A Walk Through Time With The Arc

 

1946

At a holiday party Dec. 22 at Hammer School, parents come together and elect Reuben Lindh as their chairman.

 

1947

Dr. Reynold Jensen, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, challenges the prevailing practice of immediately separating children born with disabilities from their parents, counseling parents to delay the decision to place their child in an institution.

 

1948

The Association of Friends of the Mentally Retarded files articles of incorporation and establishes member dues of $1 per year.

Cedric Adams of the Minneapolis Star promotes a holiday gift campaign for persons living in state hospitals which generated 30,000 gifts from seven states.

 

1950

The National Association of Parents and Friends of the Mentally Retarded begins at the first-ever national convention of parents on Sept. 28, 1950 in Minneapolis.

 

1954

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were the first national celebrities to talk openly about issues facing children with disabilities and their families.

 

1955

The Minnesota Association for Retarded Children incorporates in October to coordinate local, state, regional and national initiatives and provide leadership in government affairs.

 

1956–1965

Arc members work hard to pass laws that:

  • mandate special education for educable students
  • provide funding for teacher training
  • establish day activity center services
  • fund prenatal care services for high risk women
  • support research into the causes of mental retardation

 

1960

The Arc national convention celebrates the movement’s tenth anniversary in Minneapolis with the “Panorama of Progress.”

 

1961

Phenylketonuria (PKU) detection starts. With early detection and a special diet, a child with PKU can achieve normal intelligence and development.

 

1961

Arc receives United Way funding for the first time.

 

1963

President John F. Kennedy signs legislation providing $355 million for a federal and state mental health and mental retardation program.

 

1964

Parents succeed in establishing classes for trainable students in the Minneapolis Public Schools, a full eleven years before national legislation mandates special education services.

 

1966–1975

Legislation passes that:

  • increases the number of staff at state hospitals
  • increases funding for day activity center programs, sheltered workshops and public education services
  • starts work activity programs in state institutions
  • secures statewide mandatory training for trainable children
  • provides funding to develop small, community-based group homes

 

1966

Arc members wage “Minnesota on the March,” mobilizing to take an active role in the legislative session.

 

1970

The 20th Annual Convention of Arc is held in Minneapolis.

 

1975

Arc parents rally in support of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This legislation mandates free, appropriate public education for all children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment.

 

1977

Arc’s individual advocacy programs begin.

 

1976–1985

Legislation passes that:

  •  permits day activity centers to serve high school graduates and creates employment training
  •  provides health insurance for the uninsured
  • establishes grievance procedures and fundamental benefits for sheltered workers
  • develops day programs for adults with severe disabilities
  • mandates case management services
  • provides mandatory education services beginning at age three

 

1979

Arc starts a nationwide public awareness campaign about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

 

1980

The TapeMark Charity Golf Tournament begins, benefiting Arc.

 

1981

Arc sponsors its first consumer conference, called “I’d Like to Know More”.

 

1982

Value Village Thrift Store opens in Richfield, the first of Arc’s thrift businesses.

 

1984

Self-advocates organize a local chapter of People First, a international self-advocacy movement, with support from Arc.

 

1986–1996

A decade of legislative progress that:

  • mandates services for children with disabilities from birth
  • mandates transition plans and diplomas for high school graduates
  • results in the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • develops crisis intervention services, preserves in-home supports and personal care attendant services
  • develops a closure plan for the Regional Treatment Centers by the year 2000
  • expands Semi-Independent Living Services
  • expands community programs through waivered services

 

1990

Arc does away with the name “Association for Retarded Citizens” out of concern about the label “retarded.” The national Arc changes its name a year later.

 

1992

More than 1,300 people from across the country convene in Minneapolis for the national Arc convention. The theme: “Coming Home: Reflecting the Past, Realizing the Future.”

 

1996

Arc chapters metro-wide form a joint public policy committee to keep abreast of state legislative issues and establish a direct communications line to Arc Minnesota.

 

1996–2006

Arc members tenaciously work for legislation that:

  • “Unlocks the Waiting List” providing additional funding for services for individuals with disabilities
  • Reauthorizes special education laws with the 2004 passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
  • Lowers parental fees charged for services that were dramatically increased in 2003

 

1997

Richfield Chamber of Commerce names Value Village Richfield Small Business of the Year.

