A History of Helping Those with Intellectual and other Developmental Disabilities

The Arc of Monroe County has been providing a variety of programs and services for over 1,700 people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families in the Rochester community for almost 60 years.The Arc works to enhance the quality of life and self-esteem of people in our programs, providing them with meaningful social development, supported employment, residential community living and enrichment opportunities. The Arc is funded in part by the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. The Arc also receives funding from Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR).

The Arc of Monroe County has 40 locations in Monroe County that assist people with intellectual and/or other developmental disabilities that include Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders among others.

A wide array of services are offered through the Arc for people with intellectual and/or other developmental disabilities such as  living opportunities in our group homes and residences, volunteer opportunities in the community, unique and creative individualized day services programs, job training is offered through our ArcWorks facility and placement through our Job Path Program.

The Arc Foundation of Monroe County raises and manages funds to enhance the quality of life for people who are part of The Arc of Monroe County. A variety of important enjoyable fundraising efforts provides financial support for programs vital to The Arc’s social, recreational and organizational activities.

At The Arc of Monroe County, we are proud of our history of helping others, but we are just as proud of our commitment to the future, ensuring that people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families will continue to be offered the highest quality, most innovative programs and services available.

Our Founding

When Judge Robert Wagner, his wife Winnie, and several other Rochester-area parents met for the first time in the mid-1950’s to discuss possible services for their children and others with developmental disabilities, the landscape was markedly different than from today.  There were no services.  Public knowledge of the issue was minimal.  There was no funding.  They not only had to build a non-profit organization from scratch, but raise awareness and funds for a previously “hidden need,” since persons with developmental disabilities were usually institutionalized.

Today, our founders still marvel at the changes they helped bring about.  It took years of hard work and an unceasing commitment to bring radical change in how people with developmental disabilities were looked upon and supported.  And these parents did this not just for their children, but for others in their community with developmental disabilities.  Their unselfish commitment helped transform Monroe County into a more diverse, accepting and caring community.

The Vision of the Arc

The Arc of Monroe is a leader in developing models of excellence in supporting people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. We encourage people to become inter-dependent and an integral part of the community. We adapt to a changing environment by promoting person-centered opportunities. The Arc will celebrate diversity and healthy living for all members of our family. We are viewed as an agency of choice and as a strong collaborator in our community.

The Mission of the Arc

The Arc of Monroe provides individualized support and services to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families to increase the individual’s independence, enhance their abilities to make informed choices, and become part of the community.