We founded The Arc of Orleans County in 1970 on simple principles:
- That people have the right to participate in their community to their full ability.
- That people have the right to a supportive network of friends and advocates.
- That people have the responsibility to care for themselves and their neighbors in a safe, holistic, healthy community.
We started with Camp Rainbow in 1970, allowing children with disabilities to form lasting, healthy relationships with other children. We followed that two years later with Rainbow Preschool, which brought the same opportunity to a more structured educational environment.
As the years went by, we responded to the community’s needs by adding vocational services, recreation services and residential services. We began to provide support for families, then added clinical services for the people we serve.
Today, we go far beyond serving people with developmental disabilities. We help the elderly; provide support for businesses, opportunities for families and children. We can even detail your car.
We are one of 47 chapters of NYSARC Inc., which was founded in 1949. Through the decades, both NYSARC and The Arc have gone through some changes. ARC used to stand for Association for Retarded Children, but we changed the C to Citizens in 1987. And in 1993, we eliminated the acronym altogether, because we realized we serve so many people in so many different ways.
But our mission, our vision, and our principles remain the same.
The Arc of Orleans County is a not-for-profit human service agency that offers support, advocacy and a variety of services and opportunities primarily for individuals with disabilities and their families to pursue their desired quality of life.
The Arc of Orleans County is a partnership of the people we serve, volunteers and staff working to improve our community through empowerment/opportunities, holistic approach, natural support, teamwork, productive employment, advocacy, self-sufficiency, appropriate technology, rights recognized by all, ownership, community membership, innovative approaches and valuing diversity.
Encourage Community Membership: People have the opportunity to work and volunteer in settings that are both socially and physically integrated. They perform different social roles and participate in community life.
Encourage and Build Relationships: People make and have friends and remain connected to natural supports.
Protect Individual Integrity and Rights: People exercise their rights and are free from abuse and neglect. The Arc respects cultural and religious beliefs.
Promote Individual Choice and Shared Responsibility: People have meaningful choices both in their daily lives and in planning for their future.
Ensure Health and Security: People experience the best possible health and are kept reasonably safe from harm.
Teamwork: Staff and volunteers work together for the good of the person receiving services to provide the best combination of service and support.
Additional Information About Us
The Arc of Orleans County is an active member of the Collaborative of the Finger Lakes, Inc. The Collaborative of the Finger Lakes, Inc. is a network of 12 not-for-profit NYSARC, Inc. agencies. Collectively, these agencies provide advocacy and a range of person-centered supports and services in 14 Upstate New York counties to more than 9,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. Through partnership, Collaborative agencies meet the diverse needs of individuals and families seeking choices, inclusion, and opportunities. The Collaborative of the Finger Lakes, Inc. is represented in the following counties:
Allegany Arc: www.alleganyarc.org
Chemung ARC: www.chemungarc.org
Genesee ARC: www.gencoarc.com
The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming: www.lwarc.org
The Arc of Monroe County: www.arcmonroe.org
Ontario ARC: www.ontarioarc.org
The Arc of Schuyler: www.arcofschuyler.org
Seneca Cayuga ARC: www.sencayarc.org
The Arc of Steuben: www.arcofsteuben.org
Wayne ARC: www.waynearc.org
Arc of Yates: www.arcofyates.org
Save the Jobs of People with Disabilties!
There is an immediate crisisin New York State facing people with disabilities, especially those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Unless our collective advocacy efforts are heard and responded to by our New York State elected official and Administration, traditional Skill Development Centers and Work Centers will be eliminated over the next 6 years.
There is agreement among funders, advocates and providers that integrated employment at prevailing wages is ideal for everyone with a disability. While the Federal and State governments have embraced this concept as a desired end result, they have not created any tangible, positive options to reach this goal. Rather, they seem determined to eliminate Work Centers, an employment option that was developed over the previous decades by families and service providers. Work Centers have provided meaningful and satisfying employment to thousands of individuals with disabilities in New York State. We cannot idly sit by and watch this critical employment option be taken away!
We need your support! Please explore the Employment Coalition of Western New York's web site at http://employmentcoalitionofwny.com/ to learn more about the issues and to find out how you can help advocate for positive change! Thank you!
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