New signage, a redesigned website and printed materials are some recent changes that can be seen at The Arc (pronounced “ark”) of Schuyler, a nonprofit organization that has been providing supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families for 37 years.
The Arc of Schuyler is headquartered in Watkins Glen, NY, but services are provided throughout the county. The changes are both practical and philosophical.
“We want people to understand our affiliation with The Arc of the US, a nationally recognized organization that is made up of a network of nearly 700 state and local chapters across the country”, said Jeannette Frank, Executive Director of The Arc of Schuyler. "Marketing for nonprofits is no different than marketing for any other organization. Brands are important and help people identify with products and organizations. Nationally, The Arc worked with all of its affiliates to come up with one recognizable logo and message and Schuyler is updating all of our public presence to recognize that brand,” said Frank.
The reference to The Arc vs ARC has some more important philosophical reasons that go beyond ''political correctness”. The Arc of the US website explains why the name change from “ARC” to “The Arc” matters.
“We as an organization have been sensitive to the impact of terminology on our constituency and have adapted accordingly. As the words 'retardation' and 'retarded' became pejorative, derogatory and demeaning in usage, the organization changed its name to 'The Arc.' Today, the term 'mental retardation' remains the terminology used in the medical field and referenced in many state and federal laws. However, 'intellectual disability' and 'developmental disability' are making their presence known, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure they're adopted more broadly. We strongly believe the only 'r-word' that should be used when referring to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is “Respect”.”
A broad range of resources is available to the general public through The Arc’s website. The Autism NOW Center (autismnow.org) contains up to date information for people with autism and their families. Information for educators, siblings, self-advocates, the legal and medical community and others is available through The Arc covering topics such as public policy, future planning, heath, research and resources.”
The Arc of Schuyler provides supports to over 200 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The organization also operates Glen Industries, Seneca Shine Auto Detailing, Franklin Street Gallery, and Schuyler County Transit. For more information about The Arc of Schuyler, visit the new website at www.arcofschuyler.org or you can find The Arc of Schuyler on Facebook and Twitter.