The Arc of Frederick County serves as a partner to build inclusive communities where people with and without developmental disabilities can live, work, worship, and have fun in Frederick together.
Founded by parents in 1958 in response to the fact that community programs for children with disabilities did not exist, The Arc continues be a leader in advocacy efforts and the creation of new services for families today.
Serving people with developmental disabilities throughout their entire lives, The Arc is an ally for families and a resource for the Frederick community. For parents who just learn that their child has been diagnosed with a developmental disability, The Arc can connect parents to family support groups for parent-to-parent mentorship, to early intervention services so that children can receive therapies to meet milestones as closely to typically developing children, and to funding resources specific to the child’s disability.
Since there are often long waiting lists for disability specific resources, The Arc relies on the generosity of the Frederick community who join us as members, volunteers, and donors to sustain our critical supports to families. Each month, The Arc offers free respite care for children with disabilities and their brothers and sisters through our Parents’ Day Out Program. This volunteer run program provides a much needed break to parents so that they can reenergize.
Support Coordinators from The Arc are able to serve as advocates for parents and work closely with Frederick County Public Schools to supports students with disabilities to access the school curriculum with modifications and adaptive equipment that makes it possible for them to attend their neighborhood school with friends. The Arc also coordinates home and community services to children from Frederick County Public Schools with autism. Often, this coordination of care prevents out of county school placements and preserves families because parents have the in-home support they need for their children with autism.
An additional focus of The Arc’s support is to assist children to join extra circular activities. Support Coordinators help families connect to art, sports, and other recreational activities. This might include helping the child locate a volunteer to attend the activity with them or having an Arc Support Coordinator provide training to leaders of Boy Scouts or other activity that the child wants to participate in.
As students exit Frederick County Public Schools, The Arc works with students to create transition plans so that students can access employment, higher education, and independent living. A goal of The Arc’s Employment Supports is that individuals with developmental disabilities locate jobs in Frederick that incorporates their passions, interests, and personal talents. The Arc coordinates vocational training opportunities through our Culinary Training Program by operating Charlotte's Coffee House and catering to groups who rent our community event space at 555 South Market Street.
Many adults also receive assistance from The Arc enroll in and take classes at Frederick Community College. The college provides both educational and social opportunities as students become part of the FCC Community as they launch into adult life.
Earning money through work is key to supporting people to live and have fun in Frederick. The Arc partners with adults to locate safe, affordable, and accessible housing and live with family or roommates of their choice. The Arc supports people served to build networks of support so that they are creating and maintaining meaningful friendships, participating in the enriching cultural life Frederick has to offer, and so that they are building reciprocating relationships in their communities.