Over 30 years of dedication and Service
Paul Stengle became involved in the disability movement in 1968 when he began to volunteer at Western Center working in a peer support group with teenagers from the community. In 1969 a member of his church asked Paul if he wanted to work in developing a group home for children who resided at Western Center. Paul jumped at the opportunity and in 1970 eight young children from Western Center were placed in the Idlewood Children’s Center located in Carnegie, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. Paul continued his volunteer work at Idelwood Children’s Center through high school graduation, and because of his work was offered a full-time job as a child care aide shortly after his graduation. Paul took the position and started his professional career as an advocate for persons with disability. In 1975 Paul was hired as the first case manager for the shelter’s mental health/mental retardation center and worked with administration to secure accreditation by the Joint Commission of the Accreditation for Hospitals. Even though Paul secured full-time employment he continued to work part-time in residential programs for persons with Developmental Disabilities through 1980 when he acquired the position of Director of The Arc of Cumberland-Perry. In that capacity he took considerable pride in development of community based programs for children with Developmental Disabilities. In 1986 he acquired the position as Executive Director of The Arc of Montgomery County which is now The Arc Alliance. During his 30+ years at this agency he increased the number of children and adults served annually from 100 to over 2,500.
During Paul’s professional career he has always been extremely active in volunteering his time. Some of his volunteer activities over the years include: member of the Early Intervention Coalition; President of Parent-to-Parent; member of Representative O’Brien’s EI Stakeholders meetings; member of the Pennsylvania Waiting List Campaign; Founding member of Direct Care Partnership; Founding member of the Community Advocacy Coalition; Past Board member of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities; past Vice President of the Montgomery County MR Providers Association; past President of The Arc Community Trust of Pennsylvania; past Board member of the Patrician Society; past Board member and Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Pennsylvania Association of Rehab Facilities; and past Co-Chairperson of the Transition Team on Human Service Task Force of Montgomery County.
Paul became a member of the Pennsylvania State Interagency Coordinating Council in 1999 through June 5, 2008. As a member of the Pennsylvania State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC) he chaired the Continuous Quality Monitoring Committee of the SICC and served on
numerous committees of the SICC. He is a member and President of the Pennsylvania Conference of Executives of The Arc. He was past Board member of DRM, previously the Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy Incorporated. Helped create and is president of the Delaware Valley Guardian Association.
Paul has not only been involved in leadership roles and numerous non-profits over his 47 years of working on behalf of individuals with disability, he is also active in direct work with parents. He runs a father group on Saturday mornings; he still attends IEP meetings as an advocate; and he is literally available 24/7 to individuals and the parents of children with disabilities who are in crisis.
Paul’s commitment goes well beyond a professional and personal commitment. He also has been willing to be the guardian for two individuals with developmental disabilities.
In 1993 Paul became the proud father of Harrison Stengle who is a child on the PDD spectrum who has dyslexia and auditory processing difficulty, has speech and language difficulties, as well as fine motor difficulties. Paul advocated for fair inclusion of his son in a regular curriculum, and since third grade he has been fully included in regular education graduating from Boyertown School District and just recently graduate from Point Park College. Harrison is now following his dream of being actively involved in theatrical productions writing, acting and producing.
Paul’s commitment to early intervention and individuals with disabilities resulted because of his exposure to children at Western Center. He also clearly knew as a child that he was different and in college went through a battery of psychological tests that indicated that he had Attention Deficit Disorder, dyslexia, and a short-term memory problem. He understood what it meant to struggle in the educational system and not have the supports to overcome his disabilities. Because of his concern for individuals being institutionalized and his own personal experience he became an advocate to see that individuals receive appropriate supports in inclusive settings.
Paul Stengle Advocacy Fund
The Arc Alliance is proud of Paul’s passion and commitment for advocating for individuals and families. To honor and perpetuate his passion The Arc Alliance has established the “Paul Stengle Advocacy Fund”.
This fund is focused on providing the valued and needed resources required to support individuals with special needs and their families in securing the rights they deserve. We welcome you to support the Paul Stengle Advocacy Fund – honoring Paul Stengle and supporting advocacy for those in need.
Consider a special gift of Support today! Feel free to leave Paul a comment of congratulations and tribute for his 30 years of dedication and commitment to The Arc Alliance and the individuals we serve. Let him know what his support has meant to you and those you know, love and support.