The Arc of Madison County has been supporting people with intellectual disabilities for more than 50 years. In that time, the various means of support have changed dramatically. And in just the past few years, research has shown the best way to support those with intellectual disabilities is to involve them in the community. Where in the past, most support organizations focused on offering a place to just spend their time, now the focus is on improving life skills, volunteering as well as job training and support. This is a big shift, which requires much more education, especially to show the community what a positive impact those with intellectual disabilities can have.
JB Communications Group’s Principal, Jackie Brown, has had the honor of sitting on The Arc of Madison County’s Board of Directors for several years. As she watched the focus shift, she knew the marketing collateral for The Arc would need to support that shift as well. As it is a non-profit, the budget for marketing and advertising needs to be as small as possible to allow more funds to go to the core functions. JB Communications Group donates our time and looks for ways to produce cost-efficient marketing pieces.
As non-profits are required to produce some sort of annual report, starting the community-focused shift there made for a good beginning. We used graphics and copy to introduce the theme of “growing in the community.” The Arc’s staff was also starting to participate in more in-person community outreach to educate other groups, civic organizations and political leaders. They were starting to go to career expos and fairs to promote job training and support to employers and families of those with intellectual disabilities. Pop-up banner stands and simple brochures to promote The Arc’s new focus just seemed like a natural fit. These items are easy to produce, easy to carry and relatively inexpensive. The designs were built on that same theme of “growing in the community.”
The Arc staff has enjoyed having these materials to assist in their efforts to educate families, peers, political leaders and the community at large. The client families have really enjoyed seeing their loved ones thrive in the new jobs, volunteer opportunities and even through taking field trips.