The Arc of Washington County


​Self Advocacy
in Action

​Self Advocacy

Connect with

The Arc of Washington County

The Arc of Washington County is an affiliated chapter of the Arc of Pennsylvania and the Arc of the United States. Its mission promotes the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetime.

The Arc of Washington County was established in 1952, by a group of parents who wanted to create a better future for their children, each diagnosed with a developmental or intellectual disability. Over the years, the disability industry and our community have changed. In an effort to consistently meet the needs of individuals, the Arc of Washington County is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to support their families through awareness, education, community support and family involvement.


Advocacy Program

We strive to advocate for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are committed to providing support, guidance and assistance to individuals and their families to receive the level of services needed. The Arc of Washington works to advocate, improve systems of support and services, connect families, inspire communities and influence public policy.

Our goals are simple: to provide advocacy, assurance, assistance and accessibility to ensure active involvement for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Throughout the year, we can assist numerous individuals with disabilities and their families by providing resources, information and support in navigating the system to ensure they are receiving their needed services.

No one knows you better than you!

“The mentor program has opened up my eyes to teach other people.”

​Self Advocacy in Action

This program focuses on developing a local self-advocate network as well as a leadership/peer support program that includes ongoing education and resources to assist with connecting and developing skills and relationships.

Self Advocacy is about people speaking up for themselves. The Self Advocacy movement seeks to reduce the isolation of people with disabilities and give them the tools to take greater control over their own lives. Self Advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs and rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions. (VanReusen et al., 1994).

Washington County Self Advocacy events are supported by Washington County Behavioral Health Development Services (BHDS).

Meetings are held the 4th Thursday of every month at the our Canonsburg office location and are open to all self-advocates, their staff and families.

Need guidance or someone to talk to about your rights, employment, housing or just being more involved in your community? Fill out our contact form below. 

Self Advocate Leader

The Self Advocate Leader training program will teach individuals an array of skills, including self-awareness and assessment, self advocacy, problem solving and decision making, goal setting and teamwork and group development.

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