Accessibility Tools

TARC Receives Telly Award

tellybronzelargeTARC and Flying Colors Media were the recipients of a Bronze Award in the Not-for-Profit category at the 38th Annual Telly Awards for the video production of “Cheryl and Christian—A Mother’s Story”.

The video tells the story of how Cheryl Srader, with the help of TARC, became a powerful advocate for her son, Christian who has spina bifida and other disabilities. (Watch the video on our homepage.)

Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding content for TV and Cable, Digital and Streaming, and Non-Broadcast distribution. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.


3rd Annual Carnival of Caring

carnival-of-caringAs part of the Tulsa Area United Way Day of Caring, TARC will be hosting the 3rd annual Carnival of Caring at Whiteside Park, 4009 S. Pittsburg in Tulsa on Friday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Individuals with developmental disabilities and their staff or caregiver are invited to come and enjoy a fun day of food, games, activities, arts & crafts, and music with DJ – Steve Pitts. There will be no charge for any of these event activities. Sponsored by TARC, Matrix Service Company, and Tulsa Area United Way.

Please RSVP by Sept. 1 by calling Barry Maxwell at 918-582-TARC (8272) or by email at

TARC selected for national special educational advocacy curriculum project

TARC is one of 10 chapters of The Arc of the U.S. selected to participate in a pilot project to create a training curriculum that will be used nationally to train parents and others how to effectively advocate for special education services.

TARC was chosen for the project largely because of their more than 20 years of experience and expertise in doing effective special education advocacy.

Sherilyn Walton, TARC’s Family Support Coordinator, provides this service and is well regarded by schools and parents for her expertise. She is a licensed clinical social worker and was a general and special education teacher for several years.

As a result, she not only understands the laws affecting special education and what is required, but also  can relate well with school personnel.

“We are honored and excited to have been chosen to participate in this important project and lend our knowledge and expertise in the development of this national training curriculum,” said TARC Executive Director John Gajda.

“Training others on how to be effective advocates for special education services fits perfectly with our philosophy on advocacy. Sherilyn not only attends meetings with parents, she teaches them how to be effective advocates so they can continue to advocate for their child throughout their school experience,” he added.

The special education advocacy training curriculum developed by this pilot project will be specifically designed for the nearly 700 state and local chapters of The Arc to help prepare chapter staff to effectively train parents and others to advocate on behalf of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in special education matters.

The training curriculum will discuss how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 programs apply to individual students participating in these programs as well as advocacy strategies to address potential concerns at each step of the special education process to ensure students receive a “free and appropriate public education.”

Thanks to funding from TAUW and generous donors, special education advocacy services provided by TARC are available to families in the six counties (Tulsa, Creek, Okmulgee, Osage, Rogers and Wagoner) served by TAUW.

TARC has provided this service in 79 public schools and three charter schools in 17 separate school districts.

For more information on this service and others provided by TARC, call   (918) 582-TARC (8272).


Call to Action: Write Your Legislators Now!

Tell OK lawmakers: End special interest tax giveaways for oil & gas companies!

Oil & gas companies have been benefiting from special interest giveaways at the expense of education, public safety and services to people with developmental disabilities and other vulnerable populations for too long. Working Oklahoma families deserve so much better.

Tell lawmakers: It’s time to take the gross production tax back to 7%, which is still lower than other oil producing states. Click HERE or below for a quick and easy way to contact your state legislators.


Volunteers Needed for Shot In The Dark Golf Tournament

The 22nd annual Shot In The Dark Golf Tournament will take place on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) at MeadowBrook Country Club. Since the tournament will be at a new golf course this year, it will be even more important to have an adequate number of volunteers on hand to help golfers find their way in the dark and help ensure their safety. Ideally, around 80 volunteers will be needed.

Volunteers are needed to serve as:

  • Tee Box Monitors
  • Greens Monitors
  • Hazard Monitors
  • Golf Course Set-up
  • Volunteer Registration
  • Golfer Registration/Golf Sales
  • Event Set-up
  • Event Clean-up Crew
  • Monitor Relief and Stand-by

All volunteers are invited to enjoy dinner and live entertainment prior to tee-off time (9 p.m.) and will receive a T-shirt (to be worn during the tournament) and goodie bag. They can also participate in the silent auction.

To sign up as a volunteer, please contact Craig Thompson at 918-582-8272 or


Take Action Now!

On April 18, the Oklahoma Policy Institute stood alongside more than 20 nonprofit, grassroots, and professional organizations (TARC was one of those organizations!) representing hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans on the front lines of public service and community engagement at a press conference at the Capitol to ask lawmakers to address our state’s universally-known revenue and budget problems by adopting the Save Our State Budget.

This budget was built on the belief that Oklahomans deserve a budget that will place Oklahoma on a sustainable path by getting away from budget gimmicks.

  • Place Oklahoma on a sustainable path by getting away from budget gimmicks.
  • Prevent drastic cuts to state services.
  • Invest in core government services like education, public safety, healthcare, and transportation.

The budget is a responsible three-year blueprint for a better budget based upon the following principles:

  • Address the overall budget situation, not just the public education crisis. The plan ensures there will be enough revenue to avert further budget cuts and invest in key priorities.
  • Acknowledge revenue is part of the problem and modernize the tax system while ending special interest giveaways.
  • Look beyond the current crisis and propose realistic solutions to structural budget problems plaguing the state.
  • Propose reforms to budgeting practices that will increase legislative oversight and reduce the potential for future revenue failures.
  • Model the transparency we believe our elected officials should adopt.

