Calling all volunteers!

Join the Personal Disaster Preparedness Project at The Arc Westchester, and show your support for the importance of emergency preparedness for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD)!

At The Arc Westchester, we like to say that, “Volunteers are ordinary people with extraordinary hearts;” in the 73 years that we have been serving Westchester County’s I/DD population, we have seen countless numbers of everyday people step-up and connect, engage, and support the 2,000 individuals we serve on a daily basis. Together, we make up one beautiful Westchester community that works hand-in-hand to create an inclusive and compassionate world for all. And, if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that in times of crisis, we need each other more than ever.

Please consider signing up for our virtual “Personal Disaster Preparedness Project,” at The Arc Westchester, made possible through a grant from The Arc US and the Verizon Foundation.

This project focuses on preparing individuals with I/DD in the event of a personal disaster (PD) while out in the community.  A PD may be triggered by challenges like:

  • Losing a wallet
  • Getting lost and/or separated from your group
  • Awkward social situations

Volunteers, with the assistance of The Arc Westchester’s professional staff members, will engage the participants in various PD preparedness topics, walk them through prepared learning exercises with case scenarios and possible solutions, all while having socially meaningful experiences with the session participants.

Using a “train-the-trainer” model, all volunteers will be pre-trained by Arc Westchester staff members in the PD topic(s), practical ways of coping with PD and interactive virtual instruction. During the virtual PD preparedness session, volunteers will again be assisted by Arc Westchester’s professional staff.

Sign Up Today!

Virtually everything is possible!

All volunteers will first participate in a 1-hour orientation session which will provide a basic understanding of the subject of people with I/DD, some of their learning styles and the challenges they may experience when confronted by a PD.

After this orientation, our volunteers will sign up to deliver either one, or more, 1-hour virtual interactive learning session(s) (30 minutes to present the topic, 30 minutes to interact and share possible solutions) to participants from The Arc Westchester, on the PD subjects presented during their orientation session.

At the conclusion of the project, all program participants will receive a PD preparedness certificate. As part of the lesson plans, we will also feature salutes to first responders and direct support professionals who have helped us all through the challenges of major, and personal disasters.

Art by: Rafael Reis
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