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Who We Are

The Arc promotes and protects the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetime.

Our vision of helping people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities starts with our five core values: people first, equity, community, self-determination and diversity. Advocates and members of The Arc help make the dream a reality by living our values every day.

In 1954, 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 or its root 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.

Like every parent of a child, the founding parents of The Arc 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.

Our History

Celebrating its 64th anniversary in 2018, The Arc of Cape Cod established in 1954 as a voluntary not-for-profit organization. The Arc of Cape Cod is devoted to helping improve the quality of life of Cape Cod residents with developmental disabilities and their families.

The Arc of Cape Cod, like The Arc Massachusetts and The Arc US began as an outgrowth of parent sponsored groups, which began forming around the country in the late 1940s. The Arc of Cape Cod in concert with other Arcs continues to function within this distinguished tradition as partners in advocating for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

From its founding, The Arc has played an important role in advocating changes to improve and enrich the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

This advocacy continues today and has resulted in legislation on both state and federal levels, examples of which include Massachusetts Chapter 766, which provides free and appropriate education for individuals with developmental disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

While each local Arc maintains complete autonomy, they work closely together based on their common values as part of the state and national confederation. This grassroots involvement continues to provide a strong voice for those we serve.

For nearly 30 years a cornerstone of The Arc of Cape Cod's services has been to assist adults with developmental disabilities to live independently as valued members of their communities through an integrated service model that includes case management, individual supports, representative payee services, personal care assistant surrogacy, housing assistance and emergency availability 24/7. These services are individualized and adapted to meet the needs of each program member in the manner that is most helpful to them.

A strong recreation program has grown out of The Arc of Cape Cod's commitment to family support and community integration and continues today as the 250 member-strong Sandpipers Club.

The Arc has carried out the mission and vision of helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their parents and siblings, for more than 60 years.

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