ERIC Number: EJ866336
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
It's Not Just a Job... It's a Career: The Arc of Northern Virginia's Co-Executive Director Program Serves as a National Model for "Creative Supported Employment"
Exceptional Parent, v39 n10 p26-28 Oct 2009
It started as an "experiment" three years ago, designed to answer the question: can a person with an intellectual disability (ID) or developmental disability (DD), with the right supports in place, take on a highly visible leadership position as Co-Executive Director of a major nonprofit organization? The "experiment" of job-sharing the role of Executive Director of The Arc of Northern Virginia has turned into a full-time career for two women--one with an intellectual disability, and one without--who have developed a unique position that encompasses running a mission-driven organization, fund-raising, advocacy, and education. With the support of a committed staff, board of directors, volunteers, and community, these individuals are changing the way that people throughout Virginia and the U.S. view the human potential of individuals with ID. This article features the Arc of Northern Virginia's co-Executive Director Program which serves as a national model for creative "supported employment" opportunities for people with ID. The Arc of Northern Virginia is a support, education, and advocacy organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and friends in the Virginia communities of Arlington and Fairfax Counties and the cities of Fairfax, Alexandria, and Falls Church. The Arc's co-Executive Director model has demonstrated that when given the opportunity to match skills with appropriate work settings, people with ID and DD will not only be happier, but will begin to think of work as a career...rather than a job with little to no potential for upward mobility.
Descriptors: Supported Employment, Job Sharing, Mental Retardation, Developmental Disabilities, Federal Legislation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act