A History of The Arc

“Study the past if you would define the future.” ~ Confucius


With the end of World War II the men and women of The Arc of Washington State (then called the Children’s Benevolent League) no longer had to delay meeting their biggest challenge – public ignorance about persons with intellectual disabilities. Most people never even thought about them.  There were no special education programs for such children. None of the public met adults with intellectual disabilities in supported employment or housing.  In fact, the only answer the public knew was to send them away to isolated and unknown institutions. Beyond that, they were in the closet, in the shadows, forgotten.  But these parents could not forget their children.

A History of Programs of The Arc

The Arc of Washington State - Program Descriptions

A History of Budget and Policy Advocacy

Legislative Milestones of The Arc's Advocates

Children Limited (Movie from 1951)

A historical look at institutional living for children with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD)

Game of the Year (Movie from 1960)

A glimpse into the past of children with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

75th Anniversary

The Arc's 75th Anniversary Celebration (History Booklet and photos of the celebration).

The Museum of disABILITY History

Exhibits, collections, archives, educational programs and much more!

Self-Advocate Views

Brief videos on community versus RHCs.