Program Philosophy

It is the intent of The Arc of Rensselaer County to move from a systems driven approach to a person centered approach to delivering supports and services to individuals with intellectual disabilities in the community. Operating from a person centered perspective, The Arc works with each individual to tailor a set of supports and/or services. The objective is to assist each individual realize full citizenship in their community of choice.

We seek to discover the needs, wants, and capabilities of each person and to respond with complimentary supports that facilitate community inclusion. We are frequently asking "What do you want?" in an effort to encourage individuals to assume a lead role in making decisions relating to all areas of their lives.

We see planning as a time to build teams of caring and committed people as a primary way to successfully implement plans, as opposed to a process that reinforces program boundaries. An effort will be made to develop a team that reflects the natural diversity of the community beyond human service membership. The plan will be flexible, learning oriented and responsive to each individual situation and our roles will be dictated by individual need rather than program orientation. Each planning process will be managed by a facilitator who is skilled in managing meetings and group dynamics; addressing conflicts; and building collaborative relations among persons with disabilities, their families/advocates, and staff. The person centered plan provides a focused communication and defines a set of roles and responsibilities that support individuals in their choice of life style.

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It is said that you teach what you need to learn and I have learned that people are capable of so much more than we can ever imagine. This is true of the amazing people we support as well as the amazing staff who support them. As the staff trainer for the agency for the past 10 years, I have seen staff grow in competence and compassion. I have seen people we support defy expectations, including their own! I see perseverance, love and commitment. It’s an honor to be here.

–Deborah Foss, Staff Development Specialist
The Arc of Rensselaer County

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The Arc of Rensselaer County
79 102nd Street, Troy, NY 12180-1125
(518) 274-3110

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