We are part of a national movement boosting over 140,000 members. We were organized in 1953 by a small group of parents who came together to act as voices for change. At this time, little was known about the condition of developmental disabilities or its causes. There were virtually no programs and activities in the community to assist in the development and care of children and adults with disabilities or to support their families.
It was common at that time for doctors to tell parents that the best place for their child was an institution. 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 due to their collective desire to raise children in their home and their stubborn refusal to accept that institutionalization was the only option, that The Arc was formed.
We have come a long way since those days but our mission has not changed. We believe that disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the rights of individuals to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, pursue meaningful careers, enjoy full inclusion and integration in the economic, political, social, cultural and educational mainstream of American society.
The Arc of Norfolk provides important information to people with developmental disabilities and their families, connects them to community supports and resources and stands with them in direct advocacy efforts. The Arc of Norfolk is affiliated with The Arc of Nebraska and The Arc of the U.S., the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy organization for people who have disabilities.
The Arc of Norfolk sponsors seven social events throughout the year for self-advocates, families and support staff. These events can be found on the following page.