The Association of Retarded Citizens of Buncombe County was founded in 1957 and has been a United Way agency since 1962. Many of the organization’s clients, ranging in age from young children to adults, are challenged daily by autism, Down syndrome and other moderate to severe developmental disabilities. The agency’s goal is to assist special-needs individuals reach their highest level of functioning and achieve the best quality of life by providing advocacy, medical and dental needs, social events, school support and augmented case management.
“For 50 years, The Arc has been a voice for our special-needs citizens [who] can’t typically speak for themselves,” states Executive Director Gayle Littlejohn. “Working with our wonderful volunteers, we are able to provide these individuals with activities and programs that enable them to actively engage in the community.”
The Arc supports several special-needs programs throughout Asheville, including Buncombe County’s Progressive Education Program and the Asheville Special Olympics. To celebrate 50 years of service to the Asheville community, The Arc is holding a special event on Aug. 23 at The Orchard at Broadmoor. The event, “Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future,” will feature presentations, community awards and the organization’s history in serving special-needs individuals throughout Buncombe County. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Lin Moore, Director of Buncombe County Schools Progressive Education Program. Info: 253-1255.