OUR HISTORY

The Arc of the Capital Area (The Arc) empowers Central Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families through compassionate case management and innovative programs. Examples of I/DD include autism, spina bifida, seizure disorder, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome. The Arc was founded in 1949 by parents whose children with I/DD were excluded from public schools and other resources readily available to children without disabilities. The Arc provides unique services to help families adapt to life with a child with a disability and to assist maturing adults with disabilities gain the skills they need to become independent. We are committed to working toward a future where all children and adults with disabilities have opportunities to live meaningful and healthy lives. Since 1949, The Arc has spoken for those who cannot always speak for themselves, who are often our most vulnerable citizens.

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities estimates that between 1.5 – 2.5% of Americans have an I/DD diagnosis. This percentage calculates out to between 26,386 and 43,976 people in Central Texas, respectively. This number includes 1 in 6 children. Yet Texas ranks 50th (out of 50 states and the District of Columbia) in providing community-based services to children and adults with I/DD.

The Arc closes vital service gaps for approximately 2,000 Central Texans and their families by providing services relevant to all areas of life for children and adults with I/DD. For many families, The Arc is their sole service provider. Our services include:

  • Intake/Referral: Assess needs; link and refer to other services.
  • Family & Juvenile Transition Services: Special education advocacy; caregiver mentoring; support groups; workshops and outreach.
  • Guardianship Services: Helps low-income families establish guardianship of children with I/DD who have recently reached or will soon reach adulthood (age 18) in Travis County.
  • Juvenile Justice Services: Case management; advocacy; support to children in special education involved in or at risk of involvement in crime; family support with court proceedings in Travis County.
  • Case Management: CLASS Medicaid Waiver case management (17 counties); benefits (Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP) application assistance; referrals for independent living; social security application assistance; supported employment advocacy and assistance; transportation           arrangement assistance; social activities and opportunities.
  • The Arc of the Arts Program: Art classes; performing arts and movement classes; exhibiting/selling artwork; pre-employment/socialization training; Accredited Continuing Education Art Classes as an Austin Community College satellite site.

Our target populations are children and adults with I/DD and their caregivers/parents in Central Texas. We are an affiliate of The Arc of Texas and The Arc (of the United States), the oldest volunteer driven association in the country. In addition to providing quality services to individuals with I/DD and their families, The Arc is a founding member of two formal collaborations: Best Single Source Plus and The Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Central Texas.