The Arc San Francisco is a community of participants, families, and Circles of Support working together to provide accessible, inclusive services, and advocating for disability justice. People with I/DD face lifelong barriers to inclusion in every aspect of their lives.
We stand alongside Arc participants and take action to create change, led by the voices of people with I/DD. We are committed to lifting barriers to full inclusion for all because disability justice IS social justice.
Here are some of our stories:
Just like everyone else, participants at The Arc are lifelong learners. Even during the pandemic, they didn’t slow down. Find out how Connie uses The Arc's enrichment programs and tools such as The Hub in the video above.
Michael has worked at the Yerba Buena ice rink for the past 18 years! In the video above, Michael discusses how The Arc San Francisco's employment team helps him maximize his talents and help his team succeed.
Watch the video above to meet Anne, a retired office-worker, in her first solo apartment. Learn about her experience living on her own and getting support from The Arc to manage her daily life, and health.
Gary remembers that in the 90s, Muni buses had wood panels inside. He recalls this because he angrily smashed his knee through one of those panels one day –on purpose. Another time he got mad and broke the banister in his house. He doesn’t remember what he was angry about back then, but he didn’t have the tools yet to handle what he was feeling.
What he was feeling –anger and depression –was brought on in part by losing members of his family, one after the other. He had lost his mother when he was 28 and his father died when Gary was 43. His sister died a few years later and then he lost both his brother and his aunt Ber-nice.
Gary stopped taking care of himself, eating lots of potato chips and French fries and staying home all the time. He was getting little to no exercise.
In the midst of this, in 2007, Gary came to The Arc San Francisco, looking for meaningful employment. He found a great career working for Marin Software and later a fitness center.But what was equally as valuable was the support he found at The Arc SF for managing the many challenges that life throws our way.
With advice from Arc staff, Gary got the medical care he needed, including medication to help him “keep calm.”
He visited the Liberation Institute, a partner of The Arc SF’s Wellness Program, where he learned coping techniques to help with his anger.
“The lady there told me when you get angry to take deep breaths. She wrote down the instructions and I still have them.”His support team at The Arc partnered with him to change his diet and pushed him to get out and exercise regularly.“I like getting out and coming to the park, going for walks. And I’m eating more healthily, too. The other day I had a whole salad!”These little changes –breathing, medication, exercise, diet –all add up to better health but most importantly, a better life. The Arc’s Well-ness Program is there at Gary’s side as he accesses important services and makes healthy choices.