The Arc

What should I know about The Arc?

The Arc is a community-based organization that advocates for and supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).  Both the Tennessee chapter—as well as the local chapters serving communities all across the state—are part of a larger national network providing a wide range of resources.

The state chapter (called The Arc Tennessee) is very active in advocacy and public policy at both the state and local levels. Different local chapters support individuals and families through providing resources, information and referral, technical assistance, and individual advocacy on the topics below (among others):

  • Employment and entrepreneurship
  • Education
  • Employment and Community First CHOICES (ECF) program
  • Supported decision-making
  • Conservatorship
  • Understanding and applying for government programs

Each local chapter selects which supports and resources they will provide based on local needs and priorities. Examples of services include:

  • Job club for youth and young adults with I/DD
  • Hosting a transition fair
  • Social and recreational events
  • Disability awareness events
  • Parent support groups
  • Employment services, including on-the-job coaching
  • Educational workshops for families and people with I/DD

Common Terms/Acronyms

I/DD: intellectual and developmental disabilities

Job Club: a group of job seekers meet regularly to network, share their experiences, and problem solve together


What should students know about The Arc?

  • The Arc supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • The Arc has local chapters that have their own website and social media. Students can reach out to their local chapter via their website or social media.
  • Each local chapter has different services.
  • Your local chapter will have events, activities, and workshops throughout the year for you and your family.
  • Different events, activities, and workshops help you and your family learn more about things like your education, job skills, how to speak up for yourself, and which government programs can support you after high school.
  • The Arc can help you and your family plan your future. They can help you figure out how to:
    • Find a place to live
    • Pay for things
    • Make decisions
    • Get a job
    • Have friends and relationships

How do I contact The Arc?

To contact your local chapter, see this website.


How can I partner with The Arc for pre-ETS?

  • Arrange for an educational workshop with a representative from your regional chapter on future planning.
  • Partner with the Arc on hosting a Job Club for students in pre-ETS.
  • Have students reach out to their local chapter via email or social media to ask what services they provide.

Where do I find more information about The Arc

  • Visit the Arc’s national website
  • Visit the Arc Tennessee website
  • See the list of all 15 Regional TN Chapters
  • Visit the Transition Tennessee “Supports and Partnerships” video and overview