ARC has room for everyone

Schenectady ARC (Advocacy, Resources, Choices), a not-for-profit organization, has been serving county residents with developmental disabilities since 1952.

We're what we would call a family-based organization, said Mark Denofio, director of public relations for Schenectady ARC.

"It was founded in 1952 by parents who were looking for options for their children at the time. And to preface that whole thing, what the state had in place at the time wasn't what parents were really seeking for their children. If you were familiar with the facilities, who would want to subject their children to those kinds of conditions," said Denofio.

The program, which initially started as a small classroom-size environment in some of the local schools in Schenectady, grew from there to an agency that serves more than 1,000 families. The program currently has two day-treatment facilities, which are "traditional facilities" where people go for learning skills to "continue to keep the fundamentals in front of individuals," and there is a facility for more intensive treatment where people who aren't as mobile go for more intensive treatment.

That's not all. "The gamut of services runs wild," according to Denofio.

"We run a day program for working, which is our workshop program where individuals come in for the day and work. They make a salary," said Denofio.

"We have over 19 residential homes throughout Schenectady County. We run our own transportation, and we have a clinic here at the State Street facility where the basic purpose is to provide medical services for our population of individuals we serve."

Schenectady ARC offers family support programs, school programs for younger individuals with disabilities in conjunction with the YMCA at the Scotia Glenville Schools and more.

"We're part of a bigger organization called NYSARC, which is a statewide organization for individuals with disabilities," said Denofio.

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