2018 LEAP Grant Applications Open

LEAP Application

HSC Foundation has once again named The Arc of Loudoun a Community Partner in their Life Enrichment Awards Program (LEAP).  As a community organizations partner, we work with the HSC Foundation to carry out the LEAP program, making it possible for more youth and young adults with disabilities to transition to their next step, whether it is more school, training, or a job.

The purpose of the Life Enrichment Program (LEAP) is to enrich the lives of youth and young adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. This program is supported by a grant from The HSC Foundation”. LEAP provides goods and services that facilitate youth transition planning and for which resources are usually not available from public service and government agencies. These goods and services are not covered by Medicaid or private insurance and are not considered “medically necessary”.

Transition planning means a focused effort on improving the academic and functional achievement of the youth with a disability to facilitate the movement to post-school activities, including post secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment, continuing and adult educations, adult services, independent living, or community participation.

Applicants must reside in one of the following areas: Alexandria, Arlington County, Clarke County, Culpepper County, Fairfax, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, Manassas, Manassas Park, Prince William County, Rappahannock County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, Warren County.

•  Must be between the ages of 14 and 26
•  Must not have received a LEAP grant within the past three years
•  Must have a documented disability
•  Requested goods and services must be directly linked to transition planning and implementation (Examples may include tutoring, laptops, career development, independent living skill development, skills camp, behavioral therapy, etc.)
•  Maximum grant amount request must not exceed $1000

The application Deadline is Monday, September 17, 2018. Applicants will be notified of results by phone and/or email by September 24, 2018.

apply now button

For more information or to ask questions about the application process, contact Nyteisha Stith, Disability Advocate at 703-777-1939 ext. 200 or email nstith@paxtoncampus.org

Parent Support Group meets May 1; 5:30pm-6:30pm


Interested in joining our Parent Support Group? Please contact Eileen Shaffer at: eshaffer@paxtoncampus.org

Are you the parent or caretaker of a child with a disability or special needs?  Do you wish you could talk with other parents who are in similar situations? Please consider joining our Parent Support Group!

Parent Support Group will meet the first Tuesday of each month of the School Year and coincide with Social Skills Group. While your child attends Social Skills Group, you are welcome to join a network of other parents. PLEASE NOTE: Your child does not need to be enrolled in Social Skills to attend.

Upcoming meetings: 

Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm

October 3

November 7

December 5

January 2

February 6

March 6

April 3

May 1

Parent groups can serve many purposes, but one of their most important can be to introduce families to others like themselves, building a sense of community and of understanding. 

For more information on this group, please contact Eileen Shaffer at: eshaffer@paxtoncampus.org

iCanBike Camp 2018- June 25th-29th

The Arc of Loudoun has partnered with Tuscarora’s Husky Buddies Program to present iCanBike Camp! This is a program offered to help children with disabilities learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle independently.

June 25-29 | 8:30am-5:00pm | Tuscarora High School 

Cost: $200 

Bikers register online here OR register through the hard copy form here. 

Volunteers register online here OR  register through the hard copy form here.  

In order to sign up, rider must meet ALL of below criteria: 

  • Ages 8-18
  • Have a disability
  • Able to walk without assistive device
  • Willing and able to wear a properly fitted helmet
  • Parents must remain at camp at all times 
  • Able to sidestep to both sides 
  • Able to attend all 5 days 
  • Maximum weight of 220 lbs 
  • Minimum inseams of 20″ (measure from floor while reader is wearing sneakers) 
  • Bring in own (approved) bike at at sessions 

For any questions please e-mail Eileen Shaffer at eshaffer@paxtoncampus.org 

iCan Bike 2017

Pathways to Justice Training September 20

Pathways to Justice Training

The Arc of Loudoun and the Loudoun County Community Criminal Justice Present:

INFORMING SUPERVISION: Intellectual and Developmental Disability awareness training for Criminal Justice Personnel 

WHEN: September 20, 2018 | 8:30am-4:30pm (lunch provided) 

WHERE: Ida Lee- Banquet Hall | 60 Ida Lee Drive, Leesburg, VA 20176

WHO: Individuals served who access the community at large without a support person




This training focuses on:

-Identifying the needs and understanding the complexities of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities

-Considerations when case planning

-Awareness when interacting and providing supervision to this population

– Effective collaboration

Speakers will include perspectives from Law Enforcement, Attorneys, Family Panelists and Consumers from the Arc of Loudoun.

