The Arc of the United
States was founded in 1950.
At that time little was known about intellectual and
developmental disabilities and there were no programs nor
activities for the development and care of persons with ID/DD and
family support. To address this situation this fledgling
organization set out 3 priorities:
To change public
To educate parents
and others concerning potentials
To procure services
for persons denied day care, preschool, education and
The Arc of the US today is the world's largest
community based organization of people and for people with
intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Through its 850 state and local chapters the organization
has 140,000 members. The chapters range in size from
small volunteer groups to large sophisticated multi-million
dollar service providing operations.
Every individual and family affected by intellectual and
developmental disability should have access to information,
advocacy and skills they need to participate as active
citizens of our democracy and active members of their
community. We work to ensure that people with ID and
DD and their families have the supports they need to live an
ordinary, decent, American life.
Advocacy at the federal and state
levels has been effective over the years. Today the
majority of persons with ID/ DD do have access to some help.
While the scope of this support still needs to be
improved considerable strides have been made since the early
50's. More recently The Arc of Missouri was
successful in advocating the need to reduce the 'Wait
However, today at the state and federal levels governments
have the unenviable task of reducing total
expenditures. Everything will be reviewed.
In order to ensure that our cause is heard and
understood at government levels ADVOCACY has to be stepped
up into high gear. Membership numbers add credence to our cause. So now is
the time to stand up and be counted and join our
efforts by becoming a member of the state/local
chapter and in so doing become a member of the largest
organization supporting persons with ID / DD in
the US. Your membership counts.
If you are interested in additional membership
information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.