On the cover: Marian O., photographed by John Vecchiolla
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For 56 years, Westchester Arc has been a pioneer in meeting the needs of people with
developmental disabilities and their families. Throughout our history, as you will read in these
pages, families with vision and determination have worked hard to remove obstacles to
education, employment and general community acceptance for their loved ones. Such successes,
in turn, have resulted in greater expectations for self-advocacy, inclusion and personal
fulfillment. To acknowledge these unfolding opportunities and challenges, and how we meet
them, we have changed our name, logo and tagline.
This recognition coincides with the findings of research that we conducted last year among
the people we serve, their families, donors and others. Among other things, we addressed what
people think about our current name. We learned that most people believed “ARC” was an
acronym, that the word “retarded” had developed many negative connotations and that people
with developmental disabilities felt stigmatized by that label.
The new name can no longer be read as an acronym. The word “Arc” symbolizes our efforts
to bridge gaps and build supportive connections between those we serve and their communities.
At the same time, “Westchester Arc” is a link to our heritage, echoing our affiliation with
NYSARC and The Arc of the U.S.
Similarly, our new logo builds upon the earlier one. It communicates the theme of reaching
for opportunities and journeying towards a wider world. “Envision Possibilities, Explore
Choices,” our new tagline, captures the heart of our mission. We are committed to person-
centered planning and individualized services because every individual’s needs are different.
In addition, this tagline invites the greater community to enrich itself by embracing people with
developmental disabilities as students, employees and neighbors