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ARC Broward

ARC Broward’s mission is to transform the community by providing opportunities for people with disabilities and other life challenges to realize their full potential. Our vision is to be recognized as the premier organization in the community serving people with disabilities.


$75,000

Awarded

Who Did the Grant Help?

The project targets children and adults, including seniors, with developmental disabilities ranging in ages from 3 – 80 years. Individuals are currently enrolled in our preschool, afterschool/camp, transition, employment and adult day programs. See pictures in Attachment B.

Historically, children and adults with disabilities have been late adopters to the world of technology. Nearly every study finds that individuals with developmental, medical or physical challenges are largely disconnected from the world of technology. As technology plays an increasingly central role in connecting people of all ages to information, services, resources, and opportunities for social support, these divisions are especially noteworthy.

What Problem Did the Grant Solve?

During ARC Broward’s recent Strategic Planning exercise, the need to incorporate technology into ARC Broward’s programs was identified as a major area of need, specifically related to achieving great outcomes for the children and adults we support. As a result, a “Wildy Important Goal” (WIG) was prioritized to create learning environments using emerging technology in all of our classrooms, residential programs, etc. Making better use of technology as a main component in our programs will ensure that the highest quality services are delivered so that those we support can achieve their goals and learn in exciting, motivating ways. Most importantly, integrating technology into our programs will help prepare our children, adults and seniors for the elaborate world they will face going forward. With the use of the First Nonprofit funding, we were are to complete Phase 1 of our robust technology enhancement project that was used to purchase a plethora of technology as detailed in Attachment A. The technology was incorporated in many aspects of teaching, learning working and playing throughout the various programs.

What Was the Impact of the Grant?

Since our students and participants have joined the world of technology to learn, work and play, the dependence and usefulness of such has become an integral part of their daily lives and routines:

  • Video games and technology are now used to get their bodies and minds moving. In our day programs, preschool, afterschool and transition programs, we have begun to recognize the social, recreational and exercise benefits that games and technology offer their minds and bodies.
  • Instructional staff and teachers report that the children, transitioning youth and adults are staying focused for longer periods of time, are more excited to learn and are learning more at their own pace.
  • Technology continues to be integrated into individualized educational lessons so our students are more likely to be interested in, focused on, and excited about the information being presented. Lessons that were once monotonous are far more engaging and interactive with virtual lessons, tutoring, and the streaming of educational videos.
  • The technology is preparing children and adults for the future and develop skills essential for the 21st century. But more than that, they are learning critical thinking and workplace skills they will need to be successful in their futures.
Testimonial

ARC Broward remains committed to helping those with disabilities and other life challenges. We work hand in hand with families, businesses, civic and community organizations, and funders to provide opportunities that create life-changing outcomes so that people with disabilities and other life challenges can live, learn, work and play successfully in their communities. We have established ourselves as a leading advocate in helping to shape funding and policy decisions at the state, local and federal levels for quality services and supports for the diverse population groups that we serve.

With a goal of ensuring that the organization has a stable financial foundation for its current operations and for the future, ARC Broward has created three social enterprises including the ARC Broward Learning Institute, ARC Broward Culinary Institute and ARC Broward Electronics Recycling Services. These forward thinking business enterprises provide employment and/or education & training and help generate funds to support critical programs and services offered by ARC Broward. The social enterprise concept embraces efforts that we have made to operate businesses that advance our social mission. Ultimately, ARC Broward provides a community that transforms lives – this mission is the crux of our work. We support children and adults as they gain the skills and confidence necessary to build futures for themselves and to dream and achieve their goals in life.