Last updated: July 17. 2013 6:10PM - 767 Views
Fred Pace

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MADISON — The Arc of the Three Rivers, Inc. is a behavioral health organization that serves children and adults with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities.

On Friday, June 21, 2013, the organization re-established offices in Boone County at 397 Main Street in downtown Madison with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We have had a presence in Boone County for the past 10 to 15 years, but had to close our office in Danville about 15 to 16 months ago,” said Jason Bailey, director of community services. “With the opening of our new office we can continue to carry out the mission and vision of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their parents and siblings here in Boone County.”

The Arc of The Three Rivers provides the following services:

• Residential Habilitation/Person Centered Supports

• Provide services in Natural Family and 24 hour Individual Support Settings

• Community Day Habilitation/Person Centered Services

• Provide services to individuals in Boone, Kanawha, and Putnam Counties

• Facility Based Day Habilitation at our Achieve and Opportunity Center

• Adult Companion/Person Centered Supports

• Respite

• Service Coordination

• Therapeutic Consultant

• Behavior Support Professional

• Nursing

• Support and Alternative Services

• Representative Payee Services

• Targeted Case Management

Tim Morris, executive director, says he is hoping to expand and open a day program.

“Hopefully to fit individual needs and desires,” he said.

The Arc has a rich history spanning 60 years and marked by accomplishment.

In 1950, a small group of parents and other concerned individuals came together to act as voices for change. At the time, little was known about the condition of intellectual disabilities (at the time referred to as ‘mental retardation’) or its causes. There were virtually no programs and activities in communities to assist in the development and care of children and adults with intellectual disabilities or to support families.

It was common at that time for doctors to tell parents that the best place for their child was in an institution. Emboldened by their collective desire to raise their children in the home and their stubborn refusal to accept that institutionalization was the only option, The Arc’s founders fought even harder.

Like every parent of any child, they wanted more for their children. They wanted their children to lead fulfilling lives out in the community and not shuttered away in dark institutions. It was in that spirit that The Arc was born.

At the outset, the organization was committed to altering perceptions of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to educate parents and others regarding the potential of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Gary and Kathy Cash of Madison said The Arc has been wonderful for their son Sean.

“Some many times they have helped him with developing living skills and so much to put in words,” Gary Cash said. “If not for the services and support of The Arc, my son would get left behind sometimes.”

Cash said the Boone County office location makes it much easier for his family.

“Without it, we would have to travel to Charleston,” he said.

For more information about The Arc Three Rivers, visit the Web site at www.arcthreerivers.org or call 304-344-3403.

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