Our History

The Arc of South Florida was founded in 1953 by a group of parents who were concerned about the lack of adequate programs and the denial of basic dignities to children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Today, the organization employs more than 200 professionals who serve over 1000 program participants daily. The Arc of South Florida continues to act as the voice for all persons in South Florida with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Our Mission

The Arc of South Florida is a non-profit organization with a two-folded purpose:

  • To ensure the rights of all persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities through effective advocacy,
  • To provide specialized programs and services to help clients lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Our Vision

The Arc of South Florida will be the premier provider of services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We will be an advocate for diversity of opportunities, enhancing individual life choices as a member of the community

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our mission to provide supports and advocate in every manner possible for people who have intellectual and other developmental disabilities is best fulfilled when we embrace diversity as a value and a practice throughout The Arc of South Florida.

The value of diversity extends beyond the people we support to their families, our employees, our leadership, our management, and our governing bodies. Diversity is ever-evolving and requires ongoing, conscious efforts. We recognize that advances need to be made.

The Arc of South Florida will make it part of its mission to take appropriate measures and actions to move positively towards achieving diversity in all that we are and do.

Our Strategic Values

  • People First. The Arc of South Florida believes that all people with intellectual and related developmental disabilities have strengths, abilities and inherent value; are equal before the law; and must be treated with dignity and respect. The Arc of South Florida represents supports and acts on behalf of individuals and their families regardless of level of disability or membership in The Arc of South Florida. The Arc of South Florida believes in self-determination by empowering people with the supports needed to make informed decisions and choices.
  • Visionary Leadership. The Arc of South Florida leads by promoting the mission, core values and position statements. We lead with integrity, accountability, and by open, honest and timely communication. We work with individuals, organizations and coalitions in a collaborative fashion. There is a valued partnership with volunteer and staff leadership at all levels of the organization that provides mutual support for their respective roles.
  • Community Participation. The Arc of South Florida works toward and believes in the community imperative: that all people have the fundamental moral, civil and constitutional rights to live, learn, work, play and worship in safe and healthy communities of their choosing.
  • Diversity. The Arc of South Florida values and insists upon diversity in its leadership and membership. The Arc of South Florida actively pursues and welcomes diverse groups (including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, age, geographic location, sexual orientation, gender and level of disability).
  • Integrity and Excellence. The Arc of South Florida conducts its business with integrity. The Arc of South Florida reflects quality and excellence in all its work.