Walmart Foundation Awards $3 Million to the Arc of the United States for Nationwide School-to-Community Transition Project
SILVER SPRING, MD, June 30, 2009 — The Walmart Foundation has awarded $3 million to The Arc of the United States to establish the Walmart Foundation School-To-Community Transition Project to improve outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism.
The project aims to assure that youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism achieve the outcomes they desire in the course of transitioning from school to adult life.
The grant will expand The Arc’s efforts to improve the quality of transition planning and transition services for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism by identifying successful programs that can be replicated nationwide. The funds will be dispersed thorough a competitive process to approximately 50 local chapters of The Arc that are operating promising school to community transition programs throughout the U.S.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Walmart Foundation, we will improve the lives of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism and maximize their full inclusion in every aspect of community and society,” said Peter V. Berns, Executive Director of The Arc of the United States. “We will reach across our extensive network of state and local chapters, individuals with disabilities, their families, disability advocacy groups and others to identify and spread best practices and program excellence to ensure a full breadth of possibility for young people with disabilities,” Berns said.
The impact of the Walmart Foundation School-to-Community Transition project will be better transition outcomes, specifically greater inclusion and involvement of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism in independent living, employment, post-secondary education or vocational training, and community, social and civic affairs.
“The Walmart Foundation is committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities and ensuring that they have access to the full rights and benefits enjoyed by every American,” said Margaret McKenna, President of the Walmart Foundation. “The Walmart School-to-Community Transition Project blends innovation and opportunity by expanding the resources necessary to help young people with disabilities to achieve their goals.”