The Arc of Davidson County is committed to securing for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to choose and realize their goals of where and how they learn, live, work, and play.
The Arc believes that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are defined by their own strengths, abilities, and inherent value, not by their disability.
The Arc believes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are entitled to the respect, dignity, equality, safety, and securities accorded to other members of society, and are equal before the law.
The Arc believes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities belong in the community and have fundamental moral, civil, and constitutional rights to be fully included and actively participate in all aspects of society.
The Arc believes in self-determination and self-advocacy. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with appropriate resources and support, can make decisions about their own lives and must be heard on issues that affect their well-being.
The Arc believes that society in general and The Arc in particular benefit from the contributions of people with diverse personal characteristics (including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, age, geographic location, sexual orientation, gender, and type of disability).
The Arc of Davidson County was founded in 1951 by families of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and was formally incorporated in 1964.
In 1970, the members voted to open a daycare center. Because state funds were not available, they borrowed money from local banks, held fundraising events, and recruited parent and volunteer support. This started what operates today as the Developmental Center at South Lexington Primary School. It opened at the First Lutheran Church in Lexington.
With the help of the Davidson County 4-H Extension office in 1976, The Arc organized 4-H clubs for the children with disabilities in Lexington and Thomasville. This was the first 4-H program in the state for people with disabilities.
The Arc of Davidson County opened its first office in 1978 on West Center Street in Lexington, staffed by volunteers for the first year, and then with a part-time director. Later, the office was moved to a Talbert Boulevard location and shared space with the then Lexington Area United Way.
After this building was sold, the office moved to the old Grimes School and shared space with the Area Mental Health Program. In 1981, the Area Mental Health Program approached The Arc to take over operation of two group homes that were being licensed by the Department of Social Services.
The Arc of Davidson County bought the home located at 6 Vance Circle which housed the administrative offices and operated as a group home. Between 1982 and 1996, funding was received for four group homes supporting 23 adults.
In March 2014, The Arc purchased the property located at 1900 South Main Street, a one-story, accessible building and relocated. This move provided opportunities for service expansion.