Little girl giving the thumps up sign

The Arc of Colorado was founded in 1954 and at the time, little was known about the condition of intellectual disability or its causes; there were virtually no programs or activities in communities to assist in the development and care of children and adults with intellectual disability and/or to help support families. In the early days, we worked to change the public’s perception of children with intellectual disability and to educate parents and others regarding the potential of people with intellectual disability. The Arc of Colorado has worked for decades to obtain services for children and adults who were denied day care, preschool, education, and employment programs.

Through a strong, statewide grassroots network of 15 chapters directed by 3,500 members, over 9,000 individuals and families are served annually. The Arc of Colorado is the state chapter and across the state, we have an additional 14 local chapters. Together, we work with the local communities to foster respect and access, giving people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) the power to achieve a full and satisfying life.

The Arc of Colorado booklet cover with images of young boy on schoolbus and advocates

The Arc of Colorado mission:

The Arc of Colorado promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.

The Arc of Colorado believes that:

All people have moral and civil rights providing them with opportunities to love, work, play, learn and worship in communities where they choose to live. All people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have inherent value with individual strengths and abilities, are equal before the law and must be treated with dignity and respect.                      

The Arc of Colorado works to: 

  • Influence public policy to ensure the necessary supports and services are in place for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to have a common life
  • Increase public awareness of the rights and needs of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Support and develop local chapters
  • Collaborate with national, state and local organizations sharing the same values