About Us

The Arc of Northern Virginia’s Mission

The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.


The Arc of Northern Virginia is a local chapter of the largest non-profit organization supporting thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and their families. Our service area includes the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church, and Arlington and Fairfax Counties.  We are a small, grassroots 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.  We receive some funding for the direct services we provide (like guardianship, case management, and the Special Needs Trust), but we are largely funded by membership dues and donations.  Please consider becoming a member and donating today.


Our Program and Services                                                   

Each chapter of The Arc has different specialties and services.  We offer a number of services and programs.

  • Our umbrella program is called Transition POINTS (Providing Opportunities, Information, Networking and Transition Support). Transition POINTS provides parents, siblings and other caregivers with the information and support they need to make decisions at key points across the lifespan of their loved one with ID/DD.  It includes resource materials, webinars, and workshops on the topics of early intervention, education, employment, housing, and aging with a disability.


  • We operate a Special Needs Trust so that families may plan for their child’s future and/or people with disabilities can save money and maintain assets without losing public benefits. Our Special Needs Trust enhances the individual with disability’s quality of life by allowing the individual and/or their loved ones to save money without jeopardizing benefits.  The funds invested in the trust will be used to provide security, support, extra comforts and services, medical care and other supplemental needs not covered by benefits or insurance.  Programs like Medicaid and Social Security have a maximum asset limit of $2,000.  If your loved one with a disability may ever have more than that amount, you should consider establishing a Special Needs Trust.  To learn more about the Special Needs Trust, visit thearcofnovatrust.org or contact Tia Marsili, Director of Trusts, at tmarsili@thearcofnova.org or 703-208-1119 x115.


  • We answer your questions. When families have questions about how to access services, we point them in the right direction and connect them to providers and resources, and share helpful tips.  We are happy to provide you with the names of service providers and their contact information.  Our referrals are based upon feedback and we do not specifically endorse any providers.  If you have a particularly good or bad experience, please let us know so we can share with other families. If you need more in depth information on Medicaid waivers, the Special Needs Trust, guardianship, and other life planning issues, consider attending a Lunch Bunch information & referral session, where we can address your specific needs and recommend services, supports and tips to help you get what you need. Click here for more information on Lunch Bunch.  Due to the volume of calls, emails and questions we get, our staff is not able to offer one on one meetings.


  • We are advocates. We track changes in the disability world, provide comments and testimony, and represent the needs of people with I/DD on workgroups and commissions.  We work closely with legislators and county officials on crafting policies and programs that meet the needs of the disability community.  We organize a large group of people to go to Richmond at least once a year to have a DD Advocacy Day with members of our General Assembly.  We are not personal advocates or special education advocates.  We are happy to refer you to people who provide those services.


  • We offer two award winning apps, TravelMate and EmployMate,  as a transition suite and online curriculum to promote independence in the community.

TravelMate – is a virtual travel trainer for those to navigate their community.

EmployMate is a virtual job coach that can assist in on-the-job tasks and skill building.



  • We distribute a e-newsletter filled with information, resources, and opportunities for people with disabilities.


  • We are case managers for the Individual and Family with Developmental Disabilities Supports (DD) Waiver. If you’re on the waiting list for a DD Waiver and would like us to become your case manager when your Waiver is awarded, contact the Services team to learn about options for transferring your plan.  If you currently have an active DD Waiver (meaning you’re already receiving services), contact the Services team to find out about getting on our internal Case Management waiting list.


  • We serve as public guardians for a limited number of individuals who are indigent and have no family or loved ones who can serve as their guardian. Our Guardianship of Last Resort (GOLR) program is contracted with the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS).  Within this contract, The Arc of Northern Virginia has the capacity to serve 30 individuals who are over age 18, indigent, and have no one else to serve.   Eighteen slots are designated ONLY for those with an intellectual/developmental disability (ID/DD); 10 slots are designated for people who are elderly, have ID/DD, or have mental health needs.


  • We are representative payee for individuals who had enrolled in our Personal Support Network program before it ended and for some people whom we serve as guardian. We are not accepting new clients for this program at this time and we do not have a waiting list for this service.  If you’re in need of a Representative Payee, contact your local Social Security office for a list of providers.


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