SpArc Philadelphia has been committed to the vision of ensuring that people are provided with supports and services of the highest quality. Founded in 1948 by parents who sought better services for their children, The Arc of Philadelphia is one of the first Arc chapters in the United States. The parents who created The Arc labored tirelessly for the equal rights and human dignity of people with disabilities at a time when institutionalization was the norm.
In subsequent years, The Arc through its staff and Membership has become a powerful voice in shaping the service landscape for people with disabilities.
As an early pioneer, we campaigned for the right of education for children, regardless of ability and promoted integrated services for children and adults with disabilities. At every step in the struggle for equal rights, Arc has been a vibrant catalyst for change at the local, state and national level. Our relationship building with our state and national legislators is noteworthy. We receive phone calls from our legislators inviting us to functions and/or asking for advice for their constituents regarding disability systems issues.
In 1990, The Arc formed a service provision arm, SpArc Services (formerly known as PDDC), to focus on a mission of vocational training and independent, competitive employment. One of the primary goals of SpArc Services is to expose our program participants: people with a wide range of intellectual and developmental disabilities, senior citizens and people with physical disabilities to the community.
We do this in a number of ways: through Business Partnerships we have contracted work sites where participants earn a paycheck by providing a service, being involved in our Cultural Arts which includes attendance at cultural events such as concerts and plays, volunteer activities in the community and community supports including placing people in employment to support independent living.
Our intention is supporting people through advocacy, education, culture and employment to live their lives with maximum satisfaction and the highest level of independence. We have served the community for over 25 years with and are continually searching for new opportunities to excel.