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The Story of The Arc Eastern Connecticut

Before the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed in the 1975, young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were unwelcome in our public schools. In 1952, two groups of parents—one in Groton and one in Danielson—began to meet and raise money to fund an education program for their children that over time grew into The Arc Quinebaug Valley and The Arc New London County. The agencies’ unified mission and commitment to their communities in northeastern and southeastern Connecticut sparked a social and civil rights movement that continues to drive both agencies today as they embark on the next chapter of their journey: the 2019 merger into The Arc Eastern Connecticut.

Founded on the principles of full inclusion and the belief that all people have the right to fully live their dreams and goals, The Arc Eastern Connecticut has a rich history of success and accomplishments. Our caring, nurturing, professional staff is highly trained and qualified to meet the needs of those we support. Our diverse Board of Directors, made up of local business leaders, professionals, teachers, family members and participants are strong advocates who help create a successful team.


Our services touch every aspect of a person's life including:

  • Residential services and supports, including 22 supported residences and a Community Companion Homes program

  • Group and Individual Supported Employment 

  • Job Development, assessments, career planning

  • Transitional Employment Services

  • School-to-Work Transition services

  • Individualized day programs

  • In-Home Supports

  • Micro-enterprise ventures throughout the region (cookie production, lawn/landscape services, mobile cleaning crews, redemption center, thrift store, farm stand/CSA/aquaponics

  • Retirement services

  • Community Life & Advocacy programs (health/fitness, social/cultural programs, self-advocacy, civic participation, personal enrichment)

  • Door-to-door transportation


As society's awareness grew and greater acceptance took hold, our agency’s vision also evolved, raising expectations among people with IDD and their families across the region. From a belief that people are better off living with families and loved ones than in an institution came the understanding that sheltered workshops are not the same as real jobs. In the 1990s, The Arc New London County closed its sheltered workshop and its Board of Directors resolved that all people are entitled to jobs in the community at minimum wage or higher a policy that continues at the Arc Eastern Connecticut today.

Successful fundraising efforts have also helped to enhance the effectiveness of our programs. The Arc has always held the belief that true learning comes from being involved in the community. The ability to build social relationships, to develop realistic life goals, and to be seen as a valued, contributing member of the community are all positive outcomes of our services.


The 2011 merger with residential provider Seacorp, Inc. augmented The Arc's dynamic and efficient service platform. The agency continues to grow its service options and improve its State of CT DDS (Department of Developmental Services) quality review scores, while reducing overhead costs and avoiding layoffs for employees in a region hard-hit by recession. The Arc Eastern Connecticut has earned its reputation for creative and cost-effective individualized solutions--from jobs to residential options to entertainment, all of which greatly benefit its over 800 participants and their families throughout eastern Connecticut.

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