If you or someone you love experiences an intellectual or developmental disability, you’ve come to the right place.
From birth to old age, The Arc of Anchorage has a full array of disability services for Alaskans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Alaskans we serve and their families are free to choose disability services that best meet their needs. We recognize each person we serve has specific dreams, ambitions and interests, as well as aptitudes and abilities apart from the disability he/she experiences. Our services are individually tailored to meet the needs and goals of each person we serve. Read more…
March 29, 2013
The Arc of Anchorage and Alaska World Affairs Council would like to invite you to lunch with John Donvan and Dr. Thad Woodard to discuss Autism: A Global Story. The lunch program will be recorded and replayed on Dr. Woodard’s program, Line One: Your Health Connection on KSKA the following Monday.
April 12, noon to 1:30
Hilton Anchorage Hotel
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Alaska World Affairs Council.
John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News’ “Nightline” based in Washington, D.C., and was an occasional substitute anchor for former anchor Ted Koppel. In a career that spans more than two decades for ABC News, Donvan has served as Chief White House Correspondent, Chief Moscow Correspondent, Amman Bureau Chief, Jerusalem Correspondent and Correspondent for the ABC News Magazine “Turning Point.”
More recently Donvan has received positive reviews for his work covering the war in Iraq as a unilateral reporter, for which the Chicago Sun Times named him one of the ten War Stars.
The first part of Donvan’s career was shaped as a foreign correspondent, beginning at the age of 25 for ABC Radio in 1980. In 1982 the network promoted him to television reporter. He was assigned to Jerusalem on the West Bank and the rest of the Arab world. From 1985 to 1988, he worked for CNN as a London-based correspondent, covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. His live reporting on the U.S. bombing of Libya was likened to the work of Edward R. Murrow by the New York Daily News.
Donvan rejoined ABC in 1988. Based first in London and later Moscow, he covered nearly all of the major news events overseas through the 1980s and the 1990s, including the collapse of Communism (he was in Red Square the night the Soviet flag came down, and in Romania when Nicolae Ceausescu was arrested), the Iran-Iraq War, both Persian Gulf Wars, two Royal Weddings, the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the bombing of the marine barracks in Beirut and the end of the nuclear arms race).
Donvan returned to New York in 1993, where he contributed to ABC News’ magazine programs and “World News Tonight” and occasionally served as an anchor on “Good Morning America” and Weekend News broadcasts. In 1997 he was assigned to the network’s Washington bureau and the White House beat, covering the campaign finance scandal and the president’s travels abroad. He joined “Nightline” in 1998 and continues as one of that program’s small cadre of correspondents. He was an occasional substitute anchor for Ted Koppel, and hosted many interviews for “Nightline’s” production of “UpClose.”
Donvan has won two Emmy Awards, several Overseas Press Club Awards and two Cine Golden Eagles, and has been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists, the Committee of 100, and the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans.
A magna cum laude graduate from Dartmouth College and the Columbia School of Journalism, Donvan and his wife, Dr. Ranit Mishori, have one son, Ben, and a daughter, Noa.
Dr. Thad Woodard has a BS degree in chemistry from Bowling Green University and a medical degree from the University of Tennessee Medical Units in Memphis, Tennessee.
Following residency training in pediatrics, also at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Woodard worked for two years as a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and was assigned to Alaska where he worked with the State of Alaska Division of Public Health. After completing this assignment, Dr. Woodard entered private practice as a pediatrician in 1980 and currently continues to work as a pediatrician in Anchorage with a special interest in allergy and asthma.
While working as a pediatrician, Dr. Woodard gained in interest in public broadcasting as a method of educating the public about medicine, medical care, and science. After a couple of appearances as a guest of JoAnn Chasman on Line One: Your Health Connection, Dr. Woodard became the host and producer in 2000 when Chasman moved to Chicago with her husband. He remains interested in practicing pediatrics and promoting reliable health information to the public. Dr. Woodard has been married to his wife Linda for 34 years and has four daughters.
March 18, 2013
Robert Apone and his family have been part of The Arc family for many years. We’ve watched Robert grow from a teenager into a young adult, eager for his first job. Like many, Robert and his family see this as an important rite of passage from childhood to adult.