Featured Presentation by Bioethicist Dr. Michael Gillette.



Check out images from our first Pathways to Justice Training here.

Futures Planning on January 24- Special Needs Trusts

IMPORTANT: The Arc of Loudoun follows Loudoun County Public Schools on weather closures. If LCPS is closed due to the weather, The Arc of Loudoun will be closed, and Futures Planning will be cancelled or re-scheduled. 

Futures Planning – Every month we  present the tools to consider when developing a plan for the future to families, siblings, adults with disabilities, and others interested

Next workshop: Thursday, January 24 | 10:00 am – 12 pm

Topic: Special Needs Trusts, We will walk you through the importance of planning for the future of your loved one with a disability, why trusts are important, and other critical services and programs that you should consider.

Speaker:Tia Marsili, Director of Trusts at The Arc of Northern Virginia

Location:  ALLY Advocacy Center | 601 Catoctin Circle, NE, Leesburg, VA 20176



Questions: Contact Eileen Shaffer: eshaffer@thearcofloudoun.org


Future Topics:

2019 Dates Coming Soon 


Past Futures Planning Videos:

Futures Planning September 2018: Creative Housing Options for People with Disabilities 

October 2018 Futures Planning on DD Waivers and CCC+ 

Waiver Information/Medicaid Waivers

November 2018 Futures Planning on Managing Real Estate in a Special Needs Trust

December 2018 Futures Planning: Social Security Benefits 

We Scare Because We Care Mini-Grant Application – Due November 6


We Scare Because We Care is a mini-grant program created from the proceeds of Shocktober, The Arc of Loudoun’s biggest fundraiser. For the second year in a row, this program will be providing five $1,000 mini-grants to human service nonprofits in Loudoun County. The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.

Grant Amount

We will be giving out 5 grants equaling $1,000 each.


Nonprofit organizations with dedicated programs in Loudoun County are eligible to apply. Funds from this mini-grant need to be used for programs helping children and adults with disabilities as well as their families.  Priority will be given to programs with an inclusive project, incorporating people with disabilities.


Applications must be electronically received on or before November 6, 2018 to be considered. Download the application here

Submission Instructions

Applications must be electronically received on or before November 6, 2018 to be considered.

  • Email Subject Line: Shocktober’ s We Scare Because We Care Grants Program
  • Submit electronically to: Eileen Shaffer at eshaffer@thearcofloudoun.org


Grants will be announced and awarded on November 16, 2018.

Presentation and Reporting

Please note that The Arc of Loudoun will invite each grantee to our Annual Meeting in late February 2019 for the grantees to present their projects.

Each grantee will need to submit a final report on or by July 1, 2019, including:

  • A one-page summary of the project,
  • How the money was spent
  • Any photos of the project

Please direct any questions to:

Eileen Shaffer, Administrative Director of ALLY Advocacy Center

The Arc of Loudoun

Email: eshaffer@thearcofloudoun.org

Tel: 703.777.1939 x 208


Professional Crisis Management Workshop for Parents and Professionals; February 1st and 2nd

Professional Crisis Management Training (PCM)  

Prevent aggressive behavior before it begins with PCM (Professional Crisis Management) Training! At this training, learn de-escalation and crisis management strategies.

WHO: Parents and professionals who work and care for individuals with behavioral difficulties

DATE: February 1st and February 2nd from 9am- 6:30pm 

COST$400 – Community Members & Caregivers, $350- Indivdiuals Cert. for Aurora and Aurora Behavior Clients, $500 – Two parents Cert. for Aurora and Aurora Behavior Clients

REGISTER: Amy Metaxa, ametaxa@thearcofloudoun.org

LOCATION:     The Aurora School

601 Catoctin Circle, NE, Leesburg, VA 20176

  • Professional Crisis Management courses teach a range of verbal (non-physical) and physical strategies for managing crisis situations safely and effectively.
  • Training will include repetition of physical procedures, an introduction to behavior analysis and the function of behavior, real life discussions of scenarios, coursework, and problem solving of individual concerns.

What is Professional Crisis Management? – reprinted from the link: http://www.pcma.com/pcmapcmwhatis.asp

PCM is an advanced system of crisis management. Unlike other methods that teach intervention techniques only after individuals have become non-compliant, agitated or aggressive, PCM focuses primarily on prevention before a crisis occurs. PCM includes Crisis Prevention, Crisis De-escalation, Crisis Intervention, and Post-Crisis Intervention components. PCM utilizes “hands on” competency-based training and written tests to certify that individuals who receive instruction in PCM reach the highest level of skill acquisition. PCM is the only complete crisis management system available that can guarantee successful prevention and intervention with maximum safety, increased dignity and total effectiveness.

Crisis Prevention

The best way to handle a crisis situation is to prevent it before it happens!

The crisis prevention component of the PCM system teaches a wide range of nonphysical and verbal strategies for the prevention of crisis situations. Since PCM is based on a teaching and learning model, it integrates smoothly as well as complements and strengthens your existing teaching and treatment strategies. Furthermore, throughout the PCM course, an emphasis is placed on the importance of individual choice and basic human rights.

Crisis De-escalation

The PCM system is based on a cognitive-behavioral model of intervention that utilizes established research based techniques for verbally de-escalating disruptive and aggressive behaviors. The PCM de-escalation component benefits from the groundwork established during the prevention process. During the PCM training course, participants acquire skills that enable them to quickly and safely stabilize an escalating situation before it becomes necessary to physically intervene.

Crisis Intervention

PCM provides individuals with a continuum of painless physical procedures and techniques that can be utilized to intervene in a crisis situation. Specific procedures have been uniquely designed for children, adolescents, and adults. All of the procedures have been designed to maintain human dignity and to completely avoid awkward positioning and physical pain. The PCM training course teaches participants to respect the dignity and value of all human beings and to be sensitive to individual human rights and freedoms.

Post-Crisis Intervention

The PCM course teaches participants various methods of interacting (verbally) following the implementation of crisis intervention. Specific content for post-crisis intervention counseling is presented and practiced at all training courses. Participants gain skills that enable them to quickly reintegrate individuals back to their regular teaching or treatment activities. Participants obtain training in how to conduct post-crisis analysis which includes ways of improving future interactions in crisis situations.




DMV comes to The Arc of Loudoun; February 5; 10am-3pm

ALLY Advocacy Center is bringing DMV to you!!! We are thrilled to announce that DMV-Connect will be setting up shop in the ALLY Advocacy Center building at The Arc of Loudoun on Tuesday, February 5th from 10am-3pm (by appointment only)

How to Schedule an Appointment

**Please contact Eileen Shaffer at eshaffer@thearcofloudoun.org or 703-777-1939, ext. 208 for an appointment. To be eligible for an appointment, you must have a family member with a disability or be a staff member at The Arc of Loudoun.

About DMV-Connect

DMV-Connect is an outreach program of the Department of Motor Vehicles that connects Virginians to services who may not be able to travel to or wait in line at a traditional DMV office.

If you have a family member with a disability and would like to get them an Identification Card (even if they are under 15 years old), they now offer the opportunity to get an indicator on the card designating the following categories: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Hearing Impairment, Speech Impairment and Insulin-dependent diabetic. This a great, proactive way to insure that First Responders are notified of the disability. Please note that in order to do this, you must bring a doctor’s evaluation or note that lists the diagnosis.

They will also be able to conduct other services including: Virginia State IDs, Veterans IDs, Child IDs, Driver’s licenses, Disabled parking placards and Vehicle titles and registrations. To avoid long waits, we are scheduling appointments for this service.

**Please contact Eileen Shaffer at eshaffer@thearcofloudoun.org or 703-777-1939, ext. 208 for an appointment. To be eligible for an appointment, you must have a family member with a disability or be a staff member at The Arc of Loudoun.

