Find Help From The Arc
The Arc is made up of a network of nearly 655 state and local chapters nationwide. Our chapters serve as the primary vehicle through which we advance our mission.
On the front lines providing individual advocacy, programs, services, and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. To find out what supports and services are offered near you, contact a local chapter in your area.
Leading state-level public policy advocacy, providing local chapter support, and some may also offer direct services such as case coordination, special needs trust planning, or public awareness and education. To find out what supports and services are offered in your state, contact your state chapter.
Supports & Services
May include early intervention, supported employment, job training, transition planning, respite care, supported living and transportation to name a few. Additional services available at some chapters include: case management, medical and dental care and therapeutic services such as occupational and physical therapy, behavior management, speech therapy and more. Depending on the stage of life a person is in, the supports may vary and are meant to be tailored to meet that person’s individual needs. Check with your local chapter to determine which services are available.
The Arc implements several national programs that are funded by grants from government, private foundations or other dedicated sources. These programs encompass our national initiatives:
Autism NOW: The National Autism Resource and Information Center
The Arc’s Autism NOW Center provides a central point of access to high-quality resources and information for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), their families, professionals, and other key stakeholders. The website is unique in that all of the content has been created or reviewed by people with autism. To find out more, visit the site at www.autismnow.org.
To find out more about the progress of the National Autism Resource and Information Center towards these goals, please go to autismnow.org.
Center for Future Planning™
The Arc’s Center for Future Planning™ aims to support and encourage adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families to plan for the future. The Center provides reliable information and practical assistance to individuals with I/DD, their family members and friends, professionals who support them and other members of the community on areas such as person-centered planning, decision-making, housing options, and financial planning. Learn more about the Center for Future Planning™.
Chapter Excellence Group
The Chapter Excellence Group brings together the collective expertise of our more than 700 local and state chapters. Functioning as a hub for sharing information, training, and developing innovative programs and resources, the Chapter Excellence Group promotes best practices in advocacy, services and supports for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Down Syndrome Grant Program
The Arc received two restricted gifts dedicating more than $3 million for the care, education, and support of people with Down syndrome in New Mexico; a smaller fund is dedicated to Down syndrome research.
FASD Prevention Project
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Prevention Project seeks to increase health care provider knowledge of the risks alcohol poses to a fetus. Through educational opportunities, the project encourages healthcare providers to screen women of childbearing age for alcohol use and inform them about the dangers of using alcohol during all phases of pregnancy. Read more about the FASD Prevention Project.
Family Support Research and Training Center
The Arc is proud to work with the Family Support Research and Training Center (FSRTC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The Family Support Research and Training Center (FSRTC) is a collaboration of researchers and organizations who are focused on synthesizing and generating knowledge about the needs and experiences of families who provide support to children and adults with disabilities across the life course. Because family support is similar across different types of disability and across different age groups, we aim to bridge different resources and information across these groups to inform more cohesive policies and practices related to family support. As a part of this project, The Arc supports local and state chapters to develop family support state coalitions including organizations that represent people with physical, developmental, mental health, and aging-related disabilities, hosts webinars on family support issues, provides input on other FSRTC efforts, and shares products and practices identified and developed by this project. Check out The Arc’s FSRTC webinar archive.
HealthMeet® is a project of The Arc funded through a 1 million dollar grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that works to reduce health disparities and increase the longevity and quality of life for people with intellectual disability. To achieve this, HealthMeet® deploys free community-based health screenings and individualized referrals for individuals with I/DD; provides training and education to individuals, their families, direct service professionals, medical providers, and medical students; and raises public awareness of health issues that impact people with I/DD across the country. Learn more about the HealthMeet® project.
MLK Day of Service Project
The Arc knows that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have a lot to offer their community, and many do so by giving back in a variety of ways. Through a grant from the Corporation on National and Community Service, The Arc and its chapter network implement inclusive service projects that engage volunteers with and without disabilities in food assistance efforts in their communities.
National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability®
The Arc is pleased to announce it has been awarded a two-year grant for $400,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to develop a national center on criminal justice and disability, with a focus on intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This is the first national effort of its kind to bring together both victim and suspect/offender issues involving people with I/DD under one roof. According to the National Crime Victim Survey of 2010, the victimization rate is twice as high for individuals with disabilities as compared to those without disabilities. Read more about NCCJD.
National Council of Self Advocates
The National Council of Self Advocates of The Arc (NCSA) is the formation of a group of leaders representing the full spectrum of ages and abilities across our national chapter network. By joining, you will have the opportunity to network with other self advocates as well as to support the advocacy and programs of The Arc at all levels. Learn more about the National Council of Self Advocates.
National Sibling Council
The Arc’s National Sibling Council welcomes all siblings and those who support siblings who are members of The Arc either at the local, state or national level. The Council will offer opportunities for networking, support, advocacy, and leadership development. Learn more about The Arc's National Sibling Council.
Self-Advocates with FASD in Action (The SAFA Network)
This project will build and support a strong network of self-advocates with FASD who can provide leadership in promoting and organizing self-advocacy efforts that benefit them. The SAFA Network will provide outreach to individuals with an FASD through conference calls, meetings at the annual Building FASD State Systems (BFSS) conferences, and exhibits at regional or national conferences throughout the country. If you have an FASD and are interested in getting involved, please contact Leigh Ann Davis, Project Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.534.3727. Learn more about the SAFA Network.
The Arc@School, The Arc’s National Center on Special Education Advocacy, builds the capacity of chapters to provide individual advocacy that helps students with I/DD and their families navigate the special education system. By improving the quality and availability of trained lay advocates to support the development and implementation of individualized education programs (IEPs), The Arc@School supports students with I/DD to graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education and employment. The Arc@School’s Online Resource Center, www.thearcatschool.org, provides students, families, educators, and advocates information about services available to students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as a directory of special education advocates in each state. The Arc@School was made possible by a contribution from the AT&T Foundation.
The Arc@Work™ provides chapters of The Arc, corporations, and government agencies across the country with an array of products, services, and support to effectively transition individuals with I/DD into the U.S. workforce in community-based jobs at competitive wages.
The Arc@Work™ is leading the way in developing innovative workforce solutions for the government and private sector by connecting employers with talented employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities and supporting the recruitment, on-boarding, and retention process that increases the diversity, productivity, and quality of their overall workforce. The Arc@Work™ delivers specialized programs such as the Specialisterne IT training initiative and dedicated toolkits such as TalentScout™ to support employers’ recruitment and on-boarding needs.
With over 500 apps and devices available, Tech Toolbox is a peer-reviewed directory of technology products that are useful and effective for people with I/DD. Tech Toolbox was implemented through a national partnership with the Comcast Foundation. Find out more here.
Wings for Autism®
Wings for Autism® is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families and aviation professionals. Originated by the Charles River Center, a local chapter of The Arc, Wings for Autism® is designed to alleviate some of the stress that children with autism and their families experience when traveling by air. The program provides families with the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtain boarding passes, go through security and board a plane. Wings for Autism® also gives airport, airline, Transportation Security Administration professionals and other personnel the opportunity to observe, interact and deliver their services in a structured, learning environment. This experience is equally useful for families that have a member with other intellectual or developmental disabilities that are concerned about the ability of their family member to travel. Read more about Wings for Autism®.