Job Opening at The Arc of California: 

The Arc of California seeks a dynamic, experienced, and passionate Director of Community Organizing to lead statewide organizing efforts for the intellectual and developmental disability community. The Director will pursue a vision of justice and equity for the I/DD community and will help to build regional power through trainings, trust building, and coalition development.

The Arc of California, established in 1950, is a statewide advocacy organization with 23 chapters throughout the state dedicated to advancing and protecting the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Essential Qualifications and Skills
  • An idealist, visionary, and optimist;
  • Ability to get a lot of work done in a short of amount of time and do it while having fun;
  • Three to five years organizing experience;
  • Demonstrated competent communication skills, both oral and in writing, for a range of audiences (students, public officials, administrators, press, public, clergy, etc.);
  • Ability to develop power analysis that result in clear and winnable organizing strategies;
  • Experience working on public policy;
  • Fluent in English and at least one other language, preferably Spanish;
  • Experience in development of accountable and responsible leadership structures;
  • Proven experience in developing leaders;
  • Ability to grasp and distill complex concepts into clear and morally compelling messages;
  • Ability to inspire and motivate people to act;
  • Coalition builder with ability to work with diverse constituents and allies;
  • Tech savvy and computer and mobile proficient;
  • Team player who takes initiative and is entrepreneurial; must be able to work independently and collaboratively;
  • Car and drivers' license required;
  • Demonstrated commitment to human and civil rights in the health and human services sector;
Areas of Responsibility 
  • Contribute to a collaborative team at The Arc California;
  • Initiate community discovery process for each region;
  • Engage in at least 50 one-on-one meetings with identified regional advocates and leaders within 12 months and develop a political, cultural, economic, religious, social and relationship analysis of the region based on the one-on-one conversations;
  • With the guidance of the Executive Director and Organizing Committee, develop and execute strategic plan for identified regions;
  • Lead recruitment, research, and leadership development efforts;
  • Coordinate and attend regular meetings in identified regions;
  • Support the creation of sustainable and powerful community coalitions;
  • Report to Executive Director on successes, failures, roadblocks, and opportunities;

Location: Downtown Sacramento, CA
Travel: 20-40%
Benefits: The Arc California provides full health and dental insurance and a generous PTO schedule.

Application Process:
If you are interested in joining The Arc California, please email the following to Christian McMahon at
1) Resume
2) Cover letter that expresses the top reason/s you are interested in this position. Please include in your cover letter your required salary range. Address cover letter to "The Arc California Team"
3) At least two professional references

The Arc California does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, religion, race, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. The Arc California endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing act (FEHA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees who need accommodations.


#MeToo in the Disability Space: Intersectionality and Sexual Assault Discourse
at Occidental College  

Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in the Choi Auditorium at Occidental College, 1600 Campus Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90041
Description: Leigh Ann Davis, Director of Criminal Justice at the Arc of the United States and James Meadours, an experienced advocate for sexual assault prevention, and civil rights for people with disabilities, in conversation. 

Demand That the FDA Ban the Use of Shock Treatment

As you read this there is at least one treatment facility in the United States that uses electric shock as an aversive therapy. The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts forces some of its students to wear graduated electronic decelerators (GED), essentially electrodes, strapped to their bodies. These devices are powered by remote control. These devices are legal in our country.

The staff are not allowed to use their own discretion but are instructed to use the device whenever a student breaks any rule. There are reports of students at the school being shocked for infractions as small as standing up without permission, crying, and tearing a Styrofoam cup. The CBS Evening New
s obtained a video of a young man being restrained and shocked for not removing his jacket when he was told to. 

The scale and nature of these infractions does not matter. No human being should be subjected to electric shock. 

The practices at JRC came to light as a result of lawsuit filed by the young man in the CBS Evening News video. Andre McCollins was permanently injured in 2002 when he was restrained to a board and shocked thirty-one times within seven hours.
The lawsuit wasn't filed until 2012; ten years later. It takes a profound kind of bravery to stand up and ask for justice when one has suffered at the hands of people who were meant to be caretakers. 

There is a tendency in our culture to assume that medicine and the law have evolved to a point that is humane, to frame everything barbaric as having taken place in a removed past that none of us were part of. This assumption is dangerous. It makes looking away from injustice far too easy. 

By bringing this lawsuit Mr. McCollins called attention to the ongoing practices at the JRC. This suit made the fact that the use of electric shock in aversion therapy is still legal public knowledge. It is up to us to see that electric shock is banned.

