For Immediate Release

Contact: Lisa Pugh, State Director (608) 422-4250


April 2, 2017


The Arc Wisconsin sending Fond du Lac Mother-Daughter Team to Washington, DC to Advocate for Disability Rights

Madison, WI – The Arc Wisconsin will support Emily Jandura and her mother Pam of Fond du Lac to fly to Pam and Emily JanduraWashington, DC this month to meet with members of Congress and to advocate on disability policy issues. The award was part of a statewide contest in which people with disabilities and their family members were asked to share with The Arc Wisconsin why they want to advocate for disability rights in the nation’s capital.

“We are passionate about the preservation of Medicaid and enhancements to particular areas, including a better living wage for care workers and comprehensive, sensible supports to enable far more people to live in their communities,” said Pam and Emily’s application. “We want to make the case for people living in their own homes and having real jobs with support, as being far less expensive and beneficial to the individual, the family, the community, the state, the country. It’s a culture shift, and we can’t wait to bring our message to Washington.”

The Jandura’s will join other Wisconsin disability advocates at the annual Disability Policy Seminar, a conference hosted by The Arc of the United States and five other national disability organizations.

“The Disability Policy Seminar is the premier opportunity to cultivate champions in Washington and advance the grassroots movement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD),” says The Arc Wisconsin’s Executive Director, Lisa Pugh. “We have a team of Wisconsin residents who plan to meet with each of Wisconsin’s Congressional members.”

The DPS will be held near the capitol April 23-25 and will consist of informative sessions from experts in the field and opportunities for the hundreds of participating disability rights advocates, policymakers, academics and practitioners to engage in dialogue on today’s critical disability-related issues. Armed with valuable information, the event culminates with the attendees converging on Capitol Hill to speak directly to their representatives about the high-priority issues that affect them most.

About our winners:

Emily Jandura is 25-year-old cheerleading champion, gold medal-winning gymnast, who has acted in theatre productions since she was 8 years old. She is currently a student at Moraine Park Technical College and works at TJ Maxx. Emily has Down syndrome. Pam, her mother, served on the Executive Board of Elite Stars Athletics, organization for gymnasts, cheerleaders, and dancers with disabilities. She is also an avid supporter of the northern Illinois Ups for Downs organization. In Wisconsin, she is on the board of directors for The Arc Fond du Lac and the executive board of United Singers of Fond du Lac.

“Emily and Pam are a powerful mother, daughter duo who I know will make their voices heard in Washington. It’s so important for our federal policymakers to hear directly from people with disabilities and their families, but it’s not easy to get to Washington. I’m so thrilled that we are able to provide them support to make this trip happen, and that they will be by my side as we advocate for disability rights with our Wisconsin federal representatives,” said Lisa Pugh, Executive Director of The Arc Wisconsin.

The Arc Wisconsin advocates for and serves people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc Wisconsin has 15 local chapters and is connected to a network of more than 650 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.

Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.