Arc of the United States

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The Arc of the United States is an organization serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization was founded in the 1950s by parents of people with developmental disabilities.[1] Since then, the organization has established state chapters in 39 states, and 730 local chapters in states across the country.[2] The Arc of the United States is based in Washington, D.C.

Work[edit]

The organization advocates for disabled people and helps them with issues like finding jobs, and helping employers adapt to the needs of disabled people.[3]

The national chapter has a budget of approximately $2,000,000, according to Guidestar.org.[4] According to financial statements submitted to the IRS, the organization's major sources of income are charitable donations; dues for membership in local and state chapters; and government grants, contracts, and fees.[5]

History[edit]

The first organization of families was the Children's Benevolent League, incorporated in 1936 in the state of Washington.[6] The San Francisco chapter was founded in 1951.[7][8][9]

The organization was called the National Association for Retarded Children from 1953 to 1973 and then was the National Association for Retarded Citizens from 1973 to 1981, the Association for Retarded Citizens of the United States from 1981 to 1992, and it assumed its present name in 1992, as part of expanding its function and reacting to the euphemism treadmill.[10][11]

In the summer of 2008, the Arc strongly criticized the movie Tropic Thunder, in which Ben Stiller portrays "Simple Jack", a man with an intellectual disability. The Arc called the portrayal "offensive" and also objected to the use of the words "retard", "moron", and "imbecile" throughout the movie. The Arc was among a group of disability organizations, including the Special Olympics and the National Down Syndrome Congress which called for a boycott of the film.[12] Spokespeople for Tropic Thunder, along with Ben Stiller, argued that critics like the Arc did not understand that the movie was intended to make fun of actors and the movie industry, not individuals with disabilities, describing the movie as "an R-rated comedy that satirizes Hollywood and its excesses and makes it point by featuring inappropriate and over-the-top characters in ridiculous situations."[12] However, the Arc continued to criticize the film as containing hate speech, promoting offensive stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities, and being offensive to people with disabilities and their families. The Arc of the United States called for all of its chapters across the nation to picket and protest against the film, launched educational campaigns, and wrote open letters to Ben Stiller and the film's creators explaining their criticisms and calling for Stiller to meet with disability advocates to engage in "honest and open dialogue about the offense this film perpetrates."[13]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History". The Arc of the United States. 2011.
  2. ^ "Who We Are". The Arc of the United States. 2011.
  3. ^ "Willing and ready to work". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications. 12 May 2005. Archived from the original on 18 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  4. ^ "Nonprofit Report: The Arc of the U.S." Guidestar.org.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "IRS Form 990: Report of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". The Arc of the United States. Archived from the original on 2008-11-26.
  6. ^ Jones, Larry (2010). Doing Disability Justice. lulu.com. ISBN 978-0-557-55238-2.
  7. ^ Crawford, Sabrina (2006). Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to And Living in the San Francisco Bay Area: Including San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, And Palo Alto. New York: First Book. p. 274. ISBN 0-912301-63-5.
  8. ^ "Affordable Housing Coalitions and Agencies". California Department of Developmental Services. California Health and Human Services Agency. 2007-11-01. Archived from the original on 2009-02-18.
  9. ^ Smith, Matt (2007-03-13). "A Walk in the Park". SF Weekly. Village Voice Media. Archived from the original on 2009-02-18. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  10. ^ "History of The Arc". The Arc. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  11. ^ "The Arc's Name Changes Throughout Its History". 2011.
  12. ^ a b Cieply, Michael (August 11, 2008). "Groups Call for Boycott of 'Tropic Thunder' Film". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "Disability Rights Group Calls on Ben Stiller to Meet with People with Disabilities in DC, NY or LA about 'Tropic Thunder'". Fox Business News. August 15, 2008.