A Leader in Disability Rights

The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. We encompass all ages and more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities.

Strong National Presence

With nearly 700 state and local chapters nationwide, The Arc is on the front lines to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have the support and services they need to be fully engaged in their communities. The Arc works with its federation of state and local chapters to create an impressive network of human service agencies ensuring they have the strongest civil rights advocates promoting and protecting their needs at all levels.

Our nationwide network of chapters provides a wide range of human services and other supports to people with I/DD and their family members, including individual and public policy advocacy and residential, educational, and vocational services that let people with I/DD participate and be included in their communities. In addition, many of our chapters provide person-centered and financial planning, recreational activities, and other supports that meet the unique needs of people with I/DD and their families.

Deeply Rooted History

The Arc was born more than 60 years ago from a grassroots movement of families working vigilantly to create services for children and adults who were being denied day care, educational opportunities and work programs.

Founded in 1950, The Arc was comprised of a small group of concerned and passionate parents and community members who would be catalyst for changing the public perception of children with disabilities. For the past 60+ years, The Arc has continued to grow and evolve along with the changing needs and issues people with disabilities and their families face.

Governed by a volunteer board of directors and managed by key staff of The Arc, we work passionately to uphold our vision that every individual and family living with an intellectual or developmental disability in the United States has access to the information, advocacy and skills they need to participate as active citizens of our democracy and active members of their community.

Become a part of our mission and get involved with a local chapter today!

From Peter Berns, CEO

Mom and child