The Arc Of The Capital Area: Combating Social Isolation Through Virtual Learning

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The Arc of the Capital Area (The Arc) provides services for more than 1,000 clients and their families with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) offering services in: education, employment, independent living, transition and educational advocacy, and dog therapy.

The term I/DD includes more than 100 I/DD diagnoses, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, and Down syndrome. Those served by The Arc of the Capital Area are one of the most vulnerable and often forgotten groups of people during the COVID-19 crisis. We all have very little control right now, and the unknown is scary; but for those served by The Arc, they have even less control, autonomy or ways to connect with others and need The Arc now more than ever.

Despite its physical office being closed to clients and the public since March 13th, The Arc has not missed a beat in providing all of its programs and services to clients to keep them involved, engaged, and active both mentally and physically.

On March 23rd, The Arc’s dedicated staff developed, implemented, and launched its vital virtual Arts & Education Program to existing clients. The Arc of the Capital Area follows Austin ISD protocol regarding closings. Since Austin ISD announced on April 3rd an indefinite closure of all campuses due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Arc is being proactive in its program initiatives.

While the AISD’s announcement means the educational setting will continue to look different for the weeks come, The Arc wants to share its newly developed program with those who have I/DD in the community and are in need of continued education and social interaction.

Starting Monday April 6, 2020, The Arc of the Capital Area will be opening enrollment to its virtual daytime Arts & Education classes to any individuals who experience I/DD. For details, see the attached flyer or visit www.arcaustin.org/virtual where registration is also available.

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