About Us

The agency was founded in 1962 by a group of parents, frustrated by the lack of support services and quality education available for their children. While many services now are available for families, the system is far from perfect. The Arc of Greater Cleveland can provide desperately needed assistance by working with and on behalf of families to ensure that their family member with intellectual disabilities receives the services he/she needs to experience quality of life.

The Arc of Greater Cleveland has been an independent advocate fighting for the basic needs, safety and rights of children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities by helping families secure support services, financial assistance, housing, education and training, employment, health care and much more. The Arc of GC is the only independent voice in the area fighting for equal rights and equal access to services for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

How does The Arc of Greater Cleveland help?

  • Provides information and resources to individuals and families to help them navigate the confusing public and private service systems
  • Investigates and helps resolve issues that individuals or families might have with service providers
  • Teaches individuals with intellectual disabilities how to protect their basic rights and receive equal access to services
  • Serves as a watchdog for any agency or organization that provides services for individuals with intellectual disabilities


The Arc of Greater Cleveland accomplishes its mission through:

Systems advocacy – The Arc of GC works toward achieving a vision of shared values about people with disabilities. Through the Partners in Policymaking® program, The Arc of GC offers educational training for adults with disabilities and for parents of young children with disabilities. The program teaches leadership skills and the process of developing positive partnerships with elected officials and others who make policy decisions. The Arc of GC advocates also serve on committees to promote individual rights and ensure that the least restrictive practices are used in all settings.

Adult and school-age advocacy – The Arc of GC helps individuals and families by providing information about services and resources available, as well as making referrals. The Arc of GC advises People First of Cuyahoga County, an advocacy group that empowers individuals to protect their own rights. School-age advocates work closely with parents to help them understand and utilize the systems that are in place to ensure that every child reaches his/her maximum potential.

Public awareness/education – The Arc of GC offers workshops and conferences that educate families, professionals, community organizations and the general public about important issues facing individuals and families affected by intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The Arc of GC also hosts annual events and ralleys promoting respect and activities for people with disabilities, their friends, family and supporters.

Click here for membership information. Individual memberships are $20; Organization memberships are $35.

For more information about any of The Arc of Greater Cleveland’s programs, please e-mail arcgc@thearcofgreater.org or call 216.622.0755.