Shaffer appointed Administrative Director of ALLY Advocacy Center at The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus
LEESBURG, Virginia – August 7, 2017 – The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus is pleased to announce that Eileen Shaffer has been appointed into the role of Administrative Director of ALLY “A Life Like Yours” Advocacy Center on the campus.
The ALLY Advocacy Center’s goal is to fill the unmet needs of the community by providing free information on disability rights, providing support and events for families and caretakers of those with disabilities, as well as the professionals who work with them.
“It is exciting to have someone with Eileen’s passion and knowledge as the Director of Advocacy to continue to push forward ALLY’s mission,” said Melissa Heifetz, Executive Director of Paxton Campus.
As the Director of Advocacy, Shaffer will continue to expand ALLY’s advocacy program which currently includes special education consultations, advocacy services for individuals with disabilities and community outreach programs and trainings for families, caretakers and professionals. This will mean more clients served at the Advocacy Center and more attention in the community to the rights of individuals with disabilities.
This past spring, under Eileen’s leadership, ALLY completed two successful community projects: Pathways to Justice and iCan Bike Camp. Pathways to Justice was a training for 130 people working in the criminal justice system to address key barriers to justice for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and discuss practical solutions that work best for them. The iCan Bike Camp is a program that teaches individuals with disabilities how to ride a two-wheel bicycle independently. In June, 37 individuals with disabilities learned how to ride a bike, with a 77% success rate. One of our next initiatives is the ALLY Inclusion Project which will link children with disabilities with inclusive programs in the community.
Eileen received her undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College in Sociology where she was awarded the Jean Donovan Award to promote human rights. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a Specialization in Health from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked in group homes with adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. As the Resident Services Director of a continuing care retirement community in North Carolina, she worked with individuals across the spectrum from independent adults, assisted living, skilled nursing, adult day care and dementias. She works as a Care Manager in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. She has experience coordinating care for her clients with community and healthcare resources. As the Advocacy Coordinator at the ALLY Center, she provides resources and referrals to families and clients; empowers families to advocate for their children in the IEP process; works with self-advocates and supports a variety of educational outreach programs to educate families and caregivers. Eileen has been an active volunteer in Loudoun County, initiating volunteer programs with Backpack Buddies, Girl Scouts, the Loudoun Homeless Shelter. Eileen lives in Leesburg with her husband and two daughters.
The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus is a non-profit organization that advocates for, and provides direct service to, adults and children with disabilities, as well as their families and caretakers, through its many programs: The Aurora School, Open Door Learning Center, ALLY Advocacy Center, Advantage Behavior Clinic and Ability Fitness Center. The Arc of Loudoun is celebrating 50 years serving people with disabilities in Loudoun since 1967.