CDC Resources is an outgrowth of parents and guardians that came together 49 years ago to bring needed services to children and adults with disabilities in our communities. The organization has undergone significant growth in terms of services and made efforts to advocate on behalf of those individuals served and their families. CDC has been far more successful in being a quality provider than as an advocate. Our advocacy focus is from the perspective of a provider, which while beneficial, has a bias tied to its self-interest.
For the past 15 years, CDC has been an active participant in the Arc of Indiana through the Carroll County Arc and Benton County Arc chapters. White, Jasper, and Newton counties have not had Arc chapters for many years. While the agency has directly benefited from the state and national Arc services we have not contributed to their support other than occasional purchases of computer equipment. The organization is at a stage in its development that it must step forward to create and support an advocacy component for local families.
Our heart is with the individuals we serve but we are often pulled towards decisions based on fiscal and efficiency needs of the agency. The CDC Resources Board of Directors recognize that we must support a local Arc chapter that provides a vehicle for parental input and participation that does not presently exist in our community. This does not change our mission but would affect certain educational and legislative efforts that might be more successful if done by a separate entity. There are similar models throughout the state. The Hoosier Prairie Arc could develop its own fundraising capacity over time and support summer recreation programs, family support meetings for school age children, community education activities, Special Olympics and serve to rally support for disability issues.
Initially, CDC will provide organizational resources and some base funding to empower family initiatives within the three county chapter in addition to chapter dues reflecting CDC’s budget. The expectation is that seed funding would decrease as the chapter develop its own fiscal strength. The Arc of Indiana is interested in working closely with this new chapter to develop different ways to communicate that work over the relatively large geography (1400 square miles roughly the size of Rhode Island) of Jasper, Newton, and White counties. CDC will continue to provide professional and operational support for the Hoosier Prairie Arc.