March Madness 2012
National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Local faith-based and educational institutions joined businesses and community members to support Arc Mid-South’s 2012 March Madness. The Anointed Temple of Praise, Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church and Christ United Methodist Church were sites for the organization’s observance of National Developmental Disabilities Month.  During the month of March, The Arc hosted four events to raise awareness of the challenges encountered by people who have intellectual and physical disabilities.

The observance kicked-off at Christ United Methodist Church with a talent showcase that featured Arc’s students.  All students who use Arc’s services have physical and/or intellectual disabilities.  So, the Showcase was an opportunity to display their unique talents and gifts while promoting awareness of the services the agency provides to the greater Memphis community. 

More than 4,500 Tennesseans with severe disabilities will lose essential services if funding for the Family Support Program is not restored by June 30, 2012.  Therefore, as its second event for National Developmental Disabilities Month, The Arc Mid-South took advantage of an opportunity to garner the support of state legislators during The 2012 Disability Days on the Hill.  The agency galvanized its students and families to join staff and other supporters to travel to the State Capitol on February 29 and March 14, 2012 to speak with Legislators and rally for the continued funding of the program.  

“Life after High School” was the theme of The Arc’s annual job readiness workshop. Memphis and Shelby County high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in special education classes, along with students who are enrolled in Arc Mid-South’s Life, Education, Training Skills Program (L.E.T.S.)  participated in the two-day event which was held at The Anointed Temple of Praise.

On the first day, workshop participants attended information sessions about a variety of topics including goal setting, interviewing skills, employment planning and effective communication. Mr. Vernon Magnum, Operations Group Leader of Cummins, Inc. was the keynote speaker during the plenary session.
Maurice Williams, Administrative Operations Director with the University of Memphis addressed the students during the second day’s general session. After Mr. Williams’ speech, the students met with potential employers to discuss employment opportunities. They also attended informational sessions about vocational rehab, transitioning to work, and self-determination.

Hershey’s Company was named the 2012 Hoops from the Heart champions as The Arc of the Mid-South culminated its observance of National Developmental Disabilities Month on March 31, 2012. Corporate teams including employees of the Shelby County Sherriff’s Office, Nike, Hershey’s, Sam’s Club, Cargill and Corning Mill competed against The Rollin’ Grizzlies in Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church’s gym during the annual Hoops from the Heart Basketball Tournament.  The Rollin’ Grizzlies is a local team of men and women who have physical disabilities which is sanctioned by the National Wheelchair Basketball Associations.
The Arc Mid-South is grateful to all who support the organization’s goal to raise public awareness of people with disabilities and their special needs.

2012 Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Champions



Highlights from March Madness Kickoff & Star Talent Showcase, Job Readiness Workshop and Disability Days on the Hill 2012


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