Last month members of ADAPT held a twelve day vigil demanding that the FDA ban the use of electric shock. There are ways that those of us in California can get involved too. If you are moved to help, please c
all the FDA at 888-463-6332 and demand that they release the regulations that would ban electric skin shocks at the JRC. You can also contact Scott Gottlieb, the Director of the FDA via email at or via Twitter @SGottliebFDA
Christian McMahon, Communications Specialist, The Arc of California

April is National Autism Awareness Month

There is no doubt that people with Autism have a long history of being misunderstood, to say the least. If you spend even a small amount of time researching the history or historical accounts of Autism you can see that travesties of justice occurred in the name of treatment - isolation, shock therapies and many other aversive treatments that were thought to make individuals exhibiting certain behaviors "normal". In taking just under an hour to look through some of the historical articles and writings specific to research about autism and experiences of people with autism and their families and friend I am reminded of just how important creating, maintaining and promoting awareness really is. There is a substantial amount of literature about the "scientific" findings of the early years and how doctors and educators could "train" people that, sadly, they use to refer to in medical terms as idiots. Those historical words are hard to say and hard to hear and even harder to think about how dehumanizing the so-called treatments of the time were.

When I think about how and why changes have occurred over the years and where the demand for awareness originated I think of the incredible families that pushed back and refused to see there children or families members as less than any other child or human being. These parents, family members and friend are the individuals the really created the movement toward
inclusion and self-determination. As with any movement there is still progress to be made. As advocates we cannot rest until full and meaningful inclusion and self-determination are just part of every life for people with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. We cannot rest until aversive treatments in the name of "therapy" are abolished - it is appalling that today in 2018 there are still aversive treatments and shock treatments being used while we await and Federal Drug Administration regulatory action to a proposed ban on shock therapy devices. It is absurd that there is still an "education" center in Massachusetts that believes this type of treatment is anything but torture. Though public comment on this particular regulatory proposal is closed, and had been for almost 2 years, a final rule has yet to be issued. We will continue to follow this and advocate for a final rule abolishing this archaic and inhumane treatment. If you would like more information about the proposed rule click here.
Admittedly, that FDA rule was a detour from my initial intent in writing this article but nevertheless an important one. Getting back on track it is important to recognize that we have come a long way since the early days when it seemed all but a miracle that someone with "infantile autism" could be "trained" to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage that highlights the employment opportunities and talents of people with neurodiversity. The article is great and recognizes "Neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome," John Elder Robison, a scholar in residence and a cochair of the Neurodiversity Working Group at the College of William & Mary, writes in a blog on Psychology Today's website.

Throughout the month I encourage you to take a few minutes and look back at some of these articles from the early days up through the recent article in the Harvard Business Review. Let's take some time to appreciate how far we have come and celebrate the advocates - past, present and future - that keep Autism Awareness front and center. Below are a
couple articles that I found interesting.

For more information on National Autism Awareness Month click here.

Teresa Anderson, Policy Director, The Arc of California

A Need to Build Trust and to Organize!

The Golden Gate Regional Center held a Purchase of Service (POS) Disparity Public Meeting last week. Kudos for having the meeting in the evening when working parents could attend, and at the Support for Families with Children with Disabilities center in San Francisco instead of the Regional Center offices. Some families, especially Latino, are justifiably afraid of attending meetings in government agency buildings due to the pervasive ICE raids.

Regional Center Managers and Staff attended along with parents and family members. Translations and childcare were provided upon request. The purpose was to discuss the differences and gaps in regional center funded services for people with developmental disabilities in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties. But even more important, the Regional Center wanted to hear the communities' opinions, feelings, and feedback.

As you have read in my columns, I have been rather vocal about Racial Disparities in Services. So, I was honored to be personally invited by the meeting's presenter and facilitator, Hannah Said, Cultural and Diversity Specialist for GGRC. She gave a very good power point overview of why we were meeting, a breakdown of the system, terminology, disparity data breakdown, GGRC efforts to reduce disparities and then an open forum for community feedback.

I was impressed to hear Hannah address the disparity head-on, by referencing the differences in receiving and using services between people of white decent and other racial groups, that is indeed "White Privilege." White families in attendance were the first to admit that they were ardent advocates using every power and knowledge of the system to get services for their loved one. They didn't have the incredible language, education, and cultural barriers to overcome as other racial groups.

But one of the biggest barriers that the Regional Centers need to address is a five letter word that was emphasized by Hannah Said and mentioned in the last two Monday Morning Memos: TRUST! The DDS and Regional Center speakers at The Arc CA/UCP Public Policy Conference also emphasized the need for trust. A family can't develop trust with people who are not from their community or don't speak their language. A family can't share the shame they feel culturally for having a child with disabilities if they haven't built a trusting relationship with a case manager.

