At 18, New York State residents are considered legally competent to manage their affairs. However, some people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) may not be able to do so. Some families are able to provide this support themselves, but have to complete time-consuming and confusing legal documentation to do so. In addition, aging guardians find needs more difficult to meet.

The Arc of Monroe County can provide assistance with legal processes, offer full-care support, or be on standby for those that may need additional help down the road.

The Arc’s Guardian Advocates and volunteers become a part of a person’s life, listening to their needs, being a trusted friend, and supporting them with important decisions in the areas of medical care, legal matters and finances.

Guardianship at the Arc is a division of NYSARC’s Guardianship Program, which was established in 1970 and currently serves more than 1,000 people across the state.

More than 50 years after coming to America by boat from Barbados, Evelyn Lashley became a U.S. citizen. In a moving ceremony at the Monroe County Office Building, Evelyn received her citizenship papers at age 81. Evelyn, who lives in the Arc’s Nine Mile Point Road home, became an American citizen thanks to Beth Deacon, Arc guardianship coordinator. “Her residency card was expiring every few years, so I thought why not get her citizenship and make her feel like she really belongs,” said Beth.

– Evelyn Lashley

Quick Facts:

  • Two types of guardianship:
    • Primary – for those who need assistance right now
    • Standby – for those who need a successor in the future
  • Guardianship does not have to apply to a person’s whole life-care – recipients and their family can choose specific services to fit their needs
  • Guardianship services are administered by Guardianship Advocates who work with dedicated committee volunteers


For more information on guardianship services or to become a guardianship volunteer, call (585) 286-9607.