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COVID-19 Update from The Arc of Alachua County



The Arc of Alachua County's Day Program is still closed due to COVID-19. Governor DeSantis moved Florida to full Phase One reopening on Monday, however long term care facilities remain on quarantine and 'No Visitation Orders.' This is a new development as many assumed that the isolation and 'No Visitation Order' would expire in 30 days as originally implemented. This is an example of how the COVID-19 response remains fluid. We need to pay attention to all statewide and local directives because these directives are initiated and then adjusted (if necessary) based upon state and local infection rates. Florida moved into full Phase One reopening despite the COVID-19 infection still spreading in Florida. Governor DeSantis stated in his most recent press conference that the spread of the virus within Florida is mostly occurring in environments like long term care facilities and areas in southern Florida, like Miami. For this reason, long term care facilities remain under the quarantine and 'No Visitation Order.' This includes APD-licensed Group Homes. The Governor's strategy is to target stronger mitigation strategies where they are most needed instead of holding back the entire State. At this point, we do not know how long this order will be in effect. Meanwhile, The Arc of Alachua County is focusing on the testing of our clients and employees for the virus, and planning our reopening phases. All updates regarding our reopening will be disseminated by email, our website, and social media.


We will continue to keep you advised via direct email, social media, and The Arc of Alachua County website at www.arcalachua.org





Report Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Report any confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to: APD NE Region by contacting APD Northeast Region Office: (904) 992-2433; 3631 Hodges Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (Report as Critical Incident to APD) Alachua County Health Department at (352) 334-7900






2020 Bob Rose Golf Scramble Moved To Friday, October 9th Due To COVID-19



Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the 2020 Bob Rose Golf Scramble has been rescheduled for Friday, October 9 at 12:30 p.m. at the gorgeous Haile Plantation Golf & Country Club. Golfers and volunteers will once again enjoy lunch from David's BBQ, a seafood boil dinner from Wahoo Seafood, music from Mr. October DJ, and a Silent Auction of cool prizes after the scramble concludes.


Cash prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place foursomes. We also will hand out sweet prizes to the winners of the longest drive, longest putt, and closest to the pin winners. The devilishly tricky No. 8 Hole at Haile will once again serve as our Hole-In-One Hole where you can get your photo taken with host Bob Rose and where you can try to win a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle from our good friends at Gainesville Harley-Davidson with a hole-in-one. For more information on this year's Bob Rose Golf Scramble, contact Dr. Mark A. Johnson at 352-246-3516 or mjohnson@arcalachua.org.

Of course, we could not have such long-term success with this golf fundraiser without the unbelievably generous support of our incredible sponsors and vendors. So here's to our favorite people and businesses in town:


Event Sponsors:



Hole Sponsors:





2020 Gear Up Florida Friendship Visit Cancelled


The 2020 Ability Experience/Gear Up Florida Friendship Visit scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Arc of Alachua County’s main campus has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Although we are sorry to have to cancel this year’s event, we look forward to next year’s bicyclist rally in May of 2021.









Rest In Peace Thomas 'Tommy' Turner


Members of the Arc Family paid their final respects to Thomas 'Tommy' Turner on March 5th in a lovely service at Westside Baptist Church. The beautiful ceremony was highlighted by a moving message and song by Rev. Chauncy, a loving tribute in the form of a poem by Elmer Denson, and great remembrances of Tommy's smile, joy, and love of life. We thank everyone who had a hand in honoring our beloved Tommy, including The Arc's Johnny Adams and Elmer Denson and Westside Baptist Church's Rev. Chauncy. Special thanks and heartfelt gratitude go out to Jon Thomas, Steven Dunn, and the incredible team at Forest Meadows Funeral Home. Forest Meadows donated all of the professional funeral services for Tommy & the Arc when they heard we were in need!

