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.
Who We Are
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 governed by a local volunteer board of directors. We receive some funding for the direct services we provide, but we are largely supported by membership dues and donations.
How We Help
Each chapter of The Arc has different specialties and services. At The Arc of Northern Virginia, we offer the following services and programs:
Our umbrella program is called Transition POINTS (Providing Opportunities, Information, Networking and Transition Support).
Transition POINTS provides people with disabilities, parents, siblings and other caregivers with the information they need to make decisions at key points across the lifespan. It includes guidebooks, resource materials, webinars, and workshops on the topics of early intervention, education, transition, employment, housing, and aging with a disability.
We answer your questions.
When people with disabilities and their families have questions, we are happy to help them locate services, navigate challenging situations, and share helpful tips. Our online Ask the Arc portal will give you an automated reply with helpful information and a member of our expert staff team will personally follow up to help you find what you need. You can come to a free workshop or on a webinar to learn about a range of topics from field experts. You can also visit our Resource Library anytime to find handouts and resource guides on a range of topics, or to request that new resources be developed. Our YouTube channel is filled with recorded webinars to help you hear and see answers to your most difficult questions.
We advocate on your behalf.
We track legislation and budget changes that will affect the disability community, provide comments and testimony, and represent the needs of people with DD on workgroups and commissions to protect your rights and funding. We work closely with legislators and county officials on crafting policies and programs that meet the needs of the disability community. Annually we organize a large group of concerned advocates to go to Richmond for a statewide DD Advocacy Day with members of our General Assembly. Occasionally we are called upon by our national organization to support advocacy efforts in Congress.
We help you become skilled self-advocates.
Our self-advocacy program is People First, and it works in conjunction with a chapter of Toastmasters, a public speaking club. Transition-age advocates can join us at People First for Young Adults. We welcome self-advocates of all abilities to join us at one of these monthly meetings to meet friends, become informed on advocacy needs, and improve their public speaking skills.
We assist you in securing a financial future for your loved ones.
Our Special Needs Trust exists to assist people with disabilities and their families in saving money for the future without losing public benefits, like Medicaid and Social Security that have strict asset caps. The funds invested in the trust will be used to provide security, support, services, and medical care or other supplemental needs not covered by benefits or insurance. This opportunity is available to anyone determined to have a disability by Social Security. Our Special Needs Trust Team includes an Client Advocate who can help you create a future plan and to access needed services.
We develop technology-based tools to help people live independently.
Our award-winning Tech for Independent Living program develops and promotes customizable web-based tools that promote independence in the community.
• TravelMate is a virtual travel trainer that helps people navigate transportation systems.
• EmployMate is a virtual job coach that can assist in on-the-job tasks and skill building.
We keep you informed.
Our twice-monthly E-newsletter is filled with information and resources for people with disabilities. Additionally, we send a monthly Advocacy Update and a monthly Trust Services newsletter. Our blog, The Abilities Blogspot, shares the latest updates in the disability community and our Facebook page is updated daily with news and information worth sharing. Sign up for our email to stay updated on our work and learn about unique services and opportunities for people with disabilities.
We connect people with disabilities to needed services.
Our Services Team works hard to help people get the supports they need for the life they want by serving as Support Coordinators for people with the Developmental Disability Medicaid Waivers. If you have a developmental disability (other than intellectual disability) and currently have an active DD Waiver, notify your current Support Coordinator if you are interested in being served by The Arc of Northern Virginia.
We support your independence and decision-making.
Our Services Team works hard 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). We focusing on empowering people with disabilities to voice their opinions and help them reach their goals. Within this contract, The Arc of Northern Virginia has the capacity to serve 50 individuals who are over age 18, indigent, and have no one else to serve.