How can building trust happen if the Regional Center has 30 case manager vacancies, and especially with the medium recommended salary statewide of $35,000 annually. Add to that problem an incredible staff turnover, which makes relationship building even more impossible. In the meantime, Direct Support Professionals (support care givers) are stuck at minimum wage until DDS finally completes their rate study in 2019, with a recommendation for legislators to take action by maybe 2020-21!

We have a broken system that can't wait until 2021 to be fixed. A solution was mentioned at the meeting. We need to 'community organize'! We need more people from different groups, organizations, churches, synagogues, temples, young and old, et al, to know about this broken inequitable system. We can then build a powerful coalition to address nothing less than the Human and Civil Rights of people with disabilities that are being ignored and trampled!

Save the date for an incredible Community Organizing Workshop on April 28th, 9AM-3PM, Saturday in Pleasanton, CA. Building A New Narrative by Lead Community Organizers of the Gamaliel Foundation. Scholarships available. (see Flyer Below)

Tim Hornbecker,
 Community Advocacy Coordinator, The Arc of California

Get Involved

The Arc of the United States wants to hear from you about the disproportionate rate of minority students in special education. Click here to learn more and share your feedback. 





The Community Transportation Association along with its partners the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Institute for Community Inclusion of the University of Massachusetts-Boston is pleased to announce the availability of a new round of funding for local inclusive planning projects. CTAA, with financial support from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, and in collaboration with other federal and national partners, is making available grants of up to $35,000 each for up to 20 organizations for a six-month period. The new projects are expected to adopt inclusive strategies that fit their communities and build upon learning from previous projects. It is anticipated that the experience from these grants will add to the knowledge garnered from previous project and help to build recognition and support for inclusive planning across the U.S.

The purpose of the ARRT program (funded through NIDILRR's Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program) is to provide advanced research training and experience to individuals with doctorates, or similar advanced degrees, who have clinical or other relevant experience. ARRT projects train rehabilitation researchers (including those with disabilities) with particular attention to research areas that support the implementation and objectives of the Rehabilitation Act and that improve the effectiveness of services under this law.

Under this grant, applicants must propose a research project aimed at improving community living and participation outcomes of individuals with disabilities.
Under this grant, applicants must use knowledge and understanding gained from research to create materials, devices, systems, or methods beneficial to individuals with disabilities, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

More Grants Can Be Found at


The Arc of California posts job announcements in the Career Ladder section every week because we would like to contribute to steering quality candidates to professional positions that support people with disabilities and we are trying to communicate to Direct Support Professionals that there is a "career ladder" in their chosen profession.

The Arc of California seeks a dynamic, experienced, and passionate Director of Community Organizing to lead statewide organizing efforts for the intellectual and developmental disability community.  The Director will pursue a vision of justice and equity for the I/DD community and will help to build regional power through trainings, trust building, and coalition development.

Arc of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, Chief Operations Officer
Make a difference in people's lives and enrich your career.  The Arc Los Angeles & Orange Counties is a quality driven non-profit agency, with 13 programs, including a production and packaging center, serving hundreds of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  We have an opening for a full-time, experienced Chief Operations Officer. As a key member of the Executive Management team, the Chief Operations Officer will oversee and ensure the agency has the proper operational controls, administrative, and reporting procedures.  Additionally, the successful candidate will act as the agency safety compliance officer.
To be considered for this position send your resume and a cover letter to: 

The Public Health Director (Branch Director, Health & Human Services) is an at-will position appointed by, and reporting to, the Director of Health and Human Services. The incumbent oversees the Community Health branch's programs, staff, and budget.

Children's Services Division annually supports almost 700 children with intellectual and developmental delays and behavioral health needs and their families. 

The Chief Executive Officer/President enables PWI to adapt to and influence a dynamic environment. Working with and reporting to the Board of Directors, this role helps set policy and strategic leadership in concert with the mission, vision, purposes, and values of the organization. The CEO/President serves as the principal external representative of the organization and manages internal systems and complex processes of the organization to achieve effective and efficient operations. This position also directs budget development, fiscal responsibility and assures successful financial performance.

A job portal custom-designed for people on the autism spectrum. This portal is free for the autism community and developed in partnership between Autism Speaks and Rangam Consultants Inc.

mi Non-Profit Web Hosting provided by

The Arc of California, 1225 8th Street, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95814.  Office (916) 552-6619, Fax (916) 441-3494