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

Southern Minnesota Art Party for Children with Special Needs and their Families

Looking to unite families with younger children with disabilities, special and/or medical needs for some fun and friends. Art activities for 12 and under with local artist Joellen Preston while the adults can meet. Please join the facebook group Southern Minnesota Special Needs Parents & spread the word! See you there! Click the link to access the Facebook page: Art Party Event


The Mankato Clinic Foundation awards grant to Arc Southwest, Housing Access Services!!!

Thanks to the Mankato Clinic Foundation, Housing Access Services is receiving $2,500 to be used for Arc Southwest to provide monetary assistance for people with disabilities, who qualify for Housing Access Services to help acquire affordable housing within the greater Mankato area. Please click on our official news release for details! Mankato Clinic Foundation NEWS RELEASE

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!

In the News! Arc and MCCD were in the news this past weekend for our town hall meeting in Mankato! Thanks KEYC for the wonderful coverage!

KEYC coverage of Mankato’s Town Hall Meeting

SMILES in Mankato has a support group for people with mental illness. At the group you will share experiences and ideas while trying to concentrate on your strengths. Support group is FREE and open to the public. DROP ON IN! All are welcome! For more information check out the flyer: Support Group

PLEASE take this survey for the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities: Your opinions and perspectives are important to us.  There are no wrong answers.  All results will remain confidential and none of your answers will be used to identify you, your student or your school at any time. Click this link to take the survey: Parent/Student Special Education Experience Survey

The Men of Atalissa- Please watch this NY Times Documentary about these men in Atalissa, Iowa and their story. We still have a lot of work to do in the Self-Advocacy movement!  The Men of Atalissa Documentary

Important information:

Olmstead Plan Updates
Minnesota Olmstead Plan- Final version


Arc Southwest is a Partner Agency of:

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