How We Help

For over 50 years The Arc has been helping individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through:

Public Policy

When The Arc was founded more than fifty years ago, America’s public policy mostly centered on “warehousing” people with disabilities – putting them away in institutions at the edges of our communities, never to be seen again. Through years of advocacy from The Arc movement, this has changed. In New Mexico the institutions have been closed and individuals with disabilities are living and participating in their own communities.

Self-Advocacy and Leadership Development

The Arc has a proven track record for providing learning and mentorship opportunities to individuals with disabilities and their families to help them advocate for themselves and for other individuals.  Historically, decisions were made about individuals with disabilities without their input or consent. The attitude today is, “Nothing about me without me.” Individuals with disabilities are now serving on important policy boards and committees and they are busy organizing and hosting their own meetings, conferences and training.


The Arc provides a variety of services including Guardianship, Special Needs Trusts, Representative Payee, and Personal Plan Facilitation. The Arc is the corporate guardian for over 175 individuals in New Mexico and the Trust Program serves approximately 400 individuals with over $5.5 million in assets. The Representative Payee program helps 50 individuals manage their Social Security benefits. Personal Plan Facilitation basically refers to a listening process that helps individuals identify a vision and goals for the future and steps to achieve their goals. This service has proven to be a catalyst to people moving into positive futures.

Coalition, Network and Chapter Development

One of the more serious issues facing individuals with disabilities and their families is isolation. Isolation can have devastating consequences including depression, divorce, health problems and abuse. The Arc continues to work with different communities, local chapters and individuals to bring individuals and families together to network, to learn, and to support and encourage one another.