The Arc is a nationwide organization made up of parents, volunteers and professionals working to enrich the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Founded by parents in 1946, The Arc is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. The Arc was founded by Minnesota parents more than 50 years ago as the Association for Retarded Children. In 1989, The Arc changed it’s name in recognition that people of many kinds of intellectual  disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and Down Syndrome, are served by The Arc. As a result of The Arc’s efforts, people with intellectual disabilities now have more opportunities to live, learn, work, socialize and participate in their home communities.

Our Vision

Our vision is a world where people with intellectual disabilities are treated with dignity and respect and have equal opportunities to live, learn, work, socialize, and participate in their home communities.

 Arc Southwest News and Major Events:

Community Cup for a Cause

Consider picking up your favorite hot beverage on May 13-14th to help support MRCI Worksource and their training and employment programs! Please see flyer for participating locations:


Expressions from the Spectrum Art Exhibit

Please mark your calendars to attend “Expressions from the Spectrum.” An artistic showcase of creativity and talent from local students on the autism spectrum. The display will run from May 2-May 31, with an open house on Tuesday, May 10 from 5-7 PM at Frozen Yogurt Creations!!

Autism Spectrum art show

The Work Incentives Connection is hosting a 90 minute information session near you. Topics include:

Work rules for SSI and SSDI, healthcare options for people who work—How and when to report. Sessions are for anyone who receives disability benefits, family members and the professionals who work with them. For more information on time and a location near you or to register please click link: Work Incentives Connection Community Meeting Flyer

Do you have old electronics to recycle? Take it to SMILES Spring electronic recycling days!! See details below:

recycle day snip

2016 Disability Parking Survey:

The Minnesota State Council on Disability is seeking your input on Minnesota’s disability parking regulations. The purpose of the survey is to evaluate how people use the disability parking, what issues are occurring if any, while using the disability parking and how to mediate these issues. The survey will provide valuable data needed to determine if changes need to be made to Minnesota’s disability parking statute.  Your valuable insight is needed to help us determine next steps.

The survey can be found by using the following link: http://www.disability.state.mn.us/2016/01/19/survey-2/

Star Tribune Series- A Matter of Dignity, by Chris Serres

Please read this extremely important series written by Chris Serres about how Minnnesota isolates and marginalizes thousands of adults with disabilities.

How Minnesota has failed the disabled


The Olmstead Plan and Employment First, Myths and Realities: Fact Sheet

Check out this great video explanation of the Olmstead Plan, The Omstead Plan is a path to progress for people with disabilities!



Important information:

Olmstead Plan Updates
Revised OlmsteadPlan


Arc Southwest is a Partner Agency of: