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          The A.R.C. of Northwestern Vermont was established in 1956 by a group of parents who wanted equal rights to a public education for their children with developmental disabilities. At that time, their children were not allowed to attend school with other students. In response, the A.R.C. found a location, hired a teacher, and started their own school. While undergoing this initiative, the A.R.C. was also working to pass a law that would give their children the same opportunity to a public education as other children. With a lot of hard work, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, PL-94-142, was eventually passed, guaranteeing an education for children with a disabilities.

          As the children grew, so did the A.R.C. Educators, friends, relatives, and community members joined the organization. Even though support for the organizing was increasing, it was apparent that while children with disabilities were allowed to attend public school, they were still being isolated, segregated, and discriminated. Realizing that there was still a lot of work to be done, the A.R.C. continued to advocate for individuals with disabilities in Northwestern Vermont.

          In the beginning, the ARC originally stood for the "Association for Retarded Children." This title changed as the children grew to "Association for Retarded Citizens." As language evolved so did our name to what it is currently, "Advocacy Resource, and Community."

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