The Arc of Rensselaer County functions as an association of individuals with disabilities, parents, professionals, and community members dedicated to building the capacity of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since its founding in 1950 by a group of parents, the mission of the agency is to realize full citizenship in each individual’s community of choice. With this purpose in mind, The Arc works intentionally with each individual in person-centered ways as an antidote to rigid programs offering a one size fits all service.
The Arc of Rensselaer County provides Advocacy, Resources and Community to nearly 800 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities while employing more than 500 people. The total annual budget is $28 million, with 90% of that coming from Medicaid. Another $1.8 million comes from contracts from The Arc of Rensselaer County’s vocational training program, Riverside Enterprises. Fundraising and awareness events are also held annually.
Despite the growth of this chapter over the years, The Arc of Rensselaer County maintains its family orientation with a majority of the Board of Directors being parents or relatives of persons with intellectual disabilities. In addition, each program area has an advisory committee comprised of parents or relatives of people supported by that program.