The Arc Celebrates Efforts to Help Disabled Residents Enjoy ‘A Life Like Ours’

The Arc of Loudoun showcased its wide-ranging and comprehensive services to help people with disabilities during its annual gala Saturday night at Lansdowne Resort.

The fundraiser, which included a silent and live auction and dancing, also was an opportunity for clients and their families to enjoy a night on the town.

Two awards were presented during the program.

The 2019 Sherwood R. Simons Achievement Award was presented to Stephen and Shannon Mackey in recognition of their work in promoting inclusive job opportunities for people with disabilities as highlighted in their award-winning documentary “This Business of Autism.” The film, which will be shown locally Saturday, April 6 at Tuscarora High School starting at 1 p.m., documents efforts by Spectrum Designs in upstate New York to include people with intellectual disabilities and autism as integral members of their business environment; 75 percent of its employees are on the spectrum. Learn more at ThisBusinessOfAutism.com.

The Courage Award was presented to Troy Grooms, who, following an arrest and detention that resulted, in part, from law enforcement officers not having an understanding of his disability, has worked to help improve the way the criminal justice system interacts with disabled residents. He is a member of the Arc’s Disability Response Team and works with the Sheriff’s Office’s Crisis Intervention Training program.

Founded a half century ago, theArc of Loudoun today operates the Open Door Learning Center Preschool, The Aurora School, the ALLY Advocacy Center, the Ability Fitness Center and the Aurora Behavior Clinic, all on the Paxton Campus in Leesburg. To learn more, thearcofloudoun.org

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