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Cara Fogarty

Michelle Sullivan

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Robin Finnacom

Nonprofit Spotlight: The Arc Southern Maryland

Creating opportunities for independence for people with different abilities

The Arc Southern Maryland logo

Did you know that The Arc is the seventh largest federated charitable organization in the United States? Founded in the 1950s by families who wanted more for their children than life in an institution, the grassroots effort has grown to almost 700 affiliated chapters nationwide.

Volunteer Esmeralda with supported participants

Volunteer Esmeralda with supported participants during a pre-pandemic activity.

In 1975, The Arc Southern Maryland joined this collective voice for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Its programs and services cover a wide array that can include 24/7 residential support, workforce development training, job placement and onsite coaching, behavioral services, respite, and children and family support.

The organization promotes and protects the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supports their independence, personal success, and inclusion in the community throughout their lifetimes.

We asked The Arc Southern Maryland CEO Terry Long, "What does true inclusion and equity look like for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities?"

"As an organization whose mission is focused on inclusion, we have watched along with the world the recent hateful acts that ended innocent lives. We are reminded that the systemic inequality written into the chapters of our country’s history has never been sufficiently addressed.

For the past three years, The Arc Southern Maryland has trained over 700 police cadets and other first responders across the tri-county region to recognize and respond with sensitivity to situations involving people with disabilities. We hear time and again that having this knowledge has changed the way law enforcement handles situations and it’s changed the way they think about people with disabilities as well.

We can all make efforts to learn about what we don’t know or live every day ourselves; the relevant history, current issues, as well as how privileges and bias may shape the lens through which we view the world. We can ask questions and really listen to those who experience injustice and we can speak out against it whenever it is encountered.

Our commitment to a mission of inclusion and acceptance will only be strengthened by these difficult times. We are thankful to all those who continue to stand with us and help us make a difference!"

The Arc Southern Maryland Facts and Figures:

  • 889 individuals supported across five counties
  • 30 residential homes located in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties
  • 417 people employed by The Arc Southern Maryland
  • 32% of the individuals supported by The Arc Southern Maryland have obtained competitive employment in the community
  • 12,150 volunteer hours given back to the community in 2019 by the people supported by The Arc Southern Maryland

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Follow The Arc Southern Maryland on Facebook and check out weekly profiles of local employers and The Arc-supported people who work for them.

Know someone who wants to join The Arc Southern Maryland team and make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities? Apply >>  Call 410-535-2413 for more information.

Visit The Arc Southern Maryland website >>

Tonya from The Arc Southern Maryland holding a Giving Tuesday sign.