About The Arc of Tempe


For more than 50 years, The Arc of Tempe has worked toward creating greater inclusion and a sense belonging in the Tempe community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our community-based programs focus on four key pillars: recreation, volunteerism, and self-advocacy. We believe that every person deserves a seat at the table, and we strive to create a world that is more inclusive, more aware, and more accepting.

The IDD community, particularly adults whose networks may only include parents, legal guardians, and support staff, has historically been one of the most disenfranchised and overlooked groups in our society.

poco joselle.png

Our History

Established in 1965, The Arc of Tempe was founded by loving parents who wanted to provide a safe space for their loved ones. Prior to the establishment of The Arc of Tempe, there was little to no resources for youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), including schools, community resources, and educational materials.

Upon realizing that there were a large amount of parents who sought the same thing, these dedicated parents and volunteers lobbied and advocated for change. Through their efforts, their loved ones and family members had better resources in schools, had a place to socialize with other members of the IDD community, and though there was much work to be done, The Arc of Tempe truly established itself as a community presence.

Through decades of societal change — from individuals with IDD being institutionalized and hidden from the world to to legislation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and everywhere in between — The Arc of Tempe is now a vibrant community, full of hundreds of caring individuals who understand that our differences are what make us who we are.

Over the last 50+ years, the world has changed, and so have our programs — but our mission remains the same. We are excited that our Recreation program is now almost entirely community-based; we still have the same goals of providing a safe and inclusive space for every member we serve, but now we are able to do so while engaging the members of our communities at large.

Our Vision

The vision of The Arc of Tempe is simple: create inclusive communities for individuals with IDD through accessible leadership, quality programming, and positive, community-based activities.

In short: We believe that all individuals should have the same access to community, transportation, housing, and employment — and we strive to create that reality.

The Arc of Tempe works hand-in-hand with individuals, organizations, and corporate partners in a collaborative fashion to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of its programming.


The Arc of Tempe conducts its business with integrity, accountability, and open, honest and timely communication, and is committed to quality and excellence in all it does.