Who We Are
The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties was formed in 1959 by parents of children with mental retardation who were working to have those children served by the local school system. From 1960, when this chapter was incorporated, until 1978, when the first paid staff member was hired, these parent advocates worked tirelessly on behalf of their children and others like them, pushing for the passage of Act 106 which established special education in Alabama; finding funding for scholarships to send local teachers to received Special Education Certification; establishing a private school for children with mental retardation (which was later absorbed by the Anniston School System) and created social activities for local children with MR.
The faces may have changed, but the heart and the mission of those early parent advocates still remains at The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties, where staff and volunteers alike continue to advocate for the inclusion and the success of people of all ages in Calhoun and Cleburne Counties who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Arc still works with the local school systems, providing Special Olympics programs and resources for children in special education classes and the educational Kids on the Block puppet program for children in regular education classes. We partner with the City of Anniston's Therapeutic Recreation Program to provide social and recreational activities for adults and host weekly Arc Art programs to assist participants in developing a creative skill.
Through our Family Advocacy program we provide support to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Our newest addition to the FA program are our weekly support groups for parents of children with developmental disabilities.