The Arc of Colorado

A nonprofit organization

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


Mission Statement:

The Arc of Colorado builds better lives for persons with developmental disabilities and their families by improving connections to school, work and the community through influencing public opinion, increasing public awareness, supporting local chapters, and collaborating with other organizations sharing the same values.

Background Statement

Background Statement:

The Arc of Colorado was incorporated in 1954 as an advocacy and support organization for families of children with developmental disabilities. In the early days, the association worked to change public perception of children with mental retardation and to educate parents and the community at large about mental retardation and other developmental disabilities.

The Arc of Colorado the statewide chapter of The Arc was founded a few years after local chapters of the organization were created in Colorado Springs and Denver. Over the next 55 years, local chapters were formed in the Denver metro and suburban area and other communities including Pueblo, Weld, Mesa, and Larimer counties. About a dozen other chapters throughout the state were created but later dissolved because of inadequate funding andor insufficient membership. There is a growing need for more chapters outside of the Denver metro area.

The Arc of Colorado along with all state and local chapters is an affiliated chapter of The Arc. The Arc, now headquartered in Washington, DC, was founded in 1950 by a small group of parents and other concerned individuals (from several states) who came together to act as voices for change. At the time, little was known about the condition of intellectual disabilities (at the time referred to as mental retardation) or its 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. It was common at that time for doctors to tell parents that the best place for their child was in an institution.

Emboldened by their collective desire to raise their children in their own homes and their stubborn refusal to accept that institutionalization was the only option, The Arc founders fought even harder. Like all parents, they wanted more for their children. They wanted their children to lead fulfilling lives in the community and not be shuttered away in dark institutions. It was in that spirit that The Arc was born.

Organization Data


Organization name

The Arc of Colorado

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy


1580 N. Logan Street Suite 930
Denver, CO 80203

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US


303-864-9334 10

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