The Arc History
In 1950, little was known about intellectual disability (then referred to as ‘mental retardation’) and developmental disability, or its causes. There were virtually no programs and activities to assist in the development and care of people with I/DD or to support families. It was common for doctors to tell parents that the best place for their child was in an institution. But these advocates wanted more. They wanted their loved ones to lead fulfilling lives in the community and not be shuttered away in dark institutions. Emboldened by their collective desire to raise their children in the home and their refusal to accept that institutionalization was the only option, The Arc was born.