Inclusion & Citizenship

During the past 35 years, extraordinary changes have occurred in the lives of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, since the founding of The Arc New York in 1949.  Prior to that they lived in institutions and/or homes which segregated them from society.  They were often denied the opportunity to enrich their daily lives through mainstream involvement in the community.  At the same time, the rest of the community was equally cut off and denied the opportunity to enrich their own lives through knowing and being in relationship with these individuals.  The presence and full inclusion of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in our communities enriches the entire community. 

It is The Arc New York’s position that:

  • People with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are our sons/daughters, and brothers/sisters in the community. Community inclusion cannot be dependent on “community education.”  The more that people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are present and participating as citizens in their community, the fuller it becomes for everyone.
     
  • An inclusive community must be provided which allows opportunities for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families to have choices in where they live and in all aspects of community life.  Public as well as private resources must be readily available to them.
     
  • Children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities must have the right to “access” and be “supported” in recreation, lifelong learning, work, healthcare, sports, social, cultural and spiritual activities.
     
  • People with intellectual and other developmental disabilities need access to all aspects of community life.  The supports to access their choices need to change as the individual’s life changes.
     
  • Adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities must have the right to engage in relationships that range from friendships to choice of life partners.
Adopted October 25, 2003 at NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly
Adopted with Amendments October 27, 2006 at NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly
Adopted with Amendments October 19, 2007 at NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly
Adopted with Amendments October 21, 2011 at NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly
Adopted with Amendments October 17, 2014 at NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly