service modalities including both individualized and group activities.
The SPARC program is designed to provide opportunities for people with IDD to explore interests, develop skills, and participate in their communities in a supportive, inclusive environment. SPARC addresses each person’s unique needs through a person-centered approach and helps program participants to develop daily living skills through communication, socialization, habilitation, and community integration.
The SPARC program delivers Community Participation Supports (CPS), which offers opportunities for personal growth, in integrated community settings. The SPARC program also delivers adult training facility services, which provides an accessible environment with adaptive equipment, to support individuals with ambulation challenges.
Program participants can choose to engage in a variety of core concentration options based on their abilities and personal choice that include:
Program participants learn and enhance work-related skills by volunteering their time and talents at a wide array of community partner sites across the Lehigh Valley. Some of the activities SPARC program participants assist our community partner sites in are light cleaning, hospitality, delivering and serving food, landscaping, clerical duties, wildlife and animal services, administration, and commerce activities.
Program participants enhance their social skills, develop relationships, and explore personal interests by visiting preference-based locations such as museums, stores, sporting events, parks, and community recycling centers. The Arc has a fleet of vans including wheelchair-accessible vans with lifts for those who benefit from this accommodation.
Daily Living Skills
Program participants are given the opportunity to learn or enhance their skills with the assistance of staff in areas such as personal hygiene, health and wellness, communication, money identification, coping skills, emergency procedures and managing their own lives with personal safety.
Program participants are offered services and training to support the acquisition, maintenance or improvement of functional skills, personal needs, communication, and personal adjustment. A Hoyer Lift, Sit-to-Stand and changing facilities are available.
Program participants can elect to participate in a variety of therapeutic modalities such as pet therapy, musical therapy, horticultural therapy, exercise, and Wildlands Conservancy sessions. (These activities are currently paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
How to Get Started in SPARC
SPARC is a State-licensed adult training program that supports individuals with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (IDD,) both in our facility and in the community, to obtain a rich and inclusive life.
To be eligible for The Arc’s SPARC Program, you must receive services through the Consolidated Waiver, P/FDS Waiver, Community Living Waiver or Base Funding in Lehigh and Northampton Counties.
To learn more about the waiver process, please visit your county’s website:
How to apply for a HCBS Waiver in Pennsylvania:
If your HCBS Waiver is approved, you will be enrolled in Home and Community Based Waiver Services. Next, you will be assigned a Supports Coordinator who will act as a liaison and will help you learn about and access available support services. If you are not eligible for an HCBS Waiver, there may be other funding options available, including base funding or private pay.
Ready to Visit The Arc and Learn More About SPARC?
Regardless of your current funding status, The Arc is happy to conduct SPARC program tours for all interested parties.
SPARC participants have the ability to select their level of programming based upon preference, safety and availability. A team meeting is held to discuss the services and a subsequent request for service approval is made by the Supports Coordinator. The County IDD system reviews this request to ensure it meets the parameters of the Service Definition and other regulatory guidelines. Once services are approved, they can be delivered as authorized.
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