Mission

The Arc Minnesota promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), actively supporting them and their families in a lifetime of full inclusion and participation in their communities.

 

What We Do

The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, actively supporting them and their families in a lifetime of full inclusion and participation in their communities.

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families trust Advocates at The Arc for help in addressing issues that affect their lives. Advocates provide personalized information, navigation, and referrals on disability issues and systems throughout the lifespan. The Arc engages people in public policy advocacy to protect and promote the human rights of people with disabilities.

Download The Arc Minnesota Fact Sheet

 

Who We Support

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families trust The Arc for information, assistance, education, and training. Disabilities may include autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, fragile X, Williams syndrome, and other disabilities.

Intellectual disability is a disability that occurs before age 18. People with this disability experience significant limitations in two main areas: intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. These limitations are expressed in the person’s conceptual, social, and practical everyday living skills.

Many people with intellectual disability are mildly affected, making the disability difficult to recognize. Intellectual disability is diagnosed using standardized tests of intelligence and adaptive behavior.

 

Our Core Values

These values guide all of our work in Minnesota statewide. The Arc Minnesota & Arc’s Value Village values are:

Human and Civil Rights

We believe all people:

  • Are equal, valued, respected, and whole
  • Have the right to be free
  • Must have their rights protected

Our commitment—we will:

  • Protect the human and civil rights of all people
  • Fight for everyone’s equal rights
  • Respect individuals’ lived experience and honor each person’s wholeness
  • Work to end barriers in systems and society, no matter how long it takes to create change

Goals:

  • Our organization is welcoming, accessible, and inclusive
  • The human and civil rights of all people are respected and protected

Self-Advocacy and Self-Direction

We believe all people have the right to:

  • Make decisions
  • Have control in their lives
  • Advocate for themselves
  • Get support from trusted allies as they advocate
    and make decisions

Our commitment—we will:

  • Promote power and capacity of people who have IDD of all ages
  • Support leadership of disabled people of all ages
  • Learn from disabled people, especially who are Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color
  • Help people with disabilities and their allies get information, experiences, and support to make decisions

Goals:

  • Our work supports informed choice and leadership of people who have IDD of all ages
  • People who have IDD are supported and respected in making their own decisions, having control over their lives, and advocating on their own behalf

Equity and Belonging

We believe all people have the right to:

  • Meaningful relationships with people of their choice
  • Belonging in their communities
  • Information, systems, and resources that are accessible

Our commitment—we will:

  • Advocate for equal opportunity in where everyone can live, learn, work, worship, and play
  • Fight for universal design in all parts of society
  • Share timely, accessible information in different formats and languages
  • Build meaningful connections in communities statewide
  • Help trusted supporters of people with IDD as they work to honor each person’s power, value their capacity, and respect them exactly as they are

Goals:

  • Community and natural supports are promoted over state systems and solutions
  • Stakeholders understand the ways that society and systems must change to build equity

Disability and Racial Justice

We believe systems and social change must be:

  • Led by disabled people—especially those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
  • Focused on freedom of people who have disabilities and ending discrimination
  • Connected to all other movements for freedom and justice

Our commitment—we will:

  • Learn from people who have diverse lived experience
  • Challenge ourselves and others to confront racism and ableism
  • Be allies in disability and racial justice movements
  • Led by people who have disabilities fight for justice in society and systems
  • Fight injustice within and across communities

Goals:

  • Our work aligns with principles of disability justice
  • Community partners will learn with The Arc about how to support justice movements

Our Commitment to Progress

  • We will keep ourselves on track by including these values in all team and individual work plans.
  • We will start to measure progress with goals that have inclusion and equity built in. We will work to find other ways to measure and track progress that are culturally respectful.
  • We will share our progress through updates about our values and goals at least once every year.
  • We are still working to understand how The Arc has been part of ableism and racism. We will share the ways we need to change.
  • As we work to learn and understand ourselves, we will invite others to join us in support of movements that advance disability and racial justice.

Our Strategic Plan

Our vision is to pursue lasting community change and connections that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in living their best lives.

Read our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan summary

Read our complete 2019-2024 Strategic Plan

 

Our Positions on Important Issues

The Arc releases position statements to address critical issues at the state and national level.

Read our position statements

 

Information for Students

The Arc Minnesota is a source of information for students that are doing research, pursuing internships, or looking at career options. The Arc Minnesota Student Overview provided a summary of our background and work.

Download The Arc Minnesota Student Overview (English)

 

 

 

Together, We Are The Arc Minnesota

The Arc Minnesota Regions and Affiliated Chapters provide consistent and essential services to support more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families across the state.

The Arc Minnesota’s services throughout the state include:

• Access to a toll-free information and assistance phone number — 833.450.1494

• “Ask An Advocate” online with responses typically within one business day

• Opportunities to participate in online and in-person training events

• A statewide Public Policy platform with grassroots engagement

Our History

For more than 70 years, The Arc has promoted and protected the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  

The Arc has adapted to address the changes that people with disabilities face across their lifespan.

How Do I Get More Information?

For more information about The Arc Minnesota, click to learn about our programs and services.