When The Arc US and the Arc of New Mexico were founded in the 1950s, the public policy in the United States focused almost exclusively on “warehousing” people with disabilities – putting them in institutions on the edges of communities, never to be seen again. People with disabilities and their families had no independence and autonomy over their lives. Fortunately, we have come a long way since then in terms of disability rights and innovative supports.
The Arc of the United States began when a small group of parents and others who were concerned about the treatment of people with disabilities all came together to create change. Its history is robust, and today, the Arc of the US has become the largest, national, community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.
The Arc of New Mexico was founded in 1955. Since then, it has been a strong and active participant in every major, advocacy effort in New Mexico, working for and in partnership with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
The Arc of New Mexico monitors national, state, and local legislation and regulations that impact individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, the Arc of New Mexico has a full-time lobbyist at the State Capitol in Santa Fe during legislative sessions, as well as throughout the year attending interim committee sessions. The lobbyist makes public comments and encourages public participation to influence pending legislation and to suggest new legislation.
The Arc of New Mexico has a longstanding reputation at both the state and national level for championing important legislation that impacts people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We recognize that change must happen systematically in order to impact individual lives for the better. We work during the legislative session, and outside of session to influence public policy to better the lives of the individuals we serve.