Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to general questions

What does Arc stand for?

Arc used to be an acronym for “association for retarded citizens.” After many years, self advocates and family members pushed to simply use “The Arc” as the organization’s name. The name change arose out of concern with the label “retarded.”

What is People First language?

People First language puts the person before the disability and it describes what a person has, not who a person is. An example would be to say “people with disabilities” instead of “the handicapped or disabled.” Click here for more examples.

Do I have to pay for services from The Arc of Western Wayne County?

We have worked very hard to secure funding so that advocacy services continue to be free of charge for everyone. We do charge a small fee for people attending our dances to cover the cost of the DJ and hall rental, and that fee is discounted for members.

How is The Arc of Western Wayne County funded?

The Arc of Western Wayne County is funded through contracts with Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency (The After I’m Gone Program and The Take Charge Helpline), a contract with Community Living Services (Fiscal Intermediary Services and Independent Supports Coordination), United Way funding, membership, donations and fundraising opportunities.

What are intellectual and developmental disabilities?

 Intellectual and developmental disabilities include Down syndrome, autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and other related conditions.

What kinds of help does The Arc provide?

 We are first and foremost an advocacy organization. We provide assistance to people with disabilities and their families in securing appropriate services such as health care, education, housing, employment and more. Advocates are available to attend or facilitate meetings and act as a liaison between “the system” and the person/family. We also assist people in “navigating” the maze of services available to them by offering information and referral as well as directly assisting with phone calls and/or meetings. In addition to advocacy services, The Arc of Western Wayne County provides additional services through our contracts with Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network (DWIHN)Community Living Services and United Way.

Do I have to be a member to receive services?

No. Anyone is welcome to contact us for assistance.

Are there other Arc chapters in Wayne County?

Yes. There are six Arc Chapters that make up the Arc Coalition of Wayne County. In addition to our chapter there is The Arc Dearborn/Dearborn Heights, The Arc Detroit, The Arc of Northwest Wayne County, ARC Downriver and The Arc Grosse Pointe/Harper Woods. If you live outside of Wayne County, contact The Arc Michigan. If you live outside of Michigan, contact The Arc of The United States.

What is the service area of The Arc of Western Wayne County?

We serve families living in Wayne, Westland, Belleville, Romulus, Inkster and Garden City, Michigan.

Why should I become an Arc member?

Only a generation ago, people with disabilities were institutionalized and largely invisible. Today, people with disabilities have many options for where they live, learn, work and play. Changes in public policy constantly threaten funding for programs and services. Arc’s work is never done! Join us!

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