Recently The Arc of Indiana held our Annual Legislative Breakfast to celebrate the great work of two wonderful lawmakers.
Senator Vaneta Becker from Evansville received our Lifetime Achievement Award for championing issues important and critical to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. She is so worthy of this recognition that no words can adequately describe why she is so deserving. Each session, she reaches out to The Arc at the state and local level to see how we are affected by proposed legislation and takes it upon herself to get educated on the issues. For all of her years of service, we are grateful to call her a champion of The Arc.
Representative Tim Brown from Crawfordsville received our 2011 Public Policy Award. In years past, we have recognized lawmakers for passing important legislation, this year we did something better. Last session Representative Brown stood beside The Arc as legislation was being considered. What could have been devastating language to services and programs became less harmful because of his support. He stood up to the Administration and challenged how we could do better without jeopardizing services critical to people with disabilities.
We are so fortunate to have many champions walking the hallways at the Indiana State House. We have challenging times ahead of us; but, with good lawmakers we can make these challenging times some of the best times in creating a stronger system of services and supports for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
Kim Dodson is The Arc of Indiana’s Associate Executive Director