KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 4, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
The Arc of Katy is now accepting applications for a new pilot program. The initiative will expand the opportunities they provide teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to those who cannot participate in their current in-person day program.
Jaden and his mother Tina participate in a virtual program. Photo: The Arc of Katy
The Arc of Katy, a non-profit organization, has been providing opportunities for local people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) for 30 years. Although modifications had to be made to their programs during the ongoing pandemic, they kept serving the community and making a difference in people’s lives.
Reaching Members During Pandemic
“Our instructors were worried about participants being so isolated and lonely at home, so they started producing exercise videos, and videos about a variety of interesting subjects,” says Amy Campbell, member of the Board of Directors and co-chair of The Arc of Katy Program and Communications committees.
The Arc has learned and grown from their pandemic modifications. They are operating a combination of in-person and online day programs for their participants while at limited capacity due to Covid-19 physical distancing precautions.
“There are some individuals who, because of their physical disabilities, transportation or other limitations, have not been able to participate in our programs in the past,” explains Campbell. “Once we learned of the ability to interact virtually on Zoom and other platforms, it gave us the ability to reach our participants and interact in real time which has been a huge success.”
‘VIP’ Sessions Connect Members and Instuctors
The Arc of Katy’s new pilot program, the Virtual Interactive Program (VIP), will be held each Wednesday with two online sessions for registered participants. Each 45-minute session is facilitated by an adult instructor experienced in working with teens and adults with IDDs.
A monthly social for the participants will also be offered.
“The Arc’s mission is to create opportunities for people with I/DD to be included as active members of the community throughout their lifetime,” says Campbell. “We realized this past year that by providing online programs we can engage and create opportunities for more people.”
Signing Up for the Pilot Program
Registration for the new VIP program is now open. The fee for VIP participation is $30 per day to cover costs of staff and supplies. Participants will be billed monthly and also need to be enrolled as members of The Arc of Katy. The annual membership dues for individuals and families are $75.
Register for the Arc of Katy’s VIP program here.
“The Arc of Katy VIP is aimed at providing new opportunities for social engagement for adults and teens age 16 and older with I/DD who are not able to participate in The Arc of Katy’s current programs and, if successful, will continue and potentially be expanded in the future,” says Campbell.
The Arc of Katy essentially began in 1989 with a group of Katy ISD staff and parents of students with IDDs. Their meeting led to founding the organization and the development of programs that help many Katy families.
Learn more about the Katy non-profit and their mission at their website.