Services of The Arc of Harris County
The Arc coordinates monthly dances (including our annual holiday gala for 950+), weekend activities, camps, and in state and out of state vacations to offer participants opportunities to develop friendships, explore the community, visit new places, and develop new skills.
Out of the home weekend services are available to provide short-term relief to primary caregivers. Guests enjoy a variety of community events and activities.
Training for Professionals, Families, and the Community
The Arc of Greater Houston offers conferences, trainings, and support for professionals, families, and the community on best practices in education, transition, adult services, and organizational change. Many trainings are offered in both English and Spanish, and can be customized based on need and audience. Trainings include: Special Education 101; Navigating IDEA and 504; Preparing for ARDs; Behavior and Discipline Law in Public Schools; ABA Essential Skills; Accommodations and Adaptions for Students with Disabilities; Effective Support Strategies for Children and Adults with Autism; Understanding Social Security Benefits and Work Incentives; Organizational Change – Moving to Community-based Integrated Services; Team Building and Strategic Planning for Schools and Organizations; Person-centered planning; Supported Employment; and General Disability Awareness and Understanding Accommodations for Businesses, Employers, and Community Organizations.
The Arc’s Right to Learn program is a service that provides educational advocacy supports to students ages 3-21 and their families. This program directly helps students obtain a free, appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Our services include: providing educational information to families and schools; providing training on special education concerns for parents and professionals in workshops, conferences, support groups, and other settings; and providing assistance to parents preparing for A.R.D. (Admission, Review, and Dismissal) meetings. We also offer families and professionals the opportunity to participate in a onetime per month, Special Education 101 training covering basic special education rights.
Legislative and Systems Advocacy
The Arc advocates on a national, state, and local level, for appropriately-funded, community-based services for all persons with disabilities. The Arc educates legislative representatives and other decision makers about the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition, we educate parents and family members on ways to impact the decision making process.
Information, Referral, and Public Awareness
The Arc offers an extensive referral network of information and assistance to families seeking services as well as disability-related information to the general public. In addition to responding to thousands of calls and emails per year, we have available a resource guide on our website. We also provide regular outreach with schools, adult service organizations, family group, case management entities, physicians, universities, and local planning committees to provide awareness and education.
The Arc assists in the formation and facilitation of support groups for parents and self-advocates, and we arrange for speakers to address relevant topics of interest to participants in these groups. We have long supported the Familias Hispanas del Arc (a support group for families of children with special needs) by providing organizing, facilitation, and childcare.
The Arc also facilitates:
1) Wings For All--a partnership with IAH, United Airlines, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), The Arc of Fort Bend County, The Arc of Greater Houston and The Arc of Texas, which is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, and aviation professionals; and
2) Employment Roundtable--a partnership with many local organizations working to expand the opportunities for persons with IDD to secure and maintain community-based employment at competitive wages.