The Arc Northeastern Pennsylvania Achieve with Us



Information and Referral - Individuals and families may not be aware of community supports and services available for them. Therefore, The Arc will provide information about available community resources and make referrals as needed.

Individual Advocacy - In most cases this is a short term association between the advocate and the client. Issues are diverse and include accessing services, employment, benefits, exploitation, education, housing, abuse, neglect, legal matters and more.

Systems Advocacy and Governmental Affairs - In line with our on-going effort to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, The Arc actively communicates with legislators regarding pending and/or necessary legislation.

Public Awareness and Community Education - The Arc speaks to individuals and groups on various issues related to prevention and reducing the consequence of intellectual and developmental disabilities through education, research, advocacy, and the support of families, friends and community.

An Excerpt From The Arc's Annual Report 2019

Once again, The Arc increased high level Advocacy through a trained Educational Advocate. Aside from a steady work load of IEP (Individual Education Plan) meetings, the Advocate helped to develop a curriculum of community education presentations for schools, agencies, parent groups, and community groups. Two special initiatives also highlighted The Arc Advocacy efforts this past year: First, the purchase of the rights to “Intelligent Lives”, an award winning film and learning documentary that challenges old thinking related to “IQ”, and the place in society for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Several screenings were held throughout the area with structured discussions following. Secondly, The Arc Advocacy organized a major event trademarked by The Arc of The United States entitled “Wings for All”, held at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. The program enables persons of all ages with IDD or Autism to experience all aspects of commercial flight; from ticketing, TSA, baggage handling and checking, to physically boarding an airliner and taxiing on the airport runway. An educational component begins the process for all airport personnel involved. The Arc, in addition, continues to provide individual, family, and systems advocacy through trained administrative personnel on an ongoing basis. The Arc continues to lead the way in matters related to employment, education, funding, individual rights, and regulatory reform.

Meet the Advocates

  My Name is Roseann Polishan and I am the new advocate here at the Arc of NEPA. I am very excited to come on board and be a part of this wonderful organization! Advocacy for those with Autism and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has been my passion for some time now. It all began with my own son Hunter Polishan when he was diagnosed with autism at 2 years old and later with intellectual disability. I realized quickly that I needed to be patient and positive, yet proactive and persistent to help him navigate through the world and reach his potential. Over the years I have been increasing my knowledge in the field of advocacy in particular with education and legislative affairs. I have taken a number of trainings, classes and workshops on the IEP process, evaluations/reevaluations, assistive technology, inclusive practices and transition planning. I also have led with the Scranton School District on development of a parent group and the Right to Education Task Force Local 19 as the parent chairperson. I look forward to learning even more from the staff and families at the Arc of NEPA. I hope to meet many new faces and help to continue the Arc of NEPA’s mission.
Roseann Polishan

I’m Mandy Colville and I have been an advocate at The Arc of NEPA since 2018. My background as an Elementary and Special Education teacher has given me a strong understanding of every student’s right to an appropriate education. My commitment to the disabilities community grew once I became a mother to children with disabilities myself and saw the challenges we faced. My children have inspired me to work on making changes for the better in schools and communities for all individuals with disabilities.


I began providing support, outreach and resources in Pike County 8 years ago since forming the North PPODS and Friends group. I also remained very involved in the Delaware Valley School System as well as serving on the Center for Developmental Disabilities Board of Directors for 7 years. My experiences lead me to helping individuals advocate for their rights and expanding resources in our rural area.


As an advocate for The Arc of NEPA, I continue my training in educational advocacy and disabilities rights to best be able to assist the individuals we serve. Overall my mission as an advocate is to give parents the tools and resources they need to become better advocates for their own children, further the inclusion movement and help make positive changes in communities for all individuals with disabilities.

Mandy Colville
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