Here are some photos for any of you who might have been unable to attend this lovely service:














Beetlejuice 2020











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Arc Client Safety Enhanced As Arc Employees Trained on Active Assailant Protocol



Arc Leadership Team members, supervisor, directors and group home managers received Active Assailant Training from certified trainer Deputy Cary Gallop with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office (ACSO). The first half of the training was devoted to learning how to spot potential assailants and how to react to protect our clients. Going through the various possible responses available to our staff in an Active Assailant scenario, Deputy Gallop shared examples of how to respond in one of three different ways: "Run" - "Hide" - "Fight." Arc employees asked a series of tough, pointed questions regarding how best to protect our clients, many of whom are not ambulatory or are not able to "run" or "walk quickly" to exit the building or group home. Deputy Gallop was very familiar with institutions, buildings and homes like The Arc's, and was able to discuss how best to protect the safety of our vulnerable clients.


The second part of the training included a variety of Active Shooter scenarios, played out for Arc staff. Arc employees had the opportunity to respond to shooter scenarios using responses from passive to aggressive. The more passive responses included evacuation of the group home or building, running away from the assailant, barricading the clients in a safe office; to more aggressive techniques like grabbing at the nose or muzzle of the assailant's gun, throwing objects at the assailant to distract him, or having a crowd of folks try to jump him if all else fails. At the end of the training, all attendees were provided maps to their individually-assigned group home, department, building or campus. Each map included details of their location along with the locked, secured doors noted in red. These maps will be posted at all Arc sites/locations. Moreover, all clients and employees will conduct drills on Active Assailant procedures specific to each site from now on based on Dep. Gallop's Active Assailant training.


Together with help from Deputy Gallop and the ACSO, The Arc of Alachua County is making all of its locations, buildings, homes and campuses, safer places for clients, employees, families, friends, and visitors. The Arc's Leadership Team is committed to making The Arc a safe environment for everyone. The Arc will ensure that, if we are ever in need of deploying this training, we are ready to use it and use it effectively in a way that best safeguards the safety and well-being of our clients and employees.




Hear Arc Executive Director Mark A. Swain on WSKY (97.3 FM) and WKTK (98.5 FM) Radio



Arc-2-Work is the Arc of Alachua County’s unique grant-funded project giving high-school students and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities workplace skills, volunteer opportunities and integrated community work experiences. Arc-2-Work is free for all participants and runs year long, with open enrollment. Please contact Arc-2-Work by calling 352-334-4060 and asking for Kim Johnson or the Arc-2-Work Program. Enroll today!



Click on the button below to hear Mark's radio spot, playing now on WSKY 97.3 FM and WKTK 98.5 FM.






Arc Annual Meeting & Recognition Event Shines



The smiles on the faces of Representative Clovis Watson, Jr. and Mark A. Swain (above) were replicated on the 150 Arc employees, clients, guests and 'Friends of Arc' in attendance at the October 30th Arc Annual Meeting. Rep. Watson provided an inspiring oration focused on the principles he learned from family, friends and mentors growing up in Alachua and from his experiences in his 35 years of public service. He urged our clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities to learn self-reliance, independence and determination. He also emphasized the importance of education, love, personal responsibility and dreaming. After a standing ovation for Rep. Watson's Keynote Address, Arc Executive Director Mark A. Swain and President of the Arc Board of Directors, Stephen Tanner, led the audience through a brief annual meeting highlighted by an impassioned plea from Mark to meet the challenges coming in the months and years ahead to better integrate people with I/DD into the community. He also asked that all 'Friends of Arc' lobby the State of Florida legislature for a rate increase so that The Arc of Alachua County can increase the pay for Direct Support Professionals (DSP's) in our Day Programs this year.