Two years ago, Robert added job training to his personal goals. It was clear he would need a lot of coaching to learn the basic work skills required for any job, but he was determined and his father James was his partner and advocate in this. With all that going for him, good things were bound to happen.
Sometimes the hardest part of job coaching is figuring out what kind of job a trainee is best suited for. This is not just a question of job skills, but interest and enthusiasm. We all know it’s easier to go to work every day when you like your job and your boss – so making sure there’s a good fit is one of the most important predictors of success on the job.
One day, Robert and his father were going to UAA’s bookstore, adjacent to which is the outdoor playground for Tanaina Child Development Center.
That day, one small child was off by himself near the fence, clearly unhappy. Robert made a beeline for the child. Staff members were understandably concerned about his intent, so they moved in closer. What they saw amazed them: Robert put his hand up against the fence, palm open, and talked quietly to the little boy, who raised his eyes from the ground and then his little hand, matching his fingers to Robert’s on the other side of the fence. He stopped crying and began smiling. A few minutes later he ran off to join his peers.
It was clear that Robert had a gift for relating to children. The staff who observed this interaction became his champion. But like all day care centers, there are many, many rules and regulations governing the hiring process for the protection of the children . . . fingerprints, background checks, references, etc. Then there were personnel changes midway through, which set the process back. Robert persevered through the long delays and once again wowed everyone in the “hands on” part of his job interview, where he would be interacting with the children.
As he got over his initial shyness, Robert became a magnet. They gravitated toward him and literally attached themselves to him. The decision to hire him was made in that moment.
Playing with the children is an important part of the job, but Robert is also responsible for cleaning, restocking supplies, and sanitizing toys, chairs, and other surfaces, and organizing cubbies.
Here’s an excerpt from a report by The Arc’s job developer on his first day of work:
“Robert was immediately greeted by numerous teachers and children with hellos and handshakes, then he was given the name tag that all teachers wear pinned to their shirts. Robert was grinning from ear to ear. He was welcomed by Director of Staff Helen Coe and given his own mailbox. As we were saying our goodbyes at the end of his shift, I told him how proud I was of him . . . and I must admit, the smile on Robert’s face brought a lump to my throat. I am not one to cry, but I have never been as moved as I was today in a work environment.
“This first day was a long time in the making – almost two years – and involved the efforts of so many people. The end result – the happiness we saw on Robert’s face – was worth every second that was spent in getting to this day!”
January 21, 2013
Antilano Gavino walked through the doors of The Arc of Anchorage Recreation Center not knowing what to expect, but with a desire to help people and stay active during retirement. He was part of a group of Anchorage seniors volunteering through the Senior Companion Program. That was thirteen years ago.
Antilano is a soft-spoken man who cares about people and enjoys helping them. Five days a week, he boards an AnchorRides bus bound for The Arc. From 9 am to 1 pm, Antilano works with people in the Recreation Center, providing whatever help they need to participate in center activities. He is known for his skill in making perfect hot cocoa and routinely brings enough crackers in his lunch to share with others.
The people he serves affectionately call him “grandpa,” a title he embraces.
Currently, there are four seniors volunteering at The Arc through the Senior Companion Program. The program is part of Senior Corp, a federal corporation connecting seniors 55 and older with people and organizations that need them. Currently about 500,000 Americans serve through Senior Corps sharing their experience, knowledge, and skills. The goal of the Senior Companion Program is to match seniors with adults in the community who have difficulty with day-to-day living. Senior companions receive a small hourly stipend for their service.
Studies have linked volunteering with longer life and creating a positive outlook. In a report titled “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research,” researchers found people who volunteer regularly have lower mortality rates, increased cognitive ability, and lower rates of depression.
Antilano wears a pin on his red vest just above his name badge. It was recently presented to him by the Anchorage Senior Activity Center to celebrate thirteen years of community service. That pin represents the thousands of hours he has volunteered and hundreds of lives he has made brighter by his presence. According to Antilano, he gets the better end of the deal because before coming to The Arc he spent his days with nothing to do. Over thirteen years, Antilano has learned many new things and met many “grandkids” he didn’t know before becoming a Senior Companion.
Volunteers are an important part of The Arc. There is a saying that people share what they have in abundance, whether it is time, talent, or treasure. The Arc can use whatever you have in abundance to help Alaskans who experience intellectual or developmental disabilities achieve success.