The Arc of Weld County promotes and protects the human rights of people in the community with intellectual and developmental disabilities through advocacy and support services. The Arc of Weld County is a grassroots, non-profit organization committed to creating opportunities for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Our goal is that every person with I/DD is able to live a self determined life as a contributing member of an inclusive community.
The Arc of Weld County, is a local chapter of the national organization The Arc of US, formally established 1992 with a rich history marked by accomplishment. We continue to carry out the mission and vision for people with I/DD, as well as their parents and siblings. Historically, many individuals with I/DD were institutionalized and/or neglected through 1955, when the deinstitutionalization process began in Colorado. Consequently, a small group of parents and other concerned individuals increased their activism to serve as voices for change. At the time, little was known about the condition of I/DD or its causes. There were virtually no programs and activities in communities to assist in the development and care of children and adults with I/DD or to support families. Driven to raise their children in the home and their stubborn refusal to accept that institutionalization was the only option, the our founders fought as they wanted their children to lead fulfilling lives out in the community, thus the Arc was born. At the onset, the organization was committed to altering perceptions of children with I/DD and to educate parents and others regarding the potential of people with I/DD. Over the last 70 years, The Arc has grown and adapted to the changes that people with disabilities face across their lifespan through advocating for the passage of local, state and federal legislation on behalf of people with I/DD, establishing a broad network of state and local chapters, procuring services for children and adults who were denied an education, the right to attend daycare and preschools, and the right to work. Our successful history would not be possible without the significant number of dedicated parents, family members, volunteers, staff and other advocates from all over the nation who share our vision.
The Arc of Weld County is a local chapter with a rich history marked by accomplishment. Without strong advocacy at all levels, people with I/DD may not have access to needed supports as well as opportunities to exercise inherent civil and human rights. Additionally, strong advocacy may be required to prevent and/or address abuse, neglect and exploitation that people with I/DD may experience. Persons with I/DD may need the support of advocates to become effective self-advocates.