The Arc of Westmoreland has led the way in protecting the rights of and promoting opportunities for children and adults with disabilities; having provided support and education to families and have influenced public opinion and legislation for that past 60 years. The Arc's continue its role as the heart and soul of the ACHIEVA family of organizations.
From early intervention support through adulthood, The Arc of Westmoreland's advocates provide information and support to families so they can effectively advocate for their family members. All of ACHIEVA's advocates have a child or adult family member with a disability, so they understand the need for information and support that all families need at some point in their lives.
ACHIEVA's advocates also serve in leadership positions on the following committees:
- The Allegheny, Beaver and Westmoreland County Task Forces on the Right to Education
- The Allegheny, Beaver and Westmoreland County Local Interagency Coordinating Councils (LICC)
- The Allegheny, Beaver and Westmoreland Couny Transition Coordinating Councils
- The Pennsylvania Waiting List Campaign
- The Arc of Pennsylvania Board of Directors
ACHIEVA's Advocacy Services include:
- Providing information to families about their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act
- Educating families about promising practices in education
- Supporting and mentoring families on how to be an effective advocate for their family member
- Providing technical assistance to early intervention providers and school districts to design and deliver supports and services which will increase the level of success in educating students with disabilities
- Monitoring the quality of education programs and services provided to students with disabilities
- Attending pre-hearing conferences, mediation or due process hearings if the family has been unsuccessful in obtaining a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for a student
- Supporting families through transitions, from early intervention to pre-school, from elementary to middle and high school and from high school through adulthood
- Assisting families to develop effective individual family support plans (IFSPs), individual education plans (IEPs) and individual support plans (ISPs)
First-time callers needing advocacy assistance should call Regina Sciullo on the Advocacy intake line at (412) 995-5000 x486.