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Who We Are

Mission & History

The Arc of Blackstone Valley is committed to supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure the opportunity to choose and realize their goals of where and how they live, learn, work and achieve.

The Arc of Blackstone Valley is pledged to:

  • Increase community awareness through education and information sharing.
  • Provide high quality supports and services through person centered planning.
  • Support people and their families and friends, in advocating for their rights, abilities and potential.
  • Develop resources for inclusion and full access and participation in the community.

Our Vision

A community where humanity is celebrated every day and in every person, regardless of their ability.

History/Timeline

1955

  • The Arc of Blackstone Valley is founded and incorporated as “Parents and Friends of Exceptionally Handicapped Children”

1960’s

  • Summer Camp Program in South Uxbridge is started for 23 children with disabilities
  • Vocational programs for thirty adults are started
  • 72 families are members of the organization

1970’s

  • A bowling program begins, initiated by students from Rhode Island College
  • The renamed agency, The Blackstone Valley Chapter of the Rhode Island ARC finally secures a permanent home on Manton Street in Pawtucket.  The barrier free building enables individuals with physical disabilities to fully participate in all programs

1980’s

  • 160 individuals are taking advantage of programs offered
  • First group home opens on Owen Avenue for four women
  • In 1988, the first Resource Center in the state of Rhode Island opens for people with developmental disabilities at the Independence Square Foundation in Pawtucket

1990’s

  • The National Association for Retarded Citizens changes its name to The Arc in response to self-advocates who want to be recognized as people first.
  • New To You resale store opens providing employment and training for 40 people
  • Daggett Farm Greenhouse and Gift Shop opens in Slater Memorial Park providing training and employment for 12 people

2000’s

  • A Third Department of Housing and Urban Development grant is awarded for the construction of three group homes that will provide barrier free housing for individuals with physical disabilities
  • The “Building the Arc” campaign and Silent Auction fundraisers begin to support the work of The Arc
  • In 2005, the agency changes its name to The Arc of Blackstone Valley to strengthen its ties to the national organization
  • In 2015, The Arc initiates a fundraising campaign to build a Computer Resource Center designed to bring our job training program into the 21st century
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