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About The Arc of the United States

The Arc was originally formed in 1950 by a group of parents who were frustrated by the lack of meaningful services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities were denied access to public education and there were virtually no services available to assist these people. Doctors routinely recommended that they be placed in large, segregated institutions and this was the only residential option available.

These parents began to demand services to enhance the quality of life for individuals and less restrictive residential options. The original name for the organization was "National Association for Retarded Citizens". As times changed  the term "retarded" began to take on a derogatory nature and became a term of insult. In 1992 the organization changed the name to simply the "Arc". The desire was to maintain the nationwide recognition of the organization while still removing the objectionable term. 

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