From the TARC perspective, this budget addresses the critical need to continue existing commitments to individuals with developmental disabilities already receiving services and expanding services to those on the DDS waiting list for Waiver Services. This proposed budget embodies the advocacy goals we have set for TARC.
The full budget plan can be downloaded at the Save Our State website at
The website has a “take action” link in the upper right corner. Please make use of this resource as well as contacting your legislators and asking them to support this plan. People with developmental disabilities and their families will benefit.


22nd Annual Shot In The Dark Golf Tournament


The 22nd Annual Shot In The Dark Golf Tournament is scheduled for Friday, May 5, 2017* at MeadowBrook Country Club, 9300 E. 81st St. Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the tournament will begin at 9 p.m. Participants will also enjoy dinner, $10,000 putting contest, live entertainment, silent auction, and more.

This unique tournament is played at night with glow-in-the-dark balls and glow sticks marking tee boxes and holes. Golfers will tee off in teams of four at the 9 p.m. shotgun start. All holes are reset to par three and the golfers navigate the course playing nine holes.

All team spaces have been filled at this time for the tournament.

For more information please call 918-582-TARC (8272).

*Rain Date: May 12, 2017

Dress code: Collared shirts. No jeans.


OKC Wings for Autism®

TARC in partnership with Oklahomans 4 Autism Insurance Reform!, Will Rogers World Airport, Delta Air Lines, Speech Pathway LLC, Full Circle Developmental Center, Stanbro Healthcare Group, and Uptown Kids will host Wings for Autism® on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Wings for Autism® is an airport rehearsal program specifically designed for individuals on the autism spectrum, people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families. The program gives families the chance to experience the process of taking a flight. Families arrive at the airport, check in at the ticket counter and receive their boarding pass, go through TSA security, and board a plane.

To register for this event, please click here.

FREE CME and CNE-accredited FASD Prevention online courses now available

A clinician’s actions can change a life forever and help prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

FREE CME and CNE-accredited FASD Prevention online courses for physicians, nurses, medical and nursing students are now available through December 31, 2016.

Physicians, nurses, medical and nursing students will learn how they can help detect and address risky drinking in patients that are pregnant or of reproductive age.

    • Courses are FREE of charge
    • Courses are between 15 and 60 minutes
    • Courses are available for CME and CNE credits:
      • Physicians: Between .25 and 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
      • Nurses Practitioners and Nurses: Between .25 and 1.0 contact hour, including up to 0.5 pharmacology hours
      • Pharmacists: 1.0 contact hour
    • Courses are available through December 31, 2016
    • Courses were developed by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and The Arc of the United States
    • For additional information, contact and visit The Arc’s FASD Prevention Project to learn about additional for-credit webinars

Click HERE for more information.

2016 Advocacy Awards tickets now available

Please click HERE to RSVP and/or purchase guest/general admission tickets for the 2016 TARC Advocacy Awards & Volunteer Recognition presentation and dinner.

We invite you to join TARC in recognizing those who have provided outstanding service and advocacy for Oklahomans with developmental disabilities and for dinner on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 at the Marriott Southern Hills Hotel, 1902 East 71st Street, in Tulsa beginning at 5:45 p.m.

The TARC Advocacy Awards & Volunteer Recognition also will include entertainment by the Pathways Choir from Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Tulsa whose choir members include several individuals with developmental disabilities. Also performing will be the Green Country Shining Stars – a cheerleading squad for special needs athletes ages 5 and older.

Master of ceremonies for this year’s event will be KOTV’s “6 In The Morning” personality LeAnne Taylor.

LeAnne Taylor

Please RSVP/purchase tickets no later than Nov. 30.

For more information, please call 918-582-TARC (8272) or 800-688-TARC (8272).

Awards will be given in the following categories:

Advocate – Case Manager
Recognizes the OKDHS/DDSD case manager who has surpassed job requirements to advocate for his or her clients.

Advocate – Direct Care Provider
Recognizes the direct contact staff person working for a community provider, who has gone beyond job requirements to advocate for people with disabilities.

Advocate – Educator
Recognizes a public school educator who has promoted the inclusion of children with disabilities in regular school settings.

Advocate – Professional Provider
Recognizes any professional such as a therapist or physician who advocates for people with disabilities beyond their professional responsibilities.

Advocate – Volunteer
Recognizes the volunteer or group of volunteers who, in a program serving people with developmental disabilities, has gone beyond the call of duty to advocate.

Elected Official
Recognizes an elected official who has effectively promoted better understanding and integration of people with disabilities in employment, education, and the community.

Recognizes the self-advocate who has spoken out for all people with disabilities.

Media Advocate
Recognizes the media professional who has effectively promoted better understanding and integration of people with disabilities living in the community.

Parent Advocate
Recognizes the parent(s) of a person with developmental disabilities who has been a voice for all people with disabilities.

Special Achievement in Advocacy
Recognizes the individual, business, or organization not included in other categories, which through a significant advocacy effort has improved the lives of people with disabilities.

Catalyst of Change
Recognizes individuals, groups or organizations that have been catalysts for significant positive change in improving the lives of Oklahomans with developmental disabilities over a long period of time.

Shelby Hard Courage in Advocacy
Recognizes individuals who have faced extreme challenges while still advocating for others.