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Virtual Adventures

Our ACTIVITIES 4  U link and our COMMUNITY RESOURCES link are two places to find important information.  You can always access them here on our PANDEMIC UPDATES PAGE

and on the HOME PAGE of our website.  We add information regularly and welcome your ideas.

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Monday, April 20, 2020

A Message from Kathleen Stauffer,

CEO of The Arc Eastern Connecticut

Hello Everybody, 


I’m happy to report that The Arc Eastern Connecticut has been transitioning from emergency operations toward full service delivery although we are doing things in new and virtual ways!

It’s important for everyone to stay strong and to stay safe. Our Board of Directors has asked me to remind you that each team member has a full range of supports at this time, from healthcare to our complimentary Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If you are feeling in need of a little extra support, don’t hesitate to reach out to colleagues or to our trained professionals at EAP. To do that, just call 800-526-3485. (Also, please see the brochure at the bottom of this newsletter.)

Another way we are supporting you is via our Virtual Adventures page, built for The Arc Eastern Connecticut family, of which you are a critical member. Please visit our home page at and click on Activities 4 U to find meditations, classes and virtual tours to inform and brighten your day.

As you know, through our podcast and emails, we are working hard to answer all your questions. Some folks are asking: “Will I be returning to my old position when the crisis has passed?” First, I want to thank each one of you who has stepped up and helped us deploy a full range of services amid challenging times. Please know it is our goal to bring every team member back to work in the same way as before; however, in the meantime, we are at times assigning people to as-needed roles. I am counting on you to help us out, and grateful for your flexibility.  We will get through this together. 

Please take care, stay well and enjoy the news and updates we have included in this weekly note to you! If you have a question you would like us to answer, please email us at


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The start of 2020 was busier than ever for The Arc ECT’s “Advocacy United” group. First was a presentation from the Census Bureau on the importance of the Census and how to help spread the word to family, friends and co-workers. (The Arc ECT is a Census 2020 Complete Count Committee.)  The group and other Arc representatives then participated in a Legislative Breakfast, followed by Family Hearing Day at the Capitol on February 26th. The overflow crowd, including 6 self-advocates from The Arc ECT, testified to legislators on the IDD Caucus for the need to cease discussion of any budget cuts and instead increase funding to DDS for programs and services. We also hosted an informational booth for legislators as part of the Connecticut Community Non-Profit Alliance’s 2-week advocacy event. Self-Advocate Coordinator Jamie Lazaroff and Arc ECT Board member Sen. Paul Formica were presented awards from the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities for their years of service to the IDD community.

And that was just February!

Advocacy United will be helping create and distribute 1,000 copies of our second annual Voter Guide for people with IDD and their families, in conjunction with The Arc CT and funded by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.  The group has also arranged for a voting machine demonstration at its September and October meetings, as well as our SPARCS school-to-work transition program meeting. Notes Jamie Lazaroff, “We take voting pretty seriously.” 

The Arc NEWS

Spring is for Disability Awareness Events . . . 
 . . . and The Arc team participates in all of them!
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Advocacy United members (from L to R) Rebel, Shannon and Aaron pose with CTCDD awardee Senantor Paul Formica at the Capital

Enter The Arc Podcast Trivia Contest!

Answer the question about our most recent podcast correctly and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift card!

This week’s question (discussed in our first podcast, which aired April 13): Where can you find a free online course on “The Science of Well-Being” and other virtual adventures?

Send your answer, along with your contact information, to and put “Podcast Trivia” in the subject heading.

Good Luck!




It’s Spring . . . and time to transition from those heavy dishes of winter to something lighter . . . but not too light! Hearty enough to combat those still-chilly days, but not so filling that all you want to do is curl up and go to sleep. Because, well: Spring!


  • 1 large cauliflower (about 1.3kg/3lb), stalks discarded, and florets chopped

  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 5 cups light chicken or vegetable stock

  • 2 ½ cups whole milk

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 ¼ cups of your favorite wild mushroom (ceps, chanterelles, morels, etc.)

  • 1 to 2 tbsp finely snipped chives



  1. Put the cauliflower, potato and onion in a large saucepan with the butter and half of the oil. Gently heat the contents until they start to sizzle, then cover with a lid and sweat over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should be softened but not colored.

  2. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then pour in the milk and return gently to a boil. This way, there will be no scum forming from the milk. Season to taste then simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Pour in half the cream.

  3. Blend everything in a food processor or blender, in batches. For an extra creamy texture, push the purée through a sieve with the back of a ladle. Stir in the rest of the cream. (If preparing ahead cool, cover and chill for up to a day.)

  4. To serve, pick over the mushrooms. Wild mushrooms can be gritty so wash them quickly in a bowl of cold water then drain well and pat dry. Trim the stalks and chop or slice the mushrooms neatly. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and, when very hot, stir fry the mushrooms quickly until nicely browned, seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper as you cook them.

  5. Reheat the soup until piping hot. Check for seasoning and ladle into warmed bowls. Spoon the mushrooms into the center and sprinkle lightly with the chives.

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