The Arc Forms Chapter in Southeast Missouri

Saturday, March 19, 2011
For Immediate ReleaseContact: Traci Ritter

The Arc Announces New Chapter in Southeast Missouri

The Arc proudly announces that a new chapter of The Arc has been activated in Southeast Missouri. The Arc of Southeast Missouri was recently recognized by The Arc as an affiliated chapter of this 60-year-old national nonprofit organization. This new entity brings to the Southeast Missouri community a voice for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

"We are very excited to be part of The Arc's movement," said Traci Ritter, one of the founding members of The Arc of Southeast Missouri. "There was a clear need in this part of the state to advocate with and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc's proud 60-year history of promoting the civil and human rights of people with disabilities made it a natural partner for this community."

The mission of the new organization is to advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. "There has long been a void in providing a voice to families who have a family member with a developmental disability. We plan to offer advocacy and support, as well as education for the greater community about the abilities and value of people with disabilities," says Ritter.

"With the continuing growth of waiting lists for home and community based services for families and individuals, this new chapter will work closely with other chapters across the state to advocate for more services in this region," says Angela Gourley, Executive Director for The Arc of Missouri. Advocates here will also work to impact issues important to people with disabilities at the federal level through its affiliation with The Arc's national organization. "We are thrilled to have an affiliated chapter in Southeast Missouri."

The Arc is the world's largest community based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It provides an array of services and support for families and individuals and includes over 140,000 members affiliated through more than 730 state and local chapters across the nation. The Arc is devoted to promoting and improving supports and services for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan.

For information on getting involved with The Arc of Southeast Missouri, community members can contact Traci Ritter by emailing

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