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:

Poetry for the Playground
A beautiful event being put on by Aktion Club Theatre of Mankato

Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota
Special Needs Accessibility Playtime a great event for the whole family.

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


Arc Southwest is a Partner Agency of: