The leadership of so many community agency execs, and the professional leadership of Costa Miller, Jim Hammond and now Kim Opsahl has touched thousands of lives and literally changed the landscape of this great state.
Throughout this time, there has been a unique partnership between INARF and The Arc. That partnership recognized that when providers and advocates - families and self-advocates - work together, we are all stronger. When we listen to each other and come at issues together we can make great progress.
From the time it was founded, INARF has always been a staunch advocate, open to considering new models, understanding that good programming can always be built on to serve Hoosiers with disabilities and their families in new ways. We so very much appreciate that INARF constantly strives to work with others, including The Arc, to improve Indiana’s system of services.
And when challenged, families, self-advocates and providers have and will continue to stand together to protect the rights and dignity of people. We all remember those days when people rallied and spoke loudly. Today, that tradition continues in groups large and small across this great state.
These are challenging times and life is indeed hard for many people: those we serve and those staff that so many depend upon for support. We have to respond. At a time when many leaders want to cut back, we need to reinvest. At a time when some look to other priorities, we need to stand firm and speak out for those in need with new ideas and new models.
Our history is important, but more important is our future. Working together, Indiana will be better because of the partnership between INARF and The Arc.