The Arc of Southeast Iowa was formed in 1957 by a group of parents and professionals interested in the welfare of individuals with disabilities. Since that time, The Arc of Southeast Iowa has been active in offering direct, supportive programs to individuals with disabilities. We have also been involved in the legislative process, providing informational classes, increasing public awareness, and much, much more.

Throughout it’s sixty year history, The Arc of Southeast Iowa has been instrumental in identifying the gaps in services for people with disabilities and helping create services to fill those gaps.

From 1978 and onwards, after waiver services became available in Iowa, legislators and professionals began to recognize the importance of helping families support their loved one with a disability at home—rather than institutionalizing them. The Johnson County Department of Human Services received funding for waiver services, to help parents support their child at home—and transferred funding to The Arc of Southeast Iowa to secure in-home services, as a part of the “new, integrated family plan.”


pArc Ribbon Cutting

In the 1990’s The Arc of Southeast Iowa continued to build on the groundwork set in the late 70’s and early 80’s. This began with a name change. ‘The ARC’ became ‘The Arc,’ which meant the agency stopped recognizing the acronym ARC or “Association of Retarded Citizens,” and instead took on a further descriptive meaning, ‘The Arc,’ a term representing a bridge in services. Other changes also rapidly occurred in the nineties: The Arc became a provider of Managed Care through the Medicaid Waiver Home and Community Based Services. Through these contracts The Arc provides Individual and Group Respite Care, Supported Community Living, Job Coaching, and Job Placement, Consumer Directed Attendant Care and Intermittent Medical Monitoring and Treatment under waivers: The Health and Disability, the Brain Injury, Elderly and Physical Disability, and HIV/AIDs waivers.

Our services continue to be utilized, more now, than ever before. Between 2005 and 2009 the Arc of Southeast Iowa quadrupled its client base now serving over 500 families each year. In addition to our Medicaid services, The Arc of Southeast Iowa actively listens to families, identifying needs, and creating programs to fill service gaps. Additional programs and services offered by the Arc of Southeast Iowa include: Sibship, Daycare/ Preschool, Summer Day Camps, family fellowship and Information and Referral Services.

The Arc of Southeast Iowa has stated throughout its history that all individuals with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities have the right to a life that includes opportunities for integration, normalization, and consumer choice. This belief has influenced The Arc’s direction and approach to service provision. The Arc’s dedication to this belief is demonstrated everyday by the community-based services it nurtures and supports. In view of The Arc of Southeast Iowa’s history, we can look forward with enthusiasm to a bright future.

To better reflect and recognize growing services to our 13 county service area. The Arc of Johnson County changed its name to the Arc of Southeast Iowa effective August 1, 2007. The Arc’s commitment and ties to Johnson County remain strong. Johnson County/Iowa City remains home base for our administrative offices and we are serving record numbers of individuals and families in the Johnson County and surrounding area.