Documents to download before your appointment:

Decoding Dyslexia – December 12 , 7pm-9pm

Decoding Dyslexia

This is monthly series of speakers and discussion, aiming to raise dyslexia awareness and  empower families to support their children with dyslexia.

The next workshop is on Wednesday, December 12 from 7pm-9pm

Speakers: Emily Miller
The topic is “Assistive Technology 101 for Students with Dyslexia.” Our guest speaker will beEmily Miller who is an Assistive Technology Coach. Stemming from her own challenges with dyslexia, Emily has learned to use assistive technology as a life-changing tool. In this presentation, Emily will teach you the ins and outs of assistive technology and how you can use it to help your child today. Emily is currently a special education teacher and assistive technology tutor in the summer. She is also finishing a graduate certificate in assistive technology. ​
Place: The ALLY Advocacy Center, Arc of Loudoun
Time: 11am – 1pm  “Lunch & Learn” 

Register here. 


For more information on Decoding Dyslexia, please search “Decoding Dyslexia Virginia” on Facebook or email decodingdyslexialoudoun@gmail.com.

Questions?  Please contact Eileen Shaffer at eshaffer@thearcofloudoun.org or call 703.777.1939 x 208

For more information on Decoding Dyslexia, please search “Decoding Dyslexia Virginia” on Facebook or email decodingdyslexialoudoun@gmail.com.




Valentine’s Day Dance – February 22

REGISTRATION IS NOW FULL! Stay updated on future The Arc of Loudoun events by subscribing to our email list here.

Meet new friends, have fun, and DANCE! Featuring the very special DJ Stephanie Rasul. Light drinks and snacks will be provided.
(Attendees must be 19 and older, Participants that need assistance for physical and behavioral needs must be accompanied by their caregiver)

When: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22 | 6:30-8:00PM
Where: ALLY ADVOCACY CENTER – Located at The Arc of Loudoun
601 Catoctin Circle, NE, Leesburg, VA 20176

Adaptive Yoga on Saturdays

Enroll in our Adaptive Yoga for Teens (ages 12-19) with disabilities today by contacting Brigitta White at brigittawhite@gmail.com or 703.220.6239. Drop-ins are welcome!

Adaptive Yoga for Teens

When: Saturdays at 10:30am to 11:15am

Dates: Check flyer for 2018 dates!


Instructor:  Brigitta White, owner of Whole Me Programs

Location:   ALLY Advocacy Center on Paxton Campus
601 Catoctin Circle, Leesburg, VA 20176

This yoga class will increase both social and emotional health. It helps with focus, empathy, self-expression and the ability to calm the body and mind.  We use developmentally appropriate exercises for breathing, relaxing and physical body movement. This yoga series joyfully integrates yoga postures with dance, movement, music and song in a fun way!  *Participants must be able to follow basic directions and be physically mobile.


Next Chapter Book Club

The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) offers opportunities for people with cognitive or developmental disabilities to read and learn together, talk about books and make friends in a relaxed community setting.

Interested in joining? Please email Nyteisha Stith at nstith@thearcofloudoun.org 


Mondays; 6:30pm-8pm (check dates on flyer above)

At Rust Library’s Story Time Room

IMG_7250Finding ways to learn and participate in the community can be challenging for adults with intellectual disabilities.  The Next Chapter Book Club offers a great opportunity to do both and have fun.

What is it?  The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) offers opportunities for people with cognitive or developmental disabilities to read and learn together, talk about books and make friends in a relaxed, community setting. Each group is comprised of between five and eight people. The small size ensures that each participant feels valued, and facilitates the development of strong friendships between members. Anyone may join the club, regardless of reading level and abilities.  EVEN IF YOU CAN NOT READ, you can join this group! Club members take on active roles: together they decide which books to read and how they would like to structure their get-togethers. All meetings are held in local settings, such as coffee shops and the library and will take place the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month..

In partnership with the Loudoun County Public Library and generously funded by 100 Women Strong.

Interested in joining us?  Please contact Nyteisha at 703.777.1939 extension 200 or nstith@thearcofloudoun.org