The Arc of San Antonio was founded in 1954 by parents who needed support and services for their children with special needs. Today our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. We fulfill this mission through day programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities and case management services for people with various physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities.
1951 — Reverend Samuel Orr Capers organizes the San Antonio Council for Retarded Children; at the request of the Council, the San Antonio School District opens 2 classes for children with mental retardation
1953 — Child Development Center for pre-school children with mental retardation and children with special needs above the age of six is organized and housed in the basement of Central Christian Church with a grant from the Junior League
1954 — The San Antonio Council for Retarded Children is chartered.
1958 — First year of serving adults with mental retardation
1959 — Received first federal grant through the Department of Health to establish an Opportunity Workshop and Training Center
1961 — Broke ground for a new facility housing the new Opportunity Workshop at 227 West Drexel – now the current location of the Center for Health Care Services
1966 — New Child Development Center is dedicated and opened
1966 — Name changed to San Antonio Association for Retarded Children
1974 — Name changed from the San Antonio Association for Retarded Children to the San Antonio Association for Retarded Citizens
1981 — Name changed to the Association for Retarded Citizens – San Antonio
1982 — Dove Manor, a semi-independent apartment program was established
1985 — Developed after school and summer programs for children with special needs
1985 — Opened two residential group homes: Mayfair and Sunny Grove
1988 — Transferred responsibility of residential group homes services to Reaching Maximum Independence (RMI)
1992 — Received first state contract from the Department of Human Services for a collaborative demonstration project to bring a comprehensive approach to early childhood development
1993 — Received state contracts from the Department of Human Services to facilitate the Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) program and from the Department of Health to facilitate the Comprehensive School-based Case Management (CSCM) Program
1994- Adopted the DBA (doing business as) The Arc of San Antonio (the name we are known for today)
1998 — Opened Project Choice adult day habilitation program
1999 — Began Phase I of Building Safety and Renovation Campaign on West Avenue
2002 — Completed Phase I of the Building Safety and Renovation Campaign, Phase I also enabled The Arc to reduce the debt owed on the building by $500,000
2003 — Inauguration of young adult program, serving 18 young adults with developmentally appropriate summer programming
2004 — Celebrating 50 years of serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities!
2005 — Completed Phase II of the Building Safety and Renovation Campaign which included finishing out the second floor for administrative and case management offices, leaving the first floor entirely for day programs.
2006 — Launched pilot program for the Green Clean Team, a vocational training & employment program for adults with developmental disabilities.
2007 — Began “Growing to Serve” Capital Campaign to open a second location for the Arc’s childcare and young adult programs.
2008 – Opened the Pam Stephens Center, a 12,000 square foot renovated YMCA located at 6530 Wurzbach Road, for weekday Life enrichment programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
2011—Opened The Aquatic Center at the Pam Stephens Center, San Antonio’s First Fully Accessible pool for aquatic therapy and recreation.
2013– Started the L.E.A.P. (Life Enrichment Achievement Pilot) Program which provided specialized environments (smaller participant/instructor ratio, more physical space) catered to serving individuals on the Autism spectrum or those having more severe disabilities.