About Us

About Us
As part of a national organization, our primary goal is to improve supports and services available for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. That’s our responsibility. Locally we see ourselves as much more!  Together, we are a “family” of individuals working together to improve the quality of life for those in Erie County facing special challenges. Siblings, parents, friends, teachers, physicians, employers and social workers – we see everyone as a valuable member of our community.

History
The Arc of Erie County was founded in 1952 by Dr. Gertrude A. Barber and a group of dedicated parents sitting around a kitchen table. Together they 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. Today, more 60 years later, The Arc continues to build on the strong traditions of the past by serving all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the county.

Our Mission
The Arc of Erie County provides advocacy and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. We offer free educational advocacy, monitor governmental legislation and support programs that highlight current research. We also assist in programs to enhance personal growth and encourage community inclusion.

As part of a national organization, our primary goal is to improve supports and services available for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Values
The Arc believes that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are defined by their own strengths, abilities, and inherent value, not by their disability. The Arc believes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are entitled to the respect, dignity, equality, safety, and security accorded to other members of society, and are equal before the law. We believe in community, diversity, self determination, and self-advocacy.

Guiding Principles
The Arc leads by articulating a positive vision for the future of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We represent the public interest, supporting and acting with and on behalf of all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families regardless of the type of disability.The Arc conducts its business with integrity, accountability, and open, honest and timely communication. The Arc is committed to quality and excellence in all it does.