Our Story

Our Story

Crys McCuin
Executive Director

The Arc of Dutchess began in 1971 after a group of local special education teachers led by Catherine “Kay” Seeberger saw a potentially bleak future facing their graduating students. These visionaries recognized the untapped capacity and value of these young adults to develop as members of a community that would be enriched by their presence. More importantly, they believed – as we do today – that each person had the right to full inclusion and participation in their community.

This band of advocates, along with a group of determined parents, took the first steps toward the creation of The Arc of Dutchess as a means to open doors to a brighter future for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

little-red-school
Dutchess County’s Little Red Schoolhouse

Born from the legacy of Dutchess County’s Little Red Schoolhouse, a small vocational program of about 15 young adults has developed into one of the largest providers of support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in Dutchess County. Today, The Arc of Dutchess provides diverse services across the age spectrum in every corner of the county. We are one of the largest providers of support to children, teens, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Dutchess County.

We are proud of our roots, the path we’ve traveled, and so grateful to those who laid the foundation for our success today.   Our workforce of 500 promotes and encourages the 1000 people and families we support to discover and achieve what really matters to each person most.

In 2015, the Board of Directors made the decision with the support of our parent corporation, NYSARC, Inc. to formally affiliate with The Arc, our well-respected national presence located in Washington, D.C. as a means to enrich our advocacy efforts for those we support.

We are accredited by the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), an international organization that assists organizations committed to excellence to help people discover their own quality of life.

Our Mission
Respecting and supporting what matters to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and promoting their right to achieve full inclusion and participation in the community.

Vision
A world in which all people with disabilities are recognized as valued members of society.

Values
Respect We respect the value and uniqueness of all people and support their right to pursue the life they imagine.

Integrity We are responsive to the people we support—and are committed to the ethical and responsible use of resources to advance our mission.