In a way the ARC was born around 1937 in Brooklyn, along with some developmentally disabled children. Their parents ignored the advice of doctors to institutionalize them. Instead, these parents loved, nurtured, and watched them learn and grow beyond those doctors’ predictions.
In 1955 these parents joined forces to found the ARC. The letters stood for Adult Retardates Center. Their children were now young adults. The medical community used the word “retardates” then. And the “center” was just that, a place to meet and socialize.
Decades later, the letters were given a new meaning, Adult Resources Center. “Developmental disability” replaced “mentally retarded” as the word “retardates” became demeaning. The ARC provided needed resources at its several centers.
Today, ARC stands for more, does more, and reaches more families.
We affirm the right of developmentally disabled adults to reach their full potential.
We respect their right to a fulfilling life without fear of discrimination or isolation.
We connect them to the services they need in the communities where they live.
We are proud of our history. Some of those original young adults, now in their 70s and 80s are still with us. Their courageous and loving parents passed away decades ago, knowing their children would always be safe, loved, and happy.
We are proud of our innovations including family-style homes in communities, supportive employment, community outreach, socialization, and much more. And we continue to grow and adapt as we deliver personalized, skilled, and loving support to our consumers and their families.