A Leader in Disability Rights

We are a part of the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  We encompass all ages and all spectrums from autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X and various other developmental disabilities.

Strong National Presence

The Arc of Snohomish is affiliated with the Arc of United States with more than 140,000 members and nearly 700 state and local chapters nationwide, we are on the front lines to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have the support they need to be members of the community.

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 1943 The Arc of Snohomish County 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 of Snohomish County we work passionately to uphold our vision that every individual and family living with an intellectual or developmental disability in the Snohomish County has access to the information, advocacy and skills they need to participate as active citizens and active members of their community.

 

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

 

The Power of Parents

The Arc has a rich history spanning 60 years and marked by accomplishment.  We continue to carry out the mission and vision of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their parents and siblings.

In 1943, a small group of parents and other concerned individuals came together to act as voices for change. At the time, little was known about the condition of intellectual disabilities (at the time referred to as ‘mental retardation’) or its causes. There were virtually no programs and activities in communities to assist in the development and care of children and adults with intellectual disabilities or to support families.

It was common at that time for doctors to tell parents that the best place for their child was in an institution. Emboldened by their collective desire to raise their children in the home and their stubborn refusal to accept that institutionalization was the only option, The Arc’s founders fought even harder.

Like every parent of any child, they wanted more for their children. They wanted their children to lead fulfilling lives out in the community and not shuttered away in dark institutions. It was in that spirit that The Arc was born.

The early days

At the outset, the organization was committed to altering perceptions of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to educate parents and others regarding the potential of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Arc also worked to procure services for children and adults who were denied an education, the right to attend day care and preschools, and the right to work.

Growing with the times

Over the last 60 years, The Arc of Snohomish has grown and adapted to the changes that people with disabilities face across their life span. Through the decades, The Arc has seen several name changes, advocated for the passage of state legislation on behalf of people with disabilities.

 

Timeline of Accomplishments

 Six Decades of Activism

·         Six Decades of Research & Prevention

 

Historical Accounts

Our rich history leading to successful outcomes would not be possible without the significant number of dedicated parents, family members, volunteers, staff and other advocates from all over the nation who share our vision.  The following testimonies are historical accounts from individuals that were either founders, or were present to witness the origins of the organization. Because these are historical documents, they reflect terminology that was in common usage notably ‘mental retardation,’ a term that is no longer in favor and is not employed by The Arc.

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