Mark Johnson than announced our Volunteer of the Year, Kandy Penner. Kandy spent nearly 1,000 hours assisting Mark A. Swain and a myriad of Arc staff members in improving our internal Person-Centered Planning processes. Kandy was the first of many outstanding 'performers' that were honored at the annual meeting. Danielle Towery led our guests through the most enjoyable portion of the evening - recognizing outstanding employees and clients. Some of these noteworthy individual award winners included:

  • Johnny Adams, who was recognized for his 25 years of service to the organization
  • Barbara Decoursey and Renae Cook, who were named Direct Support Professionals (DSP's) of the Year for 2018-2019
  • Karen Madden, who was named Employee of the Year for 2018-2019
  • Tommy Turner, who was named Client of the Year for 2018-2019




The Arc wants to thank Rep. Clovis Watson, Jr., The Village Retirement Community, Renaissance Printing, Jasmine Green, and the wonderfully generous sponsors who made this fantastic event possible:

  • Florida Food Service & The Islam Family
  • The Chini Family
  • Renasant Bank
  • Tom & Joan Rothrock
  • Naomi Williams
  • Todd & Jessica Baker
  • Eric & Nicholle Parker
  • Pat Beach
  • Rebecca Guinagh
  • Digestive Disease Associates
  • ABA Associates
  • James Moore & Co.



The Arc of Alachua County’s LiveScan Fingerprinting, Screening & Photo Capture Service is Open For Business!



The Arc of Alachua County offers LiveScan digital fingerprinting services, screening, and photo capture services each workweek, Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. If you need fingerprinting done fast, local, and at a reasonable cost, please call The Arc at 352-334-4060 ext. 100 to schedule an appointment.

All requirements met for:

  • Agency for Healthcare Information (AHCA)
  • The Department of Children & Families (DCF)
  • The Clearing House for AHCA
  • Volunteer & Employee Background Service (VECHS)
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)
  • Local School System
  • and more...

For more information about The Arc's LiveScan service, click on the LEARN MORE button below.

Learn More »





Celebrating Ability... Creating Opportunity


Mission

The Arc of Alachua County is a community based organization committed to providing a continuum of exemplary services, supports, and advocacy to assure that people with developmental disabilities can enjoy respect and dignity and be full participants in the community.

Who Is The Arc?

The Arc of Alachua County is a community based organization committed to providing a continuum of exemplary services, supports, and advocacy to assure that people with developmental disabilities can enjoy respect and dignity and be full participants in the community.

Who Is The Arc

The Arc has a rich history spanning 60 years and marked by accomplishment. We continue to carry out the mission and vision of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their parents and siblings.

Over the last 60 years, The Arc has grown and adapted to the changes that people with disabilities face across their life span. Through the decades, The Arc has seen several name changes, advocated for the passage of state and federal legislation on behalf of people with disabilities and established a broad network of state and local chapters that range from small voluntary groups to large, professional organizations.

Although much has changed for those that we serve, we always try to raise awareness, supporters, and always help improve the lives of the intellectually and developmentally disabled.

ARC Shredding

We Shred!

Did you know that The Arc shreds? We will shred your confidential documents and personal papers in our Gone4Ever Shredding Program.

The Arc charges $0.32 per pound for its shredding service. The Arc's shredding service is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our main campus located across from Santa Fe College. The Arc's Gone4Ever shredding service is a certified member of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID).

The Arc of Alachua County's shredding service makes it Gone4Ever!

Take A Look At Us

I am sure it is no surprise to you, but people always want to know what we have been up to around The Arc and at our events. Our followers on facebook get to see quite a few or our pictures, but the rest of you are left in the dark.

Well even though everyone should be our fans on facebook, we still decided to put up a gallery of images to show some of the highlights from the major events we have had this year.

Every year we hold several events we consider picture worthy. But dont worry, you will probably see some other, "non event" pictures sneak in as well. If you have a good picture you would like to share, stop by The Arc and let us scan it and share it as well.

We hope to keep the new gallery up to date throughout the year, so check back and enjoy.

See Photo Gallery »

The Arc of Alachua County – 
3303 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32606  – 
352-334-4060


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