Working together to connect families,

  inspire communities and influence public policy.

About Us

The Arc of the Greater Roanoke Valley is a local advocacy organization working to create “A Life Like Yours” for people who have intellectual and related developmental disabilities. Our members are people with disabilities, their families, professionals, and community advocates.Type your paragraph here.

Mission Statement

The Arc of the Greater Roanoke Valley (ArcGRV) advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With its network of members, ArcGRV improves systems of supports and services, connects families, inspires communities, and influences public policy.

The Arc of the Greater Roanoke Valley is affiliated with The Arc of Virginia and The Arc of the United States and is the local chapter for the Greater Roanoke Valley. When you join one of Virginia's local chapters, you automatically become a member of both The Arc of Virginia and The Arc of the United States and are eligible for the benefits and privileges of membership in these organizations as well as those of the local chapter.

Advocacy is a key component of our identity as The Arc of the Greater Roanoke Valley.  We speak out on issues that affect people with intellectual and related developmental disabilities and their families.  But more importantly, we help people with disabilities, family members, friends, and others become advocates themselves. 

You can make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.  By communicating with legislators and by generally educating them about disability issues, you can help shape policy and law at the federal, state, or local level. Join us in creating a community where people with disabilities are valued as classmates, coworkers, neighbors and friends!

Please join us at our regular monthly meetings held on the 4th Monday of every month (except in December) at 7:00 PM at Christ Lutheran Church, Grandin Road and Brandon Avenue, Roanoke, VA.


People with intellectual and related developmental disabilities are valued as classmates, coworkers, neighbors, citizens and friends.


In the early 1970’s, a group of pioneering parents and special education professionals, seeking to improve the lives of their children diagnosed with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities, joined together to form a local chapter of the national organization, Association for Retarded Children. This organization later became the Association for Retarded Citizens and today is known as the Arc.

The first program to emerge from this new association was a preschool program at the Jerome Natt Center at Second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke's Old Southwest neighborhood. A developmental center for adults soon followed at the same location. The Arc concurrently started the Rehabilitation and Industrial Center as a sheltered work program on Shenandoah Avenue. This effort grew out of the association's dissatisfaction with the vocational services available at that time.

In 1978, the Arc moved into a larger building on Melrose Avenue, combining the developmental center and the sheltered workshop as the Center for Human Development. Later, the work program became known as CHD Industries. Contract work from the Valley’s largest employers gave purpose, pride and paychecks to the program’s participants. Upwards of 150 individuals attended on a daily basis.

Major flooding in the fall of 1985 devastated the Melrose site. Operations continued as both an advocacy and service orga6nization at alternate sites until the year 2000, when the organization participated in a merger of 4 regional workshops under the auspices of Goodwill Industries of the Valleys.

Following the merger, advocacy efforts for the intellectually disabled waned. In 2006, the efforts of concerned parents and professionals resulted in a new incorporation as the Arc of the Greater Roanoke Valley. This advocacy organization continues to work to provide better and varied opportunities in life for our intellectually disabled and developmentally delayed citizens.