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 its 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:


Upcoming Public Input Process for the Olmstead Plan 2018

Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan envisions people with disabilities living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting of their choice. As another year of the Plan’s implementation comes to a close, people with disabilities, their families, and the general public across Minnesota are invited to comment on the Plan and the suggested amendments from state agencies.

Round one of public comment (December 20, 2017 – January 31, 2018) includes:

  • Online input form for first draft amendments and general comments about the Plan
  • Five in-person or phone listening sessions across the state
  • Targeted outreach groups
  • Opportunities to comment via phone, email, fax

Round two of public comment (February 27, 2018 – March 13, 2018) includes:

  • Online input form for second draft amendments about the Plan
  • One videoconference/conference call listening session
  • Opportunities to comment via phone, email, fax
Listening session locations include: St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth, St. Cloud, and Rochester.

Please watch for the release of dates and join us at an event to provide your input on the Olmstead Plan!


Public Comment Period Olmstead Plan Amendments

The final public comment period regarding Olmstead Plan amendments is now open.  This information is also available on the Participate page of the Olmstead Plan website.  Please take the time to give your opinion.  

Transportation Survey Information Needed

Please complete the following VINE survey on transportation:


Star Tribune Features Article on Guardianship




Attend the Regional Transportation Stakeholder’s Meeting in Mankato!

Click Here for Event Information


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


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