HISTORY OF THE ARC SHIAWASSEE
In February of 1956, the first meeting was held at Lemon school with parents of 16 children who began the first step into what The Arc is today. They put together the first school for people with developmental disabilities in Shiawassee County and their charter is received from the national organization in November of 1956. The school opened its doors in June of 1959 at the VFW building in Corunna and would remain there for 2 more years before moving.
The Arc offices first opened in February 1978 in Corunna and the following year began a research program to identify persons with developmental disabilities, a large step in the advocacy aspect of The Arc, bringing awareness to the public and getting assistance for those with disabilities.
Our Mission is to empower people with developmental disabilities in Shiawassee County to participate in and be fully included in the community.
- Started giving Christmas gifts in December 1979 to individuals living in institutions
- Currently we are serving individuals with developmental disabilities living in the community and their families
- Gifts are purchased from donations received from the community
- Volunteers are used to purchase, wrap and deliver gifts
- The Girl Scouts have been active in donating wrapping supplies and the wrapping of gifts since 2004
- Purchased and remodeled a 4 unit apartment house in 1991
- Awarded HUD/MSHDA Housing Grant for the purchase
- Opened in 1992 and located at 402 North Park Street, Owosso, MI 48867
- Started in March 1998
- The Alden and Vada Dow Family Foundation awarded a grant to expand the program in 2000
- Participants are individuals ages 11 and up who are developmentally disabled who are cared for by a loved one or guardian
- Participants meet on Tuesday and Thursdays at The Arc
- Activities are held at The Arc facility and around the community
- Summer Camp is held for 8 weeks in July and August 6, 2012
- Social activities are scheduled monthly for individuals with developmental disabilities and are open to the public.
- Activities are supervised by The Arc staff
- Low event fees are charged based on the activity offered
- Social activities include: dances, bowling, baseball games, movies and more
HISTORY OF THE ARC (ORGANIZATION)
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 1950, 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.
The Arc is the largest national organization of and for people with intellectual and related developmental disabilities and their families, promoting and protecting their human rights and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. We foster respect and access, giving people with I/DD the power to achieve a full and satisfying life through a strong grassroots network of 140,000 members affiliated through more than 700 state and local chapters across the nation. At the national level, a 22 member national board of directors and a delegate body of representatives from each chapter guide The Arc’s work. National headquarters staff located in Washington, D.C. carry out their decisions and directives.
The Arc works to ensure that the estimated 4.6 million Americans with intellectual and related developmental disabilities have the services and supports they need to grow, develop and live in communities across the nation. These services include, but are not necessarily limited to, early intervention, health care, a free and appropriate public education, and supports for their families. For adults, services and supports may include preparation for employment, help in finding a job, independent living skill training, leisure and recreation activities and any other supports needed across the lifespan.