 

1998

Metro Arc chapters, Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Minneapolis and PACER Center, Inc. present “The Great Sibling Get Together” bringing together nearly 200 siblings, parents and professionals from across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

 

1999

“What’s the Big IDEA?” educates parents on the complexities of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and on how to better advocate for their children with disabilities.

 

2000

Arc emphasizes self-determination, hosting “Taking the Lead: Creating a Blueprint for the Future,” a day-long retreat made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Governor’s Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities.

 

2001

Arc launches “Visions & Victories,” a capital campaign to support expansion of the Value Village Thrift Stores.

 

2003

Arc members rally behind the “Save Our Supports” theme to help people hurt by state service cuts and fee increases.

 

2004

Self-advocates metro-wide participate in Get Out the Vote training for the fall 2004 elections. Arc also sponsors candidates forums to help voters make informed choices.

 

2005

Arc mobilizes families to speak at hearings, share their stories and attend town meetings to help legislators understand the impact of cuts to service funding and changes in Consumer Directed Consumer Supports.

 

2006-2014

Arc Great Rivers and Arc Hennepin-Carver incorporate as Arc Greater Twin Cities, serving seven metropolitan area counties: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington.

 

2006 was also Arc’s 60th anniversary. Members gathered at Arc’s 60th Birthday Party and Annual Meeting to commemorate six decades of working to protect rights, raise expectations and open doors for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

 

2007

Arc expanded outreach to people from multicultural communities underserved in the past by hiring bilingual advocates and creating Family Access Groups, which provide culturally specific education and support to Hmong, Somali and Latino families.

 

A new civic engagement program called “Realize Your Power: Prepare, Practice and Participate in Public Policy” was launched to help citizens build the skills to help shape policy decisions that affect the lives of people with disabilities and their families.

 

Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores & Donation Centers celebrated their 25th anniversary, garnering front page coverage in the Star Tribune with the remarkable success story of the impact of the businesses on services for people with disabilities and their families.

 

2008

Arc’s sibling programs expanded to 11 metro locations, with more than 180 participants, up 40% over 2007.

 

Nine disability professionals from Zambia participated in an intensive two-week Twin Cities/Zambia Learning Exchange at Arc in April. Local partners included the Institute on Community Integration; Fraser; St. David’s and opportunity Partners.

 

Arc hosted the inaugural Arcademy Gala in Feb., 2008, generating more than $341,000 through sponsorships, ticket sales, live and silent auctions and a Fund-a-Need appeal focused on Arc’s sibling programs.

 

2009

 

Arc Greater Twin Cities opened its fourth Arc’s Value Village Thrift Store & Donation Center in November in St. Paul – the first in the east metro.

 

2010

 

Parents, self-advocates, community members and staff participated in a retreat titled “Thinking Like a Movement,” developing a new strategic plan.

 

The Arc Greater Twin Cities became a certified Minnesota application agent through the Department of Human Services able to help people access health care services more quickly.

 

The Arc publicly launched The Campaign for Arc: A Partnership for the Future. This capital campaign had a $3.5 million goal to expand and upgrade Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores & Donation Centers.

 

Arc’s Value Village Brooklyn Center celebrated its 10th anniversary, noting it has served more than 1 million customers and generated $650,000 for The Arc.

 

2011

 

The Arc Greater Twin Cities joined chapters nationwide in adopting a unified brand identity with a new logo and tagline: Achieve with us.

 

Arc’s Value Village celebrated 1 million hours of volunteer service since the first store opened in 1982.

 

2012

 

The Arc launched GetSet!™ for Work! to help young people with disabilities prepare to find meaningful work beyond high school.

 

Arc’s Value Village introduced the Village Reward$™ customer loyalty program, with 8,000 customers signing up in year one.

 

Arc’s Value Village began providing full-time personal shopping services in May, 2012. The Richfield store celebrated its 30th anniversary and was named the Twin Cities Best Thrift Store by City Pages.

 

2013

 

The U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women awarded The Arc a three-year, $425,000 grant for a community needs assessment of victims of violence who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 

The Arc played an active role in Reform 2020, Minnesota’s broad initiative to improve disability services.

 

Actress Lauren Potter of “Glee” headlined The Arc Gala with a focus on